Wednesday, May 5, 2010


OK, I feel a little silly talking about Japanese dumplings on Cinco de Mayo, but I got a request so here goes!

Japanese potstickers, or Gyoza, have been one of my favorite foods for as long as I can remember. Fortunately, my kids and husband love them too. They have become one of my favorite things to cook with the kids. They love mixing up the filling and even making the dumplings themselves. Granted, they don't end up being the fanciest looking little things when they are done, but they are still VERY tasty.

Like I'm sure you're figured out about me, I don't always follow the recipe. I have the ingredients memorized, but sometimes I just throw them together using varying amounts. And you can easily eliminate some of the ingredients if you're not a fan of certain flavors.

Here is my base recipe. It is a culmination of 2 recipes -- one that was in a cookbook that I received from a Japanese friend and another was given to me by a friend. And then I tweeked it a little to my own tastes. This recipe is heavier on the ginger & green onions than either of the two original recipes and I know garlic isn't a very common ingredient in gyoza. So again, feel free to adjust or eliminate ingredients to suit your own tastes:

  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 3/4 cup Napa cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 cup carrot, shredded
  • 2 green onions, diced
  • 2-3 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled & grated
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, grated
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • gyoza or wonton wrappers (typically 30-40 are needed for this recipe)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil for frying (additional may be needed)
  • 1/2 cup of water, plus 1-2 teaspoons of soy sauce per cooking batch


Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch the shredded cabbage for 3-4 minutes. Remove and place into a bowl of ice cold water, remove once cooled and drain on paper towels.

In a bowl, combine the ground pork, cooked cabbage, carrot, green onion, ginger, garlic, egg, soy sauce, and sesame oil.

Put some water in a finger bowl. Put one gyoza wrapper on prep surface in front of you. Wet all the edges with water. Place about a teaspoon of filling in the middle of the wrapper. Fold the sides up, and then pinch the edges to seal. If using gyoza wrappers you'll have semi-circles, and if using wonton wrappers, I usually just pinch all four corners together making a little purse. Continue with the rest of the wrappers until the filling is gone.

To cook, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a heavy frying pan over medium-high heat. Add approximately 12 gyoza and cook for 2 minutes, or until golden brown on the bottom.

Add 1/2 cup of water & 1-2 tsp of soy sauce to the pan. Cover the dumplings and let simmer until the water is absorbed (5 to 7 minutes). Repeat until all gyoza are cooked.

One shortcut I have found I like better is to put the carrot, green onion, ginger & garlic into the food processor and grind it all up together. It saves the hassle of grating/shredding/chopping everything individually. This mixture mixes in with the ground pork more smoothly in my opinion.
These dumplings are awesome served with a Thai Peanut dipping sauce.