This blog post also is available in German.
Ever heard about gyoza? Or maybe tried them? This name might sound unfamiliar to you, but I‘m absolutely sure that you have already heard, seen or even tried these, they were just going by another name. How about potstickers or Japanese dumplings? Kind of ringing a bell? That‘s what gyoza are. You can practically find them everywhere nowadays. Asian restaurants sell them, you can get frozen or fresh ones in your supermarket, but the best gyoza still are the ones rolled out and wrapped at home.
And that is why I wanted to show you how you can master making gyoza all by yourself.
What you need? Literally no special skills at all. I‘m the most untalented person ever in terms of folding or creating difficult creations in the kitchen. So let me assure you, if I managed it, you will succeed as well. So back to what you need… Your favorite ingredients for the potsticker filling and most important some time. Dumplings aren‘t something you prepare within 30 minutes it takes time. For that very reason I advise you to prepare them in bulks and freeze them. Like that you don‘t have to go through the whole preparation process every time you fancy a gyoza. I‘ll talk in detail about how to freeze and cook gyoza after they’ve been frozen below.
Maybe also consider preparing different fillings at once if you’re the person who likes diversion. Like that you have different variations ready whenever you are hosting unexpected guests.
How your gyoza‘s will be a success
First of all let me tell you, dumpling dough is prepared super easily, all you need is hot boiled water, all-purpose flour and a little bit of salt. You can use a pasta machine to make the dough very thin, but it’s not a necessity. If you want a quick version, feel free to use store-bought gyoza wraps. Although I believe homemade gives the best results.
There‘s mainly 3 things to be aware of when working with gyoza dough;
- prevent the dough you’re not working with from drying out by wrapping it in a damp kitchen towel
- use starch to prevent the dumpling dough from sticking to your surface. Also move and turn the dough from time to time when you roll it out
- get used to the gyoza folding technique. At the beginning I struggled a little bit with how to fold these little fellows, but after a few attempts I got it. The best way – at least that worked for me – is to put the filling in the middle of your dough circles. Then you lay the dumpling wrap on the palm of your hand, dip one finger into a bowl of water and run it across the outer line of your dough circle. Then you fold your wrap into a half-moon, just sticking together the middle part of your dumpling. Put the finger of one hand between the two dough parts and start folding like a fan across the right side of your gyoza using the other hand. Repeat that step for the left side. Maybe you will want to take a look at this video to visualize the process.
And that`s the whole magic to be honest!
Ways to cook gyoza
Japanese dumplings , well kind of all dumplings, are not only extremely versatile in terms of their filling, but also how you cook them afterwards. Personally my favorite way to prepare them is to pan sear first and then steam them in the same pan. But it`s your choice, feel free to cook them the way you like or to experiment with the different techniques I share below.
- Steam-Fry: This is the method I used for these little buddies. Dumplings prepared that very way are called potstickers, as they stick to the pan when being fried. I`ll explain this method in detail under today`s recipe. But actually all you do is first pan-sear the gyoza until they get crispy and brown at the bottom. Then you add water, cover with a lid and steam them. Followed by another round of pan searing the steamed dumplings until all water evaporates. This technique works perfectly for frozen potstickers too. You won`t need to thaw them first.
- Boil: Pretty simple process, just like boiling potatoes or pasta. Bring water to boil, add dumplings and cook them until the dough has the consistency you like. Works great with frozen dumplings too. Just throw them directly from the freezer into the boiling water. No thawing involved.
- Steam: If you have a Bamboo or regular steamer, you might consider that way of preparation. Important here is to make sure your gyoza won`t stick to the steamer, so use something to underly (banana leaves, parchment paper). Also you have to make sure, that the steam is able to circulate, so make small holes in your underlayment or use something where steam can penetrate. If you`re going for a steam pan, you can baste the steamer tray with oil and steam the same way you would with veggies. If you`re going for the bamboo steamer, fill a little bit of water in a wok, bring to boil, fill bamboo steamer with dumplings by placing a few of them on every level and place the steamer into the boiling water. This method works for frozen dumplings too.
- Fry: Heat oil in a pan, throw the dumpling in and fry constantly moving them. Works for both, fresh and frozen dumplings. They`re ready when they have a golden brown color.
How to freeze gyoza
There are two things you have to be careful when freezing dumplings. First you don`t want them to stick together during the freezing process, as you`ll probably break them when trying to separate them later on. Second you don`t want any freezer burn. How to prevent these two points. Fill and fold your gyoza, then line them up on a baking sheet lay out with parchment paper, dusted with starch. Put them in the freezer just like that. As soon as the gyoza start to get hard, probably after 1 hour, you put them in a freezer bag and make sure to remove all the remaining air. Put them back in the freezer and you`ll have dumplings ready whenever you need them.
So far about this little gyoza preparing guide. Now you know everything to get started. So let`s dive into the recipe, which you can find right below.
Read you soon,
Shiitake Leek Gyoza
- 200 g spelt flour organic
- 1/2 tsp salt organic
- 100 ml steaming hot water
- starch organic, for dusting
- 1 tsp chili flakes organic
- 1 tbsp sesame oil organic
- 130 g shiitake musshrooms organic
- 120 g leek organic
- 1 tsp garlic ginger paste
- 1 1/4 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 1/4 tbsp minrin
- a dash of salt organic
- 1-2 tbsp sesame oil organic
- 150 ml water
Toppings & Dipping Sauce
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- soy sauce
Preparing the dough
Add flour and salt to a bowl. Boil water with a water kettle and slowly pour into the flour whilst constantly whisking with a kitchen machine using a bread hook. Mix or whisk for about 5-10 minutes or until the dough sticks to the bread hook and has an elastic texture.
Wrap the dough in a damp kitchen towel and put it into th fridge for 30 minutes.
Preparing the filling
In the meantime you can prepare the filling. Rinse off shiitake and cut them into small pieces.
Thinly slice leek, rinse it off and cut in smaller pieces if necessary.
Heat a pan and roast chili flakes in the pan until they start to smell. Put aside for later.
Heat sesame oil in a pan, add leek and shiitake and sauté for about 3-4 minutes. Deglaze by adding soy sauce and minrin.
Add garlic ginger paste and mix it with the filling. Cook for another 2 minutes, then remove from the heat.
Add roasted chili flakes and season with salt. Mix everyything together and put aside.
Filling the gyoza
Dust a flat surface with starch. Thinly roll out the dough. Make sure it doesn`t stick to the surface by turning and moving it from time to time.
Use a round cookie cutter or a glass to cut out dough circles. Please note if you`re cutting out the whole dough at once, don`t place the dough circles on top of eachother, as they will stick together. It`s better to cut out a few, fill and fold them and then do another round.
Place 1 tsp of filling in the middle of a dough circle, moist the edges by diping your finger into water and running it across the outer line of the circle. Fold into a halfmoon sticking together the middle, then form fan-like folds from the middle to the right edge and same to the left edge. Repeat this step for every dumpling and line them on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
Heat a pan that you can cover, add oil and place dumplings with the bottom into the pan. Pan sear for about 5 minutes or until they start to brown on their bottom.
Add about 150ml of water to the pan, cover with the lid and let them steam for about 5 to 7 minutes.
Remove lid and go on cooking the gyoza until all the water is evaporated.
Dip the fried bottom of your gyoza into sesame seeds and serve the potstickers with soy sauce for dipping.