It’s true that making gyoza is a task of patience, but I think you’ll find that it’s also extremely relaxing. There’s something in the process of getting everything prepared and then taking a seat to fill and fold these little dumplings. Of course a glass of wine and some great company (extra hands!) are always welcome accompaniments! Not only that, it’s quite gratifying to see a whole tray of these laid out ready to be cooked.
I learned to make gyoza a few years ago from a Japanese friend and have preferred the homemade version ever since. The good news is that there really is no right way of folding, and in Japan every family seems to have their own method. The first few always turn out a bit imperfect, but as you keep going you tend to get into a rhythm. And if that doesn’t work for you, don’t worry, as long as they’re sealed in some way, they’ll taste delicious regardless of how they look!
Shiitake, Tofu & Chinese Cabbage Gyoza
- 1 1/2 cup chinese cabbage, finely shredded
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup firm tofu, crumbled
- 1 tbsp ginger
- 1 tbsp garlic
- 1/8 cup scallions, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp sake
- 1 tsp potato or corn starch
- salt and white pepper to taste
- premade dumpling wrappers, defrosted
- vegetable oil
- sesame oil
In a medium bowl combine the cabbage and the sea salt. With your hands, rub the salt into the cabbage for a minute or so until the salt is evenly distributed and the cabbage starts wilting. Set aside.
Heat a saute pan to medium heat. Once heated, add the shiitake mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes, stirring often.Combine the mushrooms, tofu, ginger, garlic and scallions, soy sauce, sesame oil, sake, and potato starch in a large bowl and mix thoroughly.
By now cabbage should be wilted and much of the water should have come out. Rinse the cabbage thoroughly in a sieve under cold water. Once rinsed, squeeze out all the excess water and add the the mushroom tofu mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste and then mix to combine.
Spoon about a tablespoon of filling into each dumpling wrapper. Wet the edges of the wrapper with a bit of water and fold in half, pinching the edges shut. Be sure to push the gyoza down on a flat surface once sealed to get a good base. This is the part that gets nice a crispy!
Place the gyoza on baking tray sprinkled with potato or corn starch. Cover with a damp tea towel to keep the gyoza from drying out while you work.
When ready to eat, heat a saute pan to medium high heat. Add about a teaspoon of vegetable oil and let it get hot. Add the gyoza to the pan and cook for about 3 minutes until the bottoms are lovely and golden brown.Then add 1/3 cup of water and cover with a lid. Cook until the water has almost all evaporated and the gyoza are translucent, about 2 min 30 seconds. Uncover and let the rest of the water evaporate. Drizzle with a bit of sesame oil and cook for another couple minutes until the bottoms are crispy and browned.
Serve with a soy sauce, sesame oil, chili flake sauce and eat while hot! Makes about 20 Gyoza.