Juicy on the inside, crispy and golden brown on the outside, this Gyoza recipe serves up Japanese pan-fried dumplings. A popular weeknight meal as well as a great appetizer for your next party!
This post is written by the lovely and talented Rachael a.k.a La Fuji Mama
Why This Gyoza Recipe Is So Good
- They look intricate but are easy to make!
- Great for dinner parties
- A wonderful mix textures, crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside
- Comes with a simple and addictive dipping sauce
- Napa cabbage
- Kosher salt
- Ground pork
- Garlic cloves
- Green onion stalks
- Miso red paste
- Asian sesame oil
- Chili powder (optional)
- Dumpling wrappers
For cooking the dumplings
- Cooking oil
- Soy sauce
- Rice vinegar
- Chili oil
How To Make Japanese Gyoza – Step By Step
Toss the minced cabbage with the salt in a large bowl and let it sit for 10 minutes. Using both hands, or a cheese cloth, squeeze the cabbage firmly to drain and discard the excess water (prevent your dumplings from becoming mushy) and then transfer the cabbage to a deep bowl. Add the pork, ginger, garlic, green onion, miso, sesame oil, chili powder, and sugar.
Mix everything together with your hands until all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Using your hands, scoop the mixture into a ball, lift it, and then throw it back into the bowl. Repeat several times to tenderize the meat and help the mixture stick together.
Yep, you’ve gotta get your hands dirty to make these! Next you’ll use Elizabeth Andoh’s “baseball practice” technique. Scoop up the mixture into a ball with your hands and throw it back with some force into the bowl.
Repeat this several times to tenderize the meat and help the mixture stick together. Now it’s time to form your gyoza. Put a bit of the meat mixture in the center of a wrapper, get your fingertip wet and then trace a line around half of the wrapper.
Then you fold the wrapper in half over the filling,
and pinch it in the center.
Now comes the fun part–the pleating! Holding the wrapper in that middle spot that you just pinched with your left hand, make a pleat in the top part of the wrapper, pinching it against the flat edge of the wrapper at the back.
Holding the filled half-circle in the left hand, pleat the top of the wrapper from the middle out, pressing it to the flat edge of the wrapper at the back (only the front edge will be pleated–the back edge stays flat). Proceed to make two or three more pleats to the right of the first pleat.
Then switch sides and pleat the other side (to the left of the pinched middle).
Set aside the stuffed dumpling with the pleated-wrapper edge up.
Repeat the process until all of your wrappers have been filled and pleated. It’s always nice to have a partner in crime for this part because it goes a lot quicker.
Now you can either cover the gyoza with some plastic wrap and put them in the fridge for a couple of hours until you’re ready to cook them (or you could freeze them to keep them for longer) or you can cook them right away. The gyoza are first fried on their flat side (pleats up),
until the bottom is nice and brown.
Then, water is added and the pan sealed with a lid
until the upper part of the gyoza is steamed.
Then you serve them browned side up with a dipping sauce made from soy sauce, rice vinegar, and a few drops of chili oil.
If you can’t find round gyoza wrappers, you can always use square wonton wrappers and cut them into circles using a large biscuit cutter.
What Is Gyoza?
The original Chinese dumplings are called Jiaozi (餃子). These dumplings consist of ground meat and vegetable filling that are wrapped into a thinly rolled piece of dough, which is then sealed by pressing the edges together. Finished jiaozi can be boiled (水餃), steamed (蒸餃), pan-fried (煎餃, we call potstickers), or deep-fried (炸餃子).
An Easy Gyoza Recipe
Gyoza are really easy to make. Just mince, grate, and measure out your ingredients as called for and then mix the gyoza ingredients together in a bowl using your hands. These gyoza have a hint of heat from the addition of red chili powder. They also contain aka miso paste (red/dark miso paste), which has a wonderful pungent salty flavor.
A Tweaked Gyoza Recipe
Over the last seven years I’ve tweaked the gyoza recipe I learned from Miki, adjusting the amounts of ingredients here and there to suit our palates, and adding a couple of ingredients used by other wonderful Japanese cooks I’ve met along the way.
My most recent adjustment to the gyoza recipe is in the technique I use when mixing the filling. In Elizabeth Andoh’s cookbook, Washoku, she describes a method that helps tenderize the meat and helps hold the filling together. She explains that it’s “a bit like baseball practice” because you are gathering the filling into a ball and throwing it back into the bowl repeatedly. The bonus to the technique is that you get to play with your food.
