A step by step guide to preparing and cooking gyoza
Did you know that Gyoza is actually the Japanese spelling for ‘Jiaozi’? Jiaozi is the traditional spelling for this truly unique dish, which is native to Northern China. Jiaozi, which is now more commonly seen as Gyoza, lends itself perfectly to those who love to cook in a wok! You can both pan fry and steam these delicious dumplings, and there are a variety of dipping sauces you can make to go alongside them making them perfect for sharing or as part of a fantastic dinner party meal.
People often shy away from making gyoza, fearing that it might be too complicated. However, in reality, it only takes a few simple steps. Gyoza can be eaten fresh from the pan, served up to your nearest and dearest or frozen to be enjoyed at a later date.
1. Prepare the filling
Gyoza filling is traditionally made from ground meat and vegetables. However, it is possible to make vegetarian versions, and some more inventive recipes see gyoza filled with many different flavour combinations.
A traditional gyoza filling should include meat such as chicken or beef, which is ground or chopped into tiny pieces. The meat should contain some fat so avoid super lean meats as the fat will help to keep it moist and tender. Here at the School, we like using minced chicken thigh for adding extra flavour.
Next, prepare the cabbage, which should be squeezed to remove as much water as possible. To do this add salt to chopped cabbage to draw out any remaining water, waiting for around 15 minutes to allow this to happen before squeezing it out using kitchen roll to absorb the excess.
Napa cabbage is best and will help to break up the meat creating a better texture. Shred the cabbage or use a food processor to help break it up into very small pieces. Use as much cabbage as you do meat, so the mixture is 50/50.
Adding finely chopped garlic, ginger, and Chinese chives to the cabbage/meat mix will give it fantastic taste. Season well and use a splash of soy sauce and a splash of oyster sauce to add depth of flavour. You may also wish to add sugar to sweeten the mix, and cornflour to help bind it all together - doing so can be particularly helpful if you feel as though your mixture is too wet.
Don’t underestimate how helpful it can be to spend time working your dumpling filling. The more you knead and pound it, the more tender the meat will become and the easier it will be for all the ingredients to bind together.
Once the filling is ready, you should let it cool by chilling in the fridge for 30 minutes, which will help to firm it up.
2. Making the gyoza skin
Using store-bought gyoza skin won’t take away from the tastiness of the end product and will save time and effort. However, if you want to make them from scratch, you just need salt, flour, and water! Follow the recipe below:
2 cups all-purpose flour(240g) ½ tsp salt ½ cup of just boiled water (120 ml) potato starch/corn starch (for dusting)
Add the salt to the water and then little by little pour this into the flour to form a dough. Form into a ball and cut this in half then roll the two halves out into long, log shapes. Wrap these in cling film and leave them for about 30 minutes. Then sprinkle potato or cornflour onto the work surface and then cut each log into 12 pieces. Form each piece into a ball shape and then flatten with a rolling pin to form thin circles. Sprinkle each of these with cornflour, and then they are ready to use!
3. Wrapping the gyoza
- Place a piece of the gyoza wrapper into the palm of your non-dominant hand
- Take a spoonful of your filling and spread into the middle - taking care to leave enough space around the edges for wrapping
- Press the mixture into the wrapper to ensure it won’t move when you seal the wrapper
- Moisten the sides of the wrapper with a wet finger, then fold the wrapper over, so the two edges meet. Pleat the sealed edges together.
4. Cooking gyoza
If you are pan-frying your gyoza, add vegetable oil to a high-quality, flat-bottomed wok and arrange the gyoza, flat bottom side down and cook over medium heat until the bottom side is crisp and golden brown. This can happen quite quickly, in around 2 minutes.
Next, steam the dumplings by filling the wok with hot water or chicken stock so that it half covers the gyoza and cover with a lid. Steaming will allow the filling to cook through and all the wrapper to soften. This should take another 3 minutes or so until the water dries up.
For the best results, serve gyoza immediately, and with a dipping sauce containing a mix of soy sauce and black vinegar.
Can you freeze gyoza?
Uncooked gyoza can be frozen and kept for up to 2 months.
To do so:
Line a large plastic tray with cling film and arrange the gyoza in rows, ensuring that they have enough room, so they do not touch and stick together.
You do not need to cover the gyoza straight away. In fact, it is better to leave them uncovered until they are completely frozen - then you can transfer them to an airtight container or bag.
The gyoza must be defrosted at room temperature before frying them.
Expand your cooking skills with School of Wok
By using the above steps, you can make mouth-watering gyoza in your wok perfectly every time! If you want to learn how to cook more delicious Asian recipes, why not book a class with us to perfect your cooking skills?