It’s a longstanding family joke that I’m completely biased when I adamantly declare at every opportunity that my mum’s gyoza are the best in the world.
It’s a longstanding family joke that I’m completely biased when I adamantly declare at every opportunity that my mum’s gyoza are the best in the world. I insist they are better than the gyoza at the very best ramen shops in Japan, that even the reigning Japanese Gyoza Champion doesn’t stand a chance against Mum’s gyoza. Ha!
Biased I may be, but you know what? That’s okay! Every ramen shop has their own gyoza recipe. And this is the gyoza I grew up with, our family recipe. The seasoning is just right. They are plump and generously filled. And I like that the filling is pork-forward rather than cabbage-forward – and I think you will, too.
As kids, when we asked Mum for gyoza, she would say, “I’ll make them, if you wrap them”. So we’d all line up at the counter and, basically, if you didn’t wrap them, you didn’t eat them – that was the rule.
And now it’s your turn to experience the greatness that is my mum’s gyoza. Line your crew up at the kitchen bench and get wrapping!
(PS: There is no such thing as Japanese Gyoza Championships though if there were, I’m confident Mum would win, year after year.)
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1½ cups green cabbage, very finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt, separated
500g ground/minced pork (fattier the better)
1 cup garlic chives, finely chopped
½ teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1 teaspoon finely minced ginger
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon cornstarch/cornflour
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornflour, for tray
2 packets of round wonton (gyoza or gow gee) wrappers
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Rice wine vinegar
Rayu (Japanese chilli oil)
Combine cabbage and ½ teaspoon salt in a small bowl, then set aside for 20 minutes to allow the cabbage to wilt slightly.
Place remaining filling ingredients (including remaining ½ teaspoon salt) in a large bowl. Squeeze out any excess water from the cabbage and add to the bowl. Use your hands to mix the filling.
Sprinkle a baking tray with 1 teaspoon of cornstarch/cornflour.
Place 1 gyoza wrapper on your palm (left hand for right-handed people). Dip your finger in water and run it around the edge of half the gyoza wrapper (to seal).
Place 1 slightly heaped tablespoon of filling on the wrapper. Fold wrapper over and use your right hand assisted by your left thumb to create 4 pleats. Press to seal and place on the tray. Repeat with remaining wrappers. (Watch this video for a demonstration: recipetineats.com/gyoza-japanese-dumplings-potstickers.)
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet (that has a lid) over medium high heat. Place about 12 gyoza in rows, slightly overlapping each other. Cook until the underside is light golden, then pour ⅓ cup of water around the gyoza and place the lid on.
Cook until the water has completely evaporated (so the golden underside is not wet and soggy) and the wrapper is slightly translucent on top – about 3 to 4 minutes. Use an egg flip to transfer onto a plate, golden side up.
For the dipping sauce, serve each ingredient separately so people can mix according to their taste. I use equal portions of soy sauce and vinegar with a generous splash of chilli oil.
TIP If you can’t find garlic chives, you can use either normal chives or the green part of spring onions plus 1 garlic clove. The flavour is not exactly the same, but it is pretty similar.
First published in Ed#672