Top Tips For This Gyoza Recipe
- If you like, you can really go all out and make your own wrappers.
- If you can’t find round gyoza wrappers, you can always use square wonton wrappers and cut them into circles using a large biscuit cutter.
- The gyoza are first fried on their flat side (pleats up).
- To save gyoza for later, put the uncooked gyoza on a baking sheet leaving some space between to keep them from sticking, and put it in freezer. Transfer frozen gyoza into a freezer bag and store in the freezer up to a month. When you use frozen gyoza, do not defrost. Cook while frozen and steam for extra 1-2 minutes.
- If you cannot find aka miso paste, you can either leave it out altogether, or subsitute shiro miso paste (white miso paste). If you leave the miso out, increase the salt by 1/2 teaspoon. Substituting shiro miso paste? Then leave out the sugar and increase the salt by 1/4 teaspoon.
More Dumpling Recipes
- Chinese Soup Dumplings Recipe (with Pork & Crab)
- Xiao Long Bao
- Steamed Siu Mai Dumplings
- Curried Beef Dumplings
Have you tried this Gyoza recipe? Feel free to leave a star rating and I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
Gyoza Recipe (Japanese Pan-Fried Dumplings)
- 4 cups loosely packed, minced Napa cabbage soft, green, leafy parts only
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt or 1/2 tsp table salt
- 10 ounces ground pork
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger with a microplane grater
- 3 cloves garlic finely minced
- 1 stalk green onion green part only, minced
- 2 teaspoon Japanese miso paste red/dark miso paste
- 1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon red Asian chili powder optional
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 40 dumpling wrappers
For cooking the dumplings:
- 4 tablespoon cooking oil like canola, vegetable
- 3/4 cup water
- 6 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- Several drops of chili oil or Asian sesame oil
- Toss the minced cabbage with the salt in a large bowl and let it sit for 10 minutes. Using both hands, or a cheese cloth, squeeze the cabbage firmly to drain and discard the excess water (prevent your dumplings from becoming mushy) and then transfer the cabbage to a deep bowl. Add the pork, ginger, garlic, green onion, miso, sesame oil, chili powder, and sugar. Mix everything together with your hands until all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Using your hands, scoop the mixture into a ball, lift it, and then throw it back into the bowl. Repeat several times to tenderize the meat and help the mixture stick together.
- Have a small bowl of cold water ready. Lay a dumpling wrapper on a dry work surface, and place a teaspoon of the meat mixture in the center of the wrapper. With a fingertip moistened with water, trace a line along half of the edge of the round wrapper. Fold the wrapper over to enclose the filling, and pinch the wrapper in the center to seal the edges together at that spot. Holding the filled half-circle in the left hand, pleat the top of the wrapper from the middle out, pressing it to the flat edge of the wrapper at the back. Set aside the stuffed dumpling with the pleated-wrapper edge up. Repeat to make 40 dumplings in all.
- In a large skillet with a tight fitting lid, heat 1 tablespoon of the cooking oil over medium-high heat. Carefully place as many of the dumplings that can fit without touching in the skillet with the pleated-wrapper edge up. Cook the dumplings for 3 minutes, or until nicely browned on the bottom. Check the progress by lifting 1 or 2 dumplings by their pleated edge.
- Once the bottoms are nicely browned, use the skillet lid to shield yourself and carefully pour in 1/4 cup of the water. When the hissing and splattering die down, drizzle in 1 teaspoon of the cooking oil around the edge of the skillet. Place the lid on the skillet to trap in the moisture and then quickly lower the heat to keep the liquid at a bare simmer.
- Check the dumplings after 2 minutes. When the wrappers appear slightly translucent and the meat feels firm when pressed lightly with a spoon, remove the lid and raise the heat slightly. Continue to cook until all the water has evaporated and only the oil remains (about 2 minutes). Once you hear a sizzling sound, shake the skillet. The dumplings should slide about. If they seem to stick to the skillet, move the skillet away from the stove and replace the lid for a moment. Remove the dumplings from the skillet with a broad flexible spatula. If you'd like, flip them over so that the seared surface faces up. Cook the remaining dumplings the same way. Serve the dumplings hot accompanied by the dipping sauce.
- While the dumplings are cooking, make the dipping sauce by mixing the soy sauce, rice vinegar and sesame/chili oil together in a small bowl.