A.K.A. little pockets of awesomeness.
Gyoza used to be one of my favorite things to order when dining at a Japanese restaurant. Typically they would come six to an order and would set me back at least five bucks and they were soooo TINY. As tasty as they were I felt like I was being ripped off, especially when they were stuffed with the cheapest of all vegetables, cabbage.
They may look intimidating to make, but really they are quite simple and way cheaper than ordering them in a restaurant.
Lets get this party started.
First order of business: The wrapper. I bought some wonton wrappers at the asian market. I think I payed maybe a buck fifty for a hundred wrappers. Cheap. I'm not sure if wonton wrappers are traditonally used, but they worked for me, so whatevs.
Second order of business: The filling. The base of my filling contained tempeh, cabbage, carrots and shiitake mushrooms, with lots of garlic, ginger and scallion. You could easily make an all veggie version, but I like the way that the tempeh adds a bit of texture, making the dumpling a bit more substantial.
Third order of business: The dipping sauce. Tamari, rice vinegar, sugar and some chili sesame oil. That's it. Spicy and sweet!
Gyoza Filling (makes enough for 2-2 1/2 dozen)
1 1/2 T. sunflower oil (or any neutral oil)
6 oz. tempeh, finely crumbled (I put mine in a food processor and pulsed a couple times to break it up)
2 c. shredded cabbage
1/2 c. grated carrot
1/2 c. shiitake mushrooms, finely chopped
3 scallions, sliced
1 1/2 T. ginger, minced
1 1/2 T. garlic, minced
1 1/2 T. tamari
1 1/2 T. brown rice vinegar
1 t. chili-sesame oil
sea salt, to taste
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for one minute. Add the tempeh, mushrooms, tamari and rice vinegar and stir to combine. Cook for two to three minutes, or until the tempeh starts to take on a little color. If the mixture starts to stick to the bottom of the pan, add a splash of water, and give it a stir. Add the cabbage, cook for one minute, then add the carrots and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Stir in the scallion and the chili sesame oil and season with sea salt to taste. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature before assembling the gyoza.
The mixture should look a little something like this:
While the mixture is cooling you can make your dipping sauce.
3 T. organic sugar
4 T. brown rice vinegar
1/2 t. chili-sesame oil
1/2 t. grated ginger
Place brown rice vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan over low heat, whisking until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and whisk in tamari, chili-sesame oil and ginger. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
When the mixture is cool enough to handle you can start to assemble your gyoza.
In a small bowl mix together 1/2 T. cornstarch and 1/4 c. water. This will act as the glue to hold the gyoza together.
Grab a clean cutting board and lay out six wonton wrappers at a time. Place 3/4 T. filling in the center of each wrapper. Dip a pastry brush (or your finger) into the cornstarch/ water mixture and brush all four sides of the wonton wrapper, just enough to lightly moisten. Grab one end of the wrapper and fold over like you were sealing an envelope, making sure there is a tight seal. Working along the edge crimp together until you have a little purse. They don't have to be perfect. You could probably just fold them over and leave them as is and they will still be delicious. Transfer your gyozas to a sheetpan and cover with a damp paper towel to prevent them from drying out. Repeat with the remaining filling.
Heat 1 1/2 T. neutral oil (sunflower, peanut, canola etc..) in a large non stick pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot (but not smoking), carefully lay your gyoza in the pan in a single layer (I think I was able to fit a dozen in my 12" skillet). Fry for about three minutes until the bottoms of the gyoza are a golden brown. Pour in 1/3 c. water into the pan (try not to pour directly on the gyoza), cover and cook until all the water is evaporated, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and repeat with the remainder of the gyoza.
Serve hot with dipping sauce. Eat and Repeat.