Japanese dumplings adapted from the Chinese jiaozi, gyoza may be pan-fried, steamed or deep fried. This pan-fried gyoza (yaki-gyoza) recipe comes with instructions and illustrations for making the wrapper from scratch, folding and pleating the dumplings and pan frying for maximum crispness at the bottom of the dumplings.
To pan-fry the gyoza
- 2 tablespoons sesame seed oil
Mix the gyoza filling
- In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the gyoza filling.
- Cover the bowl and chill in the fridge while you make the wrappers.
Make the gyoza wrapper
- In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the wrapper until it forms a ball.
- Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel and leave to rest for ten minutes.
- Dump the rested gyoza wrapper dough on a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth, about 15 to 25 minutes depending on the level of humidity in your kitchen.
- Divide the dough into two equal portions.
- Roll each portion into a thin log.
- Cut each log into 18 pieces so you have 36 pieces of dough altogether.
Roll the gyoza wrappers
- Take a piece of dough and flatten with your hands.
- Lightly coat both sides of the flattened dough with starch.
- With a rolling pin, flatten the dough to form a three-inch disc about two millimeters in thickness.
- Repeat with the rest of the gyoza wrapper dough.
Assemble the gyoza
- Take the filling out of the fridge.
- Take a wrapper and place a teaspoonful of filling at the center.
- Fold the dough and lightly pinch the center of the edges. DO NOT seal the edges at this point.
- With one hand holding the dumpling, use the index and forefingers of your other hand to fold a pleat near the center. The direction of the pleat is towards the center. Make two more pleats keeping the pleats about a quarter inch apart.
- Fold three pleats on the other side of the dumpling.
- Repeat until all the wrappers have been filled.
Pan fry the gyoza
- Spread a tablespoon of sesame seed oil on the bottom of a frying pan and heat.
- Arrange half of the dumplings in the pan so that they do not touch one another.
- Cook the dumplings in the hot oil until the bottoms are browned and crusty.
- Pour in a quarter cup of water around the edges of the pan (be careful not to pour water directly on the dumplings).
- Cover the pan, set the heat to medium and allow the gyoza to cook in the steam for about eight minutes.
- Uncover the pan and continue cooking the dumplings until all the water has evaporated and the oil is sizzling (see notes after the recipe).
- Repeat the process for the remaining half of the gyoza.
Serve the gyoza
- Arrange the cooked gyoza on a plate.
- Serve the gyoza with soy sauce and chili oil sauce, or your preferred dipping sauce.
Cooking the gyoza uncovered for a minute or so after removing the lid of the pan is like frying the bottoms a second time. If you feel that thirty-something pieces of gyoza are too much for one meal, you can divide the uncooked dumplings into two or more portions. Freeze the other portions in a container with a tight lid so that they do not touch one another. Uncooked gyoza stays good in the freezer for two weeks.
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