Little S loves it with almost the same passion that the Big P avoids it with. Me, I am somewhere between the two, but much closer to S than P. But one Japanese food that we all adore equally(besides the yummy fried tempuras, of course! ) is Gyoza.
At a very basic level, Gyoza are similar to our momos, Chinese wonton, and even Italian ravioli, in that they are all dough wrappers with various fillings. What differs is the thickness of the skin, the fillings, the dipping sauce and in some cases the cooking technique. Since all of the above is usually available in a mostly carnivorous avatar here, I end up making my own, whenever the urge to eat them strikes, which is often:P
This time when we made them, I remembered to take pictures of every step and even urged Jocelyn, our dear helper to demo how to pleat it. After much persuasion and promising that the camera will only capture her hands, she finally agreed, So without further ado, here is the recipe:Step 1
Fry together lightly using a tiny bit of oil. Add seasonings ( salt & pepper) once it cools down a bit to avoid making it watery. Since I like things spicy, I added red chilli powder as well. A lot of recipes do not call for cooking the filling, but I like it better this way.
I used readymade gyoza wrappers, since they are available easily here, but one simple way to make them from scratch is to just make a nice dough of flour (maida) with warm water, similar to soft roti dough. You could then roll out each into a circle or just make a huge roti and cut out circles with a cookie cutter. Check out how Pearls of East makes the dough from scratch .
Okie, these Japanese wrappers are what I used for the first half of the dumplings, and for the other half I used Chinese wonton skins. The main difference between the two is that the Jap wrappers are thinner and white coloured as they do not use eggs. The Chinese ones are slightly thicker and yellow because of the egg. They can be round or square, depending on the final shape you want. Here in Singapore, every shape/pattern has a distinctive filling and manner of cooking-steaming, boiling, frying or pan frying.
The first picture at the top uses japanese gyoza wrapper and this one is using chinese gyoza skins:
Spoon some filling in each wrappers, wet the edges with some water, just enough to make it sticky nut not too wet, and crimp the border . I will shut up here and just let the video explain how. It may look daunting at first to make those pleats, but half of those gyozas have been wrapped by me, who was trying it the first time (and no, those are not the worst looking ones there!).So trust me, with a little practice, you can do it too. It took all of 75 seconds to make one gyoza, that too when J was going deliberately slow.Those who can do gunjiyas or ghugras have an obvious edge, but after making a few, you will soon get the hang of it.
Here's a video of our dear Jocelyn showing us how to make gyoza:)
Now there are various ways to cook gyoza, but my favourite and the easiest way is to pan fry it. The subsequent day I made some more, this time boiled in a soup and another delicious sichuan chilli oil variation that is popular . I will put that up soon.
Heat up a little oil in a wok/saucepan which has a lid. You can also an oil spray instead in a non stick wok.
In another 4 to 5 minutes, the water should have dried off, if not uncover and let the excess water evaporate. The bottoms of the gyozas would have turned crispy by now, and the other side should be shiny ,plump & translucent. I like my gyozas a bit burnt, so you decide how crisp you want them.
Serve them with any dipping sauce you like. The ones I used are :
And this dipping sauce:
3 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp vinegar
1/2 tsp red chilli paste ( optional)
two drops sesame oil
Simply mix everything together and serve with the gyozas.
Also check out the lip smacking dip that our 'chatkhor' has made for her momos, which would go fantastically with these