Gyoza is a staple menu item at almost every Japanese restaurant. The small and tasty dumplings make a great appetizer. If you’re splitting the plate of gyoza with others, there’s likely always a scramble to get the last dumpling for yourself! Asian supermarkets also sell several types of fresh and frozen gyoza, so they’re readily available to have at home with a Japanese meal or when you’re planning a Japanese dinner party.
But did you know you can also make your own gyoza? It may take a little practice at first, but once you learn how to make your own gyoza, you can have a lot of fun experimenting with different filling ingredients, and even have your own gyoza party with family and friends.
Ways to Cook Gyoza
The most common way of making gyoza is known as yaki-gyoza. In this method, you pan-fry the dumplings in a little bit of oil first. Then, add a bit of water to the pan and steam with a lid on.
You can also opt for age-gyoza, which are deep-fried gyoza, or sui-gyoza, which are dumplings that are boiled either in water or a flavorful soup broth. Lastly, you can also steam the gyoza in a bamboo steamer — this is called mushi-gyoza.
Types of Gyoza Fillings
The standard gyoza filling is minced pork and vegetables (usually shredded cabbage and minced shiitake mushrooms). But when making gyoza at home, you can use whatever you’d like. Common main ingredients include chicken, shrimp, mushrooms, and many other vegetables and seasonings, such as ginger, sesame oil, and minced onion or shallots.
If you have an Asian supermarket nearby, you can try several different Japanese herbs, seasonings, and vegetables, such as shiso, shishito peppers, garlic chives, natto, togarashi, and many more.
How to Make Gyoza at Home
Once you’ve decided on the filling, it all comes down to the wrapper. This can be tricky at first, but after a few tries, you should get the hang of it. You will need gyoza wrappers purchased in a supermarket or online (they might simply be called dumpling wrappers). They are usually already cut to the proper size.
Place a spoonful of the filling mixture in the center of the dumpling wrapper. Lightly brush the edges of the wrapper with water, and then fold the wrapper in half, pressing the sides together and making the shape of a half-circle. Fold a pleat on one side of the wrapper and pinch it together. Then, continue along the edge until fully pleated and sealed.
For yaki-gyoza, heat a small amount of oil in a pan and pan-fry the flat side for a few minutes, until the bottom is nicely browned. Then add two tablespoons of water to the pan and cover, allowing the gyoza to steam for a few minutes.
Remove the lid and let sit for another minute or two, then serve.
How to Serve Gyoza
Serve the gyoza brown side up along with a flavorful dipping sauce. Some of the most common sauces include ponzu sauce or a dumpling sauce. You can find them in the international aisle of most supermarkets. You can also put out a selection of different sauces, including soy sauce, chili sauce, sesame oil, and others. Enjoy!