I was surprised to recently discover that Drew had never had gyoza before. Realizing that this was a situation that desperately needed to be remedied, the next time we ate at a Japanese restaurant, we got some gyoza as appetizers. As I’d hoped and/or expected, Drew deemed them delicious.
Buying them premade and frozen is a bit pricier then what we’re willing to pay for these days, so I decided to try making them instead. We picked up some wrappers and ground pork at a nearby Asian grocery store, along with some ginger and other misc. plants. I fried up the pork, and shredded up some cabbage, carrot, and ginger, dumping them in with the pork, along with some jarred garlic. I like jarred garlic, and have a massive jar of it sitting in the fridge right now. It tastes significantly better then powdered garlic and is very useful for cooking, but does not have that pain-in-the-ass-ness of chopping up garlic every time you want to cook with fresh garlic. I might feel the same way about ginger if I used ginger in cooking more then I currently do. Anyhow, I also dumped in some peppercorns, and possibly other seasonings I’ve forgotten, and pushed things around until they’d all mingled appropriately and were ready to use as filling. There’s a lot of flexibility to what you can put inside gyoza. They can be an excellent way to get rid of plants in your fridge that are up to no good.
Incidentally, if you own a food processor, use it when making gyoza filling. I do not own one, and while my filling worked out fine, there were still chunks of cabbage a tad bit larger then was really appropriate.
Gyoza are fairly easy to put together, you just plop a glob of filling in the middle of the wrapper, wet the wrapper’s edges, and then fold the wrapper up in whatever dainty or manly way that you feel is appropriate. I found this web page to provide a good guide to folding gyoza properly.
After the hour or so it took to put all these guys together, I froze most of them on a cookie tray (so they could all be dumped into a bag, put back in the freezer and eaten later), and then pan-steamed them. I set a bunch in a pan, filled the pan about 1/2-way with water, and then covered the pan to let them cook. They stuck to the bottom of the pan a bit, but aside from that, it seemed to work out fine.
Incidentally, I highly recommend making sauce to dip the gyoza in. It’s pretty easy to make, I made mine with soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, a teeny bit of chili oil, chopped green onion, and chopped ginger. Delish!
I made waay too much filling, and the remnants are currently sitting in bags in the freezer, awaiting the next time I actually remember to buy gyoza wrappers. This is definitely a recipe where making too much is not a bad thing. Deliciousness aside, it’s a long loong process of chopping things and sticking them in teeny pockets, and you feel much better about spending so much time on the process when, in the end, you have a gajillion gyoza to show for it.