Sunday, 13 November 2011

Home made Gyoza (Fried Dumplings)

Gyoza are those wonderful pan-fried dumplings available in specialist restaurants, bars and some of the busier food courts at shopping centers, train stations and airports. If you aren't already familiar with them I'd urge you to give them a try - they've become one of the most popular Japanese imports to the UK, alongside sushi.

I believe they were originally Chinese and are served as part of the new year celebrations, however the style I'm most familiar with is Japanese.

This was my first attempt at making them but they turned out really well. The only thing I'd change next time is to be a bit more patient, cooking them in batches rather than overfilling the frying pan.

First things first - you need some gyoza pastry rounds. It's not the mythical ingredient it sounds, you can find them in the freezer at loads of Asian grocery shops. Just like anything, you should be able to make it yourself too, I found a recipe on that suggests 170ml water to 200g strong flour which I'm going to try next time.

I think the filling is pretty flexible, I made mine with a reasonably cheap cut of pork, the shoulder, cut into chunks and then minced in a food processor. You only need about 250g at the most to make loads of gyoza.

You definitely need alliums in this mixture, I didn't have enough spring onions so I also used a finely diced purple onion as well. 

To this, I added a couple of handfuls of mushrooms, some broccoli (any greens will do, particularly cabbage), a tablespoon of fresh ginger and a couple of small garlic cloves. I seasoned with salt, pepper, a dash of soy sauce and another of sesame oil.

A quick whizz in the processor and you should have a nice fine-grained filling ready to go.

Next, lay out a gyoza wrapper on a chopping board and lay a heaped teaspoon of filling slightly off-center on top. Using a finger, wet the edges of the wrapper and then fold the wrapper over and around the filling. Make sure you press the edges together firmly. Repeat until you've used up all the wrappers, run out of filling, or gotten bored.

Heat up a frying pan with a small amount of oil and lay the dumplings flat. Add just enough hot water to come up about a third of the height of the dumplings. Cover and cook on a high heat until all of the water has evaporated.

At this point, drizzle with sesame oil and continue to cook until the pastry is crisping up and going brown; almost, but not quite, to the point of burning.

Serve with a dipping sauce mixed to taste using soy sauce, rice vinegar, chilli oil and caster sugar.

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