Gyoza freeze well* so I tend to make these in big batches and store them for later (a pack of pastries will make around fifty dumplings). Most vegetables work well as a filling so don’t worry if you can’t get hold of Chinese cabbage; just substitute it with another vegetable, e.g. mushrooms, green peppers, pak choi, etc. Above all, ensure that all of the vegetables are finely chopped. A gag present I bought for Colin, Slap Chop, has made the preparation of the filling so much quicker but a good knife will achieve the same results.
Please note, a steamer is the perfect choice for cooking your gyoza, but if you don't have one available then a non-stick saucepan with accompanying lid can be used instead**.
- Heat the wok and add the garlic and ginger. Fry for a minute then add the rest of the ingredients and stir fry for another minute. The filling doesn’t need to be fully cooked at this stage as it will be cooked again later.
- Take a teaspoon of filling and place in the center of the pastry. Wet the outside of the pastry and fold in half, pressing the top edges together. Holding the pastry in the middle, make a small pleat and press this pleat against the flat side of the pastry. Make two pleats either side of the center, making sure a tight seal is formed. It takes a little practice and there are a few different methods for sealing gyoza but as long as there are no gaps, the gyoza should remain in tact while it cooks.
- If you have a steamer, cooking the gyoza is relatively simple. Heat a frying pan with a little groundnut or vegetable oil, then fry the gyoza for a few minutes until the bottoms have turned a nice golden brown before transfering them straight into the steamer. Steam them for around 5-6 minutes before serving.
Alternatively, if you are using a saucepan, fry the bottoms in a similar manner within the pan and then take about a ¼ cup of water and pour it in, clamping the saucepan lid on as quickly as you can. The water will violently hiss so make sure you stand back when you do this. Once the water has evaporated, the gyoza are ready to serve.
- Serve with dipping sauces of your choice. Hoisin, sweet chili and soy are my favourite.
* When freezing the gyoza, place them on a tray so that none of the dumplings are touching each other. Once fully frozen the gyoza can be transferred to a freezer bag and you can take as few (or as many) as you like when you want to eat them.
** Steaming the gyoza in a pan is a popular method but as my pans don’t have a non-stick coating I found them difficult to remove after the water had evaporated (hence the term, “potsticker”). This seemed like a good excuse to buy a steamer insert for my pan and has made the cooking of these dumplings much easier.