Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Gyoza and Sesame Noodles

We had a bit of an Asian night at our house for dinner last night.  I've been dying to make gyoza ever since I saw a recipe for it on Steamy Kitchen.  For those not in the know, gyoza are Japanese pan-fried pork dumplings.  Eve turned me onto gyoza back when we used to get sushi in Charlottesville.  It's one of the best things about sushi restaurants, but for some reason it is often pretty horrid tasting when I order it.  Yet I keep trying over and over again.  I won't be foiled by bad gyoza again, because now I can make my own!

I bought cabbage at the farmers market last week thinking it was romaine lettuce.  So for the first time in my life I actually had cabbage in the fridge at the same time I was making a recipe that asked for cabbage.  Fate.

You mince up your cabbage as best you can and then throw some salt in with it to try to draw the water out.  After it sits for ten minutes you squeeze it to death with your hands to try to get every speck of juice out that you can muster.  This way you won't have soggy dumplings. 

To a separate bowl you add ginger (from a zester), minced garlic, minced scallions, salt, sugar, and sesame oil.
Then you throw in your minced cabbage and ground pork and work it together with your hands.  Messy style.  Okay, this is kind of gross, I'm not going to lie. 
I bought my dumpling wrappers at the Asian market, but you can probably find them at regular grocery stores too.  Take a small ball of the filling and place it in the center of your wrapper.  Then you dip a finger in a bowl of cool water and trace halfway around the circle. 

Fold the wrapper in half and pinch in the middle.  Please ignore my laptop right in the picture.  This is how I cook.

Then you start pleating in one direction.
And then pleat the other side until it is completely closed.  (There are much better pictures and descriptions of this on Steamy Kitchen.)
Here is a close-up of one of my far-from-perfect-but-it-will-do dumplings.  

This process was honestly a lot easier than I imagined. 

The dipping sauce calls for soy sauce, rice vinegar, and hot chili oil.  Honestly I wasn't all that wild about the dipping sauce because it mostly just tasted like soy sauce. 

You heat up sesame oil over medium high heat and then pan fry the dumplings for 3 minutes until they have all browned on the bottom.  Then you hold the lid between you and the pan and add in 1/4 cup of water.  This will splatter a lot, but it calms down after 10 seconds or so.  Then add a little bit of sesame oil around the edge of the pan and put the lid on to let them steam.  After two minutes or so you remove the lid and wait for the water to all boil off.  

I fully admit that I undercooked ours a little bit.  The wrappers had a tiny bit of a doughy taste still, but the gyoza were still delicious.  

I halved the recipe, but it still made about 20 gyoza.  Luckily we both have big appetites and were able to put them all away.   If you are a dumpling or gyoza fan, I definitely recommend you try Steamy Kitchen's recipe sometime soon!

To go along with the gyoza I made sesame noodles that were super simple, but sadly not that great.  I think I prefer peanut noodles as opposed to sesame noodles, so next time I would try a recipe for that (and perhaps one a little creamier and less oily). 


  1. you are the second of my blogs to post about making gyoza this week! my other friend isn't even a food blogger, but he's living in japan these days and has been learning to cook from the locals. which actually makes some pretty good food posts. (over at ahoyhanoi.blogspot.com if you want to check out some of what he's been eating/learning to make.) between the two of you, i might just have to try these. and yours looked perfect!

  2. Wow apparently everyone has gyoza on the brain! I love Asian food but have never really made much of it before. Next I'm hoping to make some decent fried rice.

  3. this is just so amazing. i want this


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