At my grandmother’s elbow, I acquired the art of making dumplings. The perfect fold was something I worked on for a long time, possibly because I started so young, and it would be a while before my clumsy five-year-old hands got the hang of making gyoza and dumplings.
A Gyoza Vs. A Chinese Dumpling
If I had to choose between a gyoza dumpling and, say, a Shanghainese pork dumpling, there are a few fundamental characteristics that stand out to me.
- Thinner than usual, the dumpling wrapper
- Typically, the filling has a strong ginger flavor.
- Typically, the meat and vegetable stuffing is ground much finer.
Let’s make them, shall we?
- 225g of ground pork (70% to 80% lean)
- 5 cups of napa cabbage (chopped into large pieces)
- 1 clove of garlic; smashed
- 1 scallion; chopped
- Store-bought gyoza wrappers
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil (plus for pan-frying)
- 2 teaspoons of soy sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of fresh ginger; minced
- 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 3/4 teaspoon of sugar
- 1/8 tsp of white pepper
- 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon of hot water
- 1 teaspoon of rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- To start, blanch the napa cabbage in boiling water for 30 seconds. Colander the cabbage and wash it under cold water to remove any remaining salt. The cabbage can be dried by squeezing it with your hands to remove extra moisture.
- Blanched cabbage, ground pork, smashed garlic, ginger, scallion, 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar, salt, and pepper should be added to a food processor. To ensure that the filling is evenly distributed, give the ingredients a few pulses in a food processor.
- Line a sheet pan or two with plastic wrap or parchment paper and get ready to bake. Put about 2 tbsp of filling in the center of each wrapper, and then use your finger dipped in a small dish of fresh water to moisten the outer corners of the wrapper. This is how gyoza is assembled. You can fold them in half or make the pleats shown in the images. Be sure the seals are tight.
- Put a tablespoon of oil into a cast-iron or nonstick skillet and heat it over medium heat. Fry the gyoza for two to three minutes or until the bottoms are golden and crispy.
- After a quick fry in oil, cover the pan immediately with a lid to steam the gyoza inside. Once the water has disappeared (after about 2 minutes), uncover the gyoza and cook until the bottoms are crisp once again, about 2 minutes more.
- Crispy gyoza should be served with a dipping sauce made by mixing all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.