Freckles in April: Recipe: Gyoza

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Recipe: Gyoza

Gyoza is a gateway drug.

As a ridiculously and embarrassingly picky child, I had certain opinions about Asian food. Those opinions boiling down to: do. not. want.

Except chow mein. Chow mein was acceptable (minus the veggies).

Then I met Aaron and we got engaged and he took me to Hawaii to meet his parents. And, seeing as we were in Hawaii, they wanted to take me out to dinner to an Asian place.

Oh, the palms, they were a-sweatin'.

They ordered a plate of gyoza for the table and I knew I was going to have to just suck it up and eat the stuff. So I did. And then I wished I had a plate all to myself. And those wonderful little dumplings opened up the whole wide world of Asian food to me.

Gyoza made at home is time and labor intensive but it's not difficult, it makes a TON, and it freezes beautifully. While I was pregnant with Baby 2 I was determined to get 2 weeks worth of freezer meals stashed away. I made a full batch of this gyoza, sent Aaron out for store-bought wrappers (I was 8 months pregnant, no way was I standing and rolling out that many wrappers) and got to work. We got like 5 meals and a couple lunches out of that one batch.
A note on the wrappers- You can use wonton wrappers but I prefer not to since they are square and thus cannot be pleated (and clearly I need my potstickers to be pretty and pleated) and also they're really thin, which means they sometimes fall apart while cooking. You can find regular pre-made gyoza wrappers at most Asian grocery stores though.

Update 6/2016: A Winco opened near us a few years ago and they always have gyoza wrappers! I haven't made my own in years. If you live near a Winco or Asian market, it's a great way to save some time!


3 cups flour (I've done white wheat and regular all purpose. Both have been fine)
1 tsp salt
1 cup hot water
3-4 tablespoons cold water

Mix salt and flour. Using a fork, stir in hot water then cold water. Knead dough for 5 minutes or until smooth. Let rest 30 minutes covered with a damp cloth then roll out 1/4 of the dough (keeping the part you're not working with covered with the cloth). Use a drinking glass or biscuit cutter to cut circles (I used a wide mouth mason jar).

One of these is not like the other...
This wrapper recipe only covers about a 3rd of the filling recipe. Usually I fill all my wrappers then freeze the leftover filling in baggies for easy dinners later.

1 lb ground turkey (or pork, if you can find ground pork that is not sausage. We've actually come to prefer turkey though)
1 can bamboo shoots
5 green onions
2-3 cups finely chopped cabbage (preferably napa cabbage but the regular kind works in a pinch)
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2-1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1-2 tsp crushed chili pepper

Mix the cabbage with one teaspoon salt and mix well. Let sit for 15 or 20 minutes then squeeze out the liquid with a cheesecloth (or just use your hands).

Cut the green onions into pieces then chop them very finely with the bamboo shoots (I throw them all in my electric handy chopper). Mix with all the other ingredients.

Please one teaspoon of filling on each wrapper.

Dip your finger in water and run around the edges.

Pinch in the middle.

Pleat each side..

Ta da! Pretty pleated dumplings.

Now you can freeze them (in a single layer, not touching, until frozen through then transferred to a bag or container) or get cooking. You need a pan with a lid, a couple tablespoons of water and this stuff:

It makes a difference. You could use olive oil or vegetable oil but it really doesn't taste as good.

Just coat the bottom of your pan in sesame oil then heat over medium or medium-high heat. Add your potstickers in a single layer.

Let them fry for a bit until the bottoms are a little brown. Like so:

Then throw in the water and quickly put the lid on your pot. Steam for 2 or 3 minutes (probably more like 4 if you started from frozen) then take off the lid. And here's my super secret method for the best potstickers ever: let them fry for another couple minutes. That way the bottoms can get a little crisped again after their steaming. Aaron also likes to toss them around a bit so they get crispy all over.

Then, you're going to need this stuff:

This is the one of the few things in my life that I prefer store-bought over homemade.

Serve with sticky rice and be very very happy.


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  1. It's 10 AM, I'm at work, and now I'm salivating for dumplings. No, really. I will try this soon...

  2. Wow... this looks more labor-intensive than I like for the kitchen but so worth it! I think I'll have to give them a try.

  3. these look super yummy!

  4. Oh, cookie cuttering is such a good idea! The traditional method is to roll the dough into a big tube, chop up the tube, and hand-roll each chunk into a circle. Which, in my family, means that we just buy premade wrappers, because talk about labor-intensive.

    Wrapping/pleating dumplings is a great party activity, actually, if you have skilled friends. Especially if you don't have to roll out each individual circle wrapper.

  5. OH YUM. Thank you oh so much. Thank you thank you thank you.
    I remember when Trader Joes opened by me. And I got super excited and stocked up on veggie pot stickers. And got home and made them. And was so flippin' disappointed.
    There's one good place 15 min away that makes gyoza that rocks my socks. The wrappers are green. Awesome. So thank you.

  6. yum. i want those now.

  7. Are Gyoza and Potstickers the same thing?

  8. ummm, YUM. looks so good. i wonder if a vegetarian version would work as well...

  9. these look so delicious and i'm pretty sure my husband would absolutely LOVE these. will definitely have to try this :)

  10. My father-in-law makes the best.gyoza.ever. He always uses store bought dough (but it's from a Japanese grocery store so...) and only fries them. No steaming at all. Hence the uber-deliciousness. Try it. Or don't if you want to keep some semblance of healthiness.

    North Meets South

  11. AnonymousJuly 08, 2011

    Dang lady, you make the wrappers too? i'm impressed! I usually get together with a couple of friends to make Korean Mandu- kimchi dumplings, then we freeze them on cookie trays for an hour, then divide them into plastic bags. This was I get to sate my dumpling craving anytime it calls.

  12. I like the freezer ones at Costco! In fact, we had them for lunch today...

  13. I made these, and they were awesome! I did end up with much more filling than I needed...or was willing to make wrappers for.

    Today, I took the remaining filling, added in about 1/2 a cup of cracker crumbs and a dash of Worcestershire sauce, and made them into meatballs. I cooked them with a little olive oil, and then I served them over the rest of my head of cabbage (which I had sliced into strips, cooked a bit in about 2 teaspoons of olive oil and a dash of Worcestershire sauce as well, and placed in a bowl). It was delicious! Now you have easily fed me for 4 meals. I love you for that.

  14. Made these tonight...DELISH!

  15. These are amazing! Just finished making my stock-up batch for the freezer.


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