One of our favorite appetizers is dumplings, gyoza, or potstickers. They are all very similar, but essentially differ in size and the way they are cooked. Pot stickers are usually larger (2-3 bites), dumplings are usually steamed, and gyoza are usually smaller and fried. Our recipe is more of a Japanese style Gyoza and we used the steam, fry, steam method. These are so fun to make with friends and when you buy the dough, it's not even that time consuming. We love making these in big batches because they can be frozen and enjoyed later! It's a delicious appetizer and goes really well with our sticky asian chicken recipe!
There aren't many ingredients but you will want to make sure you get ground pork that's on the fattier side and that you remove any extra moisture from the cabbage (to avoid soggy gyoza).
If you're using frozen store-bought dumpling wrappers, make sure that they are fully thawed before you start. You might have to go to a few different stores to find these. If they don't have round ones, we've settled for the spring role versions of these in the past (which are just square).
4 tbsp rice vinegar
4 tbsp soy sauce
2 garlic cloves pressed or finely chopped
1 tsp finely chopped or grated ginger
1 green onion finely sliced
1 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp chili flakes
Optional: Peanut butter for dipping on the side!
For the sauce, all you have to do is whisk everything together. You can also just dip it in soy sauce or tamari. We usually prepare the sauce first so that the flavors have time to really develop.
Makes 40-50 Gyoza
1 pound of pork
tbsp of minced garlic
1 head of napa cabbage
tsp of grated ginger
3-4 minced scallions
A cutting board
A stack of dumpling dough, under plastic to keep them moist.
A small bowl of water for moistening the edges of the dough.
A baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Make sure you chop the cabbage as small as you can (use of food processor if needed). Then salt it and let it sit for 15 minutes. Squeeze it in a towel to wring out ALLLLL excess moisture. This is an arm workout. As for the ratio of meat to cabbage, technically it's up to you, but we've found that we use about a pound of cabbage for every pound of pork.
Combine ginger, garlic, scallions, cabbage and pork in a bowl using your hands. Work the ingredients together to help release all of the flavors.
Place about a tsp of your filling into the 'wrapper' and dampen the edges of it with water. Then use your index finger and thumb to crimp the edged together and seal the gyoza. Honestly, this part is the fun part! We are definitely not experts at this, but we had a great time laughing at the failed ones and pointing out our favorites. We are not going to pretend we didn't gather around a few youtube tutorials. This is a case where you just need to practice. We've included a helpful little video that shows how to wrap the gyoza. Once this is done, place the finished gyoza's on the parchment paper. If you want to freeze some, use another tray with parchment paper and place the whole thing in the freezer. Let them harden so they maintain their shape and then transfer them into a ziplock bag or container.
For the ones you will be enjoying immediately, heat some vegetable oil in a non stick skillet. One at medium heat, place the raw gyoza flat side down and crisp them for a few minutes until golder brown. Move them around every so often. Once golden, add about half a cup of water and cover. Turn up the heat to medium/high. This is the steam step. The water will boil away and they will be perfectly cooked through. Remove the lid once there's almost no water left and crisp them again. We like ours extra crispy but it's a matter of preference.
The final step is to enjoy with some wine and special friends and let us know how they turned out!