When I was little I’d help wrap dumplings with my mom and grandma. My mother tells me I am a dumpling monster because I’d be able to eat 30 boiled dumplings at once. That sounds like a lot considering I can only eat about 10 for a meal now. I’m sure it was because I was growing and needed the energy!
During a trip to Japan, Mr. Chau and I took a home cooking class and learned how to make Japanese dumplings. When I looked up comparisons between the pan-fried Chinese dumplings (鍋貼 or guoti) and the pan-fried Japanese dumplings (餃子 or gyoza), the difference seems to be in the dumpling skin and the filling. While both types of dumplings usually contain meat and veggies, the ratio between veggies and meat is higher for the Japanese gyoza. I’m not sure if that’s true but both types of dumplings are super yummy. Plus dumplings are so freezer friendly that I’d always make a batch to keep in my freezer for a quick meal or snack.
Ingredients (makes about 36-40 gyoza):
- 250g ground pork
- 1/2 of a small napa cabbage (approximately 8-10oz, use more if you want more veggies)
- 3 green onion or 2 bunches of chives
- 1.5 tsp of grated ginger
- 1.5 tsp of grated garlic
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1.5 tbsp sake
- 1.5 tbsp soy sauce
- 1.5 tbsp sesame oil
- pinch of pepper
- 1-2 pkg of dumpling skin/wrapper (depends on how many is in pack, you’ll need about 40 dumpling skins)
To cook gyoza (pan fry):
- 1 tbsp veggie oil
- 40-60ml of water
Simple Dipping Sauce:
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- Chop the napa cabbage finely (almost mincing it). Add it to a bowl with 1 tsp kosher salt and mix well. Transfer it to a mesh strainer and let sit for 15 minutes. This help releases the water from the cabbage. After 15 minutes, wrap the cabbage with a kitchen towel and squeeze out as much water as you can. Do not skip this step!
- In a bowl, combine the cabbage, pork, green onion or chives, grated ginger and garlic. Mix it a little then add the marinate (oyster sauce, sake, soy sauce, sesame oil and pepper). Mix with your hands, squeezing the mixture between your fingers/kneading it, for approximately 5 minutes. Let rest for 3-5 minutes.
- Completed dumplings can be frozen or keep refrigerated until ready to cooking (same day).
- To pan-fry the dumplings, heat about 1 tbsp of oil over high heat in a non-stick pan (or cast iron) until hot. Add the dumplings and sear until the bottom is well browned. Wiggle the dumplings as they cook (you can use your fingers) so they brown evenly. Once they are at the desired crispiness or colour (I usually go for golden brown), add the water and quickly cover the pan with a lid. Let the dumpling steam for 4-5 minutes or until water fully evaporates. Remove lid and jiggle the pan to make sure the dumplings did not stick and let it fry for another minute or two then it’s ready to be served with dipping sauce. Be sure to plate the dumplings with the bottom size up so it stays crispy. Enjoy!