The Chinese may get credit for the invention of this little dumpling, but our Tokyo host Takeshi gets credit for teaching me how to make them. The gyoza, known more commonly in the U.S. as “potstickers”, was not introduced to Japan until the 1940′s most likely adapted after the Japanese invasion of China in the late 1930′s. Since then the Gyoza has become so popularized that there are Gyoza restaurants and even a Gyoza Stadium located in Osaka, Japan. The Gyoza Stadium has a museum complete with history and explanations of the many varieties of this adopted dish, while we didn’t visit I am sure it was fascinating…
This recipe includes a dipping sauce and instructions on how to assemble and cook “potstickers” as taught to me by Takeshi, so the amounts are rough estimates- you might have to play with them a little.
Yields about 48 potstickers.
- Dumpling wrappers (these can be bought at Asian specialty stores)
- 8 ounces Napa cabbage
- 3 tsp salt, divided
- 1 pound lean ground pork
- 1/4 cup finely chopped green onions, with tops
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- Dash white pepper
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- hot pepper flakes or use a chili oil instead of sesame oil
- 2 – 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Chicken stock
Cut the cabbage across into thin strips and then mince into tiny pieces. Mix with 2 teaspoons salt and set aside for a few minutes. Squeeze out the excess moisture so that your dumplings aren’t too wet while you assemble them.
In a large bowl, mix the cabbage, pork and green onions with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, and the white pepper.
Putting the pork and cabbage mixture in the dumplings. Getting the right amount (about 1 tablespoon-full) of mixture makes sealing the dumplings easier.
Take one dumpling wrapper and place 1 tablespoon pork mixture in the center of the circle.
Sealing the gyoza is easier with a little bit of water on the edge of the wrapper to make it stick together.
Put water around the edge of the dumpling wrapper to help it stick together and then lift up the edges of the circle and pinch 5 pleats up to create a pouch to encase the mixture. Pinch the top together. Repeat with the remaining dumpling wrappers and filling.
Pinching the dumpling wrapper tightly insures that you won’t lose the filling when cooking your gyoza
Heat a skillet until very hot. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, tilting the skillet to coat the sides. Place 12 dumplings in a single layer in the skillet and fry 2 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden brown.
A plate full of gyoza ready to be cooked
Add 1/2 cup chicken broth. Cover and cook 6 to 7 minutes, or until the stock is absorbed. Repeat with the remaining dumplings.
Add the chicken broth only after you have browned the gyoza, if you add the broth too soon you won’t have the crispy outside that makes them so good.
To make a dipping sauce, in a small bowl, mix the soy sauce with 1 teaspoon sesame oil. Serve with the dumplings.