Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Bringing Her Food From Afar...Gyoza

When I lived in Japan as an English teacher, I felt like I learned so much more from my students than I was able to impart to them.  Coming home from that country, I brought back more than just the luggage that I had come with.  One of my favorite souvenirs was this recipe for gyoza.  Gyoza is the Japanese version of a Chinese dumpling or pot sticker.  It is a favorite of those living in our house.  They do require some work, but often make our dinner a delight.  Here's my recipe:
Gyoza (Makes 50 pieces)

1 lb.       Ground Meat (Pork, turkey, chicken, beef
1 C        Cabbage finely chopped
1/2 C     Nira finely chopped
1/2 C     Green onion finely chopped
2 Tbsp   Garlic minced
2 Tbsp   Ginger minced
1            Egg
1 Tbsp   Sesame oil
2 Tbsp   Soy sauce
1/2 Tsp  Salt
1/4 Tsp  Pepper

Chop the cabbage very finely.  A food processor can be used to chop all your vegetables.  I prefer doing it the old fashioned way just because I don't like to clean all of the attachments on the processor. 

Nira is found at Asian food markets.  It is sometimes called chieve or a Chinese leek.  It looks like green onion but it is flat and has a very strong fragrance. 

I just love green onions!

I recruited one of my little darlings to be my helper and what a wonderful helper she has turned out to be.  This slows down the process a little but we have a wonderful time together.  One day, I may actually get to eat the gyoza without having prepared it myself :)

Add ground meat, vegetables, egg, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt and pepper, and mix well. 

Gyoza skins can also be found at the Asian market and come with about 50 per package.  They are a bit thinner than won ton wrappers.  Before adding the meat mixture, moisten the edges of the gyoza skin all the way around with a little water.   

Adding the meat is a little tricky and can only become perfected through practice.  Do not be too hard on yourself if it does not come out right at the beginning.  Place about a 1/2 tablespoon sized amount in the middle.  Close the edges making a crimping pattern on the top. 

I fry them in oil to make them crispy. 

Then I put a small amount of water in the pan and cover the pan with a lid to steam them a little. 

Enjoy with steamed rice and veggies sauteed in soy sauce and sesame oil.  I also make a dipping sauce consisting of 2 parts soy sauce and 1 part vinegar.   Good luck trying to put the gyoza on a serving dish and getting them to the table.  I still haven't figured out how to keep my family from eating them before dinner starts!

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