Whenever we go to a Japanese restaurant, the children will have a plate of gyoza each. It is their favourite dish. As soon as we start making these ourselves, they realise how much better the homemade version is. Being a labour intensive dish, I always offer to do this dish if everyone helps wrapping the dumplings. It is fun in the kitchen when I have many helping hands of different sizes to chat and making the dumpling.
Hybrid cooking methods are involved. Frying the bottom of each Gyoza to make it crispy. Then add a small amount sesame oil and water with the lid on to steam the filling and pastry.
200g Chinese cabbage, finely grated*
200g minced ( ground) pork
2 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 1/2tbsp Japanese soy sauce
2 tsp cooking sake
A pinch of ground white pepper
2 spring onions ( scallions) finely chopped
80 ml Japanese rice venegar
80 ml Japanese soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
200g packet gyoza wrappers
Tips* There is a special grater for Chinese cabbage. It is larger than a normal grater and very sharp. It works really well in shredding the cabbage into very thin slices. If you don't have it, simply chop the cabbage as thin as possible.
To make the filling, put the cabbage in a colander, sprinkle with salt and stand for 30 minutes. Squeeze well then mix with the rest of the filling ingredients.
To wrap, lay a wrapper in the palm of your hand and put a table spoon of the filling in the middle. Lightly damp the edge of the wrapper with water and then fold and seal shut to form a semicircle. Lightly dampen the curve edge of the wrapper, then overlap around the edge to form a pleat. Put each dumpling on a large tray lined with baking paper.
To cook, heat a little oil in a large non stick frying pan over high heat. Put the dubmpling flat-side down in the pan. Cook for 2 minutes or until the bottoms are crisp and golden. Then pour in a mixture of 1/2 boiling water with 2 tsp sesame oil. Put a lid on and lower the heat and cook for about 10 minutes.
Remove the lid for and cook for a couple more minute to get rid of excess liquid. Remove the dumpling from the pan and rest on paper towels. Serve with dipping sauce.