I just love the simplicity of dumplings, whether steamed, boiled, or pan-fried like in the case of this ‘gyoza’ (Japanese) or ‘jiao zi’ (chinese). A simple meal can be created by pairing this either with a bowl of soup accompanied by white rice, or noodles either fried, blanched and sauced, or noodles in soup. What a sumptuous mouthful of dumpling the gyoza is with just a gentle dip into the vinegared dressing to balance the slight oiliness, once fried.
Gyoza should not be confused with its close cousin–the wonton, which can also be steamed, boiled or fried similarly. Their skins are what tells them apart. The gyoza’s skin is chewier and has a thicker texture that’s also more white and translucent when raw. It’s also usually available in a circular shape rather than its square counterpart, the wonton skin, which is yellow in appearance and much thinner in texture.
Enjoy this easy recipe you can make at home, I promise it’ll be hard to find one better in Australia.
GYOZA – filling:(can be used for wontons* as well)
400g chicken or pork mince
100g minced prawns, raw
3 coriander stems with leaves, chopped finely
3 stalks spring onion, chopped finely
*4-5 water chestnuts, chopped finely (optional)
3 T soy sauce
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
drizzle of sesame oil
1. Mix the above ingredients into a thick paste, you could add some water if the paste becomes too thick or ‘cakey’ to handle.
2. Have a bowl of water with a tsp of cornflour mixed into it, this becomes the
‘glue’ to seal the skin.
3. Spoon about 1 heaped tsp of filling paste into the centre of each gyoza skin.
4. Seal the edge by dipping your finger into the bowl of water and cornflour mixture, run it along the circular edge and lightly,almost enclose skin into a half.
5. Pinch the right top corner, while holding the back of the dumpling with left hand,press pleats with the thumb and forefinger gently pinching along the edges to make tiny folds working from the right to the left.
6. Bring a pot of water (or soup stock for added flavour) to the boil, then gently drop dumplings one by one into the boiling water, turn the flame down to a medium simmer. They are done when they float to the surface. Prepare a large flat plate, use a sieve to ladle them up, and be careful not to let them stick to one another as you let them ‘drip dry’ on the plate.
&. Soak up excess liquid on the plate by blotting carefully with a a kitchen towel.
9. Heat a frying pan with about half a cm of peanut oil, shallow fry the gyoza first on its bottom, then turn to either sides to brown. Blot with paper towels.
1 clove garlic, minced or grated very finely
1 knob of ginger, skinned and julienned
2 T black vinegar
diced red chillies (optional)