Gyōza (餃子) are Japanese pan-fried dumplings quite similar to Chinese potstickers. The key differences are the in thinness of the wrappers and the smaller size of the Japanese version, making for a crispy bottom and soft top. And while Chinese dumplings use all manner of meats as filling, classic Japanese gyōza will always have ground pork as the base.
In addition to the pork, gyōza are stuffed with cabbage, chives, and garlic, seasoned with sake, soy sauce, sesame oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Gyoza are first pan fried until they crisp up on the bottom. Once they are nice and toasty brown, you add a small amount of water and cover to steam. By using this pan-fry/steam technique you get wonderfully crispy bottoms to go along with soft, squishy tops. When you bite into a correctly cooked gyōza, you get both of these textures as well as the juicy, porky inside filling.
In Japan, gyōza typically can be found at izakaya (a kind of bar with food) ramen shops, and family restaurants. In truth, they can be almost anywhere and are a wonderful accompaniment to a mug of beer or a bowl of ramen.
These days it’s fairly common to find gyōza in the frozen food section of the grocery store. You most certainly can find them at an Asian market, such as H Mart.
And while making gyōza yourself does take a little time, I think it is well worth it as you can choose the fillings you like — and you know it will be fresh! I like to accompany my gyōza with a spicy homemade dipping sauce which you can alter to your taste.
- Frying pan
- Medium mixing bowl
- Baking sheet lined with parchment paper
- 1/2 cup ground pork
- 2/3 cup green cabbage finely shredded
- 1/4 cup green onions finely chopped
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/8 tsp fresh ginger minced
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- black pepper to taste
- 24 fresh gyōza wrappers
- water for sealing dumplings
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp water
- In a medium bowl, combine all of the filling ingredients until well mixed.
- Depending on the size of your wrapper, use 1/2 – 3/4 tsp of filling per wrapper.
- Pleat wrapper edges, then place filled gyoza on a well-floured plate or baking sheet. (They can be cooked immediately, or frozen at this point.)
- Heat a frying pan on medium-high heat.
- Place 1 T. of oil in your heated pan, swirling to coat bottom. Add gyōza in an even layer, cooking until the bottoms get a golden brown.
- Once browned, add a 1/4 C of water and quickly cover to steam.
- The gyōza are cooked after 5-8 min, or once all of the water has evaporated.
- Serve them golden-side up with dipping sauce or hot chili oil.
- Combine soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and water in small bowl, stirring until everything is incorporated.