06 June 2008

Japanese Gyoza ( dumpling ) 餃子

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Some of my closer friends are aware that I do not appreciate Japanese food. It has ever been so before I knew my husband. Even now, of all cuisine offered on a table before me, Jap food remains last of my choice.


Don't get me wrong, I don't mean that Jap food is not fit for consumption, it just doesn't satisfy my noisy taste buds.


After coming to Japan, I've realized that not all Japanese dishes disappoint me. In fact, I've made some delicious discoveries. =P The Japanese Gyoza ( or Japanese style of dumpling ) is one of them.


Back home in Singapore, I've never liked dumplings as they are mostly deep fried, cooked in soup or steamed. Seared Japanese Gyoza however, brings a new sensation in bite and savour. The seared side is fragrantly cripsy, while the top skin moist and soft to tear. This is one wicked recipe I endeavoured to master at home ( because the restaurants serving gyozas are too stingy with their fillings! )

My husband crowns this homemade gyoza the best he ever had, and I've yet found a worthy rival since the success. =P


It took several trial and errors between a few recipes, I had them customized a little to obtain a satisfied finish. The gyoza should be purely flavoured by ingredients, with an option to relish with sauce aside. Fortified this dish by adding chopped shiitake ( mushroom ), and surely, no restaurants could offer this 'royal touch'. Now that the recipe is well grasped, I'm more than happy to share and hope that you'll find the same delight. However, be warned that the cooking part is slightly technical and requires individual's discretion.


Recipe for Japanese Gyoza and sauce

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Required utensil : Flat fry pan ( I'm using a 26' Tefal ), Chinese wok is impossible. Lid to cover fry pan.

Ingredient for Gyoza

Skin for wrapping gyoza, bought mine for 25 pieces a pack. Ingredient stated below should make you around 25 pieces of gyoza, depending on how well you distribute the fillings.

200g minced pork ( other meat should cause a change in taste )

4 pieces of large cabbage leaves

5 tablespoons of chopped spring onion

2 pieces of dried shiitake ( mushroom ), soaked and ready to use

1 tablespoon of grated garlic

1 teaspoon of grated ginger

2 tablespoon of rice wine for cooking

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

1 tablespoon of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of brown sugar or sugar ( brown tastes better )

1 tablespoon of cornstarch

Salt

Pepper

Wheat flour

Sesame oil for searing

Boiling, or hot water ( around 200ml ) for searing 2 batches of gyoza

1. Slice expanded shiitake ( mushroom ) at 8mm thickness or so, then chop into squares.

2. Cut and remove the center stem of cabbage, slice at around 15mm thickness then chop into squares. In a mixing bowl, add 1 teaspoon of salt into cabbage and massage or squish the vegetable, until it has gone soft. The idea is to wrap the leaves into the skin readily and reduce cooking time. See picture to know how the finish should look like. When done, briefly wash the leaves, drain and put aside. Leaves cut into this size gives crunchiness after cooking.



3. In a large mixing bowl, drop in spring onion, shiitake, cabbage leaves with meat placed in the last. Before mixing, drop in grated garlic, ginger, rice wine, sesame oil, soy sauce, brown sugar ( or sugar ), cornstarch, 1 dash of salt, 2 dash of pepper on meat, and start mixing. Mix well.

4. Prepare a dish of water for sealing gyoza. Use a spoon to scoop filling into skin and wrap, without folds if you are not sure how. It is somewhat like making pleats of a skirt. Dab finger into dish of water and apply on surface you need to seal, the water acts as a fastener.

5. Try to make the gyoza sit upright on a flat surface before cooking. Land gyoza flat on surface, press-push a little and it should sit soon.

6. Sear gyozas in 2 batches to avoid congestion in pan or breaking the gyozas. In a flat pan, drop 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and spread across. Heat up pan at medium heat and start placing gyoza into pan. Make gyozas sit well in straight rows apart, and packed well together in individual rows. ( Japanese style of finish ). See picture below to get the idea. When gyozas are placed, wait for a minute or so to let them sizzle. Pour in around 100ml of boiling or hot water and close lid immediately.


7. Watch and wait for the water in pan to dry up. While waiting, standby 1 teaspoon of wheat flour and 50ml of water, mix well. Once water in fry pan dries up, pour in the wheat flour mixture and cover with lid again. Watch searing, wait for the crisp skin to be formed, and seared to a delicious looking brown. Careful cos they burn easily. Remove from fire when ready, extract gyozas row by row carefully using spatula. They should stick together, for my pictures, I deliberately split them apart. If you are confident that the food doesn't stick to your pan, get a plate bigger than the pan, cover it and invert pan to draw out gyoza easily.

8. Repeat step 6 & 7 for second batch of gyoza.


For sauce to go along with gyoza

Mix 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of vinegar, a few drops of chilli oil as preferred.

Japanese gyoza isn't heavily flavoured like dumplings in Singapore. It carries a mild sweetness of meat, cabbage and for my version, it is complemented with scent of shiitake. The sauce is perfect for a dish like this. My husband agrees that the shiitake adds a good boost to the taste and texture of fillings.

And the Bear is right, homemade food is undoubtedly the best, because you rule it.

Hope you'll like this first entry of Side dish recipe.



9 comments:

Ladybird said...

They look delicious :) . What kind of wrapper do you use? Something like 'wantan' skin?

stay-at-home mum said...

I LOVE japanese - from the sushi to the sashimi, the shabu shabu to the sukiyaki, The nabe to the kamameshi, you name it I love it!! And that gyoza looks absolutely delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

bp said...

Well done, Stardust! I have no doubt your great-looking gyoza tastes yummilicious! And thanks to you, the Bear has "kou-fu" =).

I like shitake mushroom, but haven't seen the frozen pot-stickers sold here stuffed with them. Don't think I'll get round to making my own tho'...

Piggy said...

おいしそう!

Magnolia Wedding Planner said...

Honey...light of my days!! these photo are stunning this dish looks really inviting!
I don't eat usually Jap as it very expencive here..so I go only few times to jap restaurants..thanks for the recipe..in this way I can try them at home :-D
miss you dear!
i'm so hectic these days but I'm trying to find enough time for you honey..love you
Silvia

Seen This Scene That said...

Looks a hundred times more delicious than my dish that I prepared on Eat With Family Day. Thanks for experimenting and sharing!

Ellena said...

Wow..this is indeed one of my favourite Japanese finger food. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe, I will sure put it on my to try on list :p

Stardust said...

Hi Ladybird, the skin is those slightly bigger than wanton, especially for wrapping ' jiaozi ' ( if you understand Chinese ). However, I'm not sure if skin sold here is exactly same as those available in SEA countries.

SAHM, I hope that I have half your passion for Jap food. =( I miss Sg's local food. =(

Bp, it's a shame that you don't find shiitake in US. I dread it too whenever I don't find something in Jap.

Piggyが自分で作った料理の方が美味しいに決まっている!最高! =D

Hi Silvia, I bet Japanese food is expensive everywhere. I wonder WHY?!?!? (~~) Take good care!

Hi STST, don't belittle your effort! I think my husband cannot produce half of what you did. =P

Hi Ellena, I hope that it doesn't disappoint you, since you are such a good cook yourself. =P

Ellena said...

NO.... definely not... Stardust... i love your Gyoza very much... esp that crispy base....:p I will sure try this out....