Today is Japanese pan-fried dumplings day! I was craving gyoza the other day and had plenty of vegetables to use up so this was the perfect occasion. These soft on the inside and crispy on the outside bites are easy to make but require some time and patience to fold – yes, I still struggle with this step ! – but the result is so satisfying that you’ll forget about it. You can get really creative in homemaking gyoza as the filling ingredients are easy to vary upon the season and your preferences! It’s also a great way to reduce food waste as the composition is versatile, hence you can use any veggie you have left in your fridge at the end of the week. This is the PERFECT recipe to impress your friends and family on your Friday nights apéro !
Do you know the difference between dumplings and gyoza? Dumplings are originally Chinese and composed of ground meat and vegetables. They differ from gyoza by the cooking method as dumplings are steamed while gyoza are both pan-fried and steamed. I like gyoza better as they get this nice crunchy side which is a real delight though they aren’t suitable to the same preparation, because you wouldn’t put gyoza in a soup right?
This recipe is very far from being traditional, I admit. But it’s just as good and satisfying than many gyoza you can have at restaurants. As we currently have spring-summer veggies at the moment, I went for a light filling made of spinach, carrots, turnip, zucchini and a lot of parsley. You want the filling to be well seasoned and super flavourful to balance the flat taste of the wrapper dough.
And saying that, let’s actually talk about the dough as it is the crucial element for the gyoza to keep their shape when cooking. You can find ready-made wrappers at stores but you know that I’m not encouraging to buy anything that you can easily make yourself allowing greater control over the ingredients J Homemaking the gyoza dough is really quick and only takes 3 ingredients and here are a few tips:
- Use chopsticks to mix the flour and the water making rounds clockwise
- Knead the dough very well, it should be homogeneous and elastic this takes around 10 minutes to get there
- Place a wet kitchen towel over the dough to avoid the apparition of a dry rind over it
There are different dumplings folding techniques so the look is totally up to you. I’ve watched the 6 ways to fold a dumpling video which is short and the movements are really straight-forward. I went for the two-direction crescent moon which looked pretty achievable! For just my second time folding dumplings I feel like it’s not that bad but definitely have to practice further ! Next time I might try another folding and see if there’s anything easier or faster than the two-direction crescent 😉 Head to my Instagram stories “How To” to check how I fold the dumplings !
RECIPE for 16 pieces
Prep time: 1h30 mins Cook time: 30 mins Chill time: 20 mins
You will need:
- Zucchini – 1 small or 1/2 large
- Turnip – 1 small or 1/2 large
- Carrot – 2 small or 1 large
- Spinach – 3 handful
- Parley – 2 handful (without the stem)
- 2 scallions
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 shallot
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp olive oil (+ 1 for cooking)
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- Chopped fresh ginger (or ground) to taste
- Espelette pepper to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste (make sure seasoned enough though)
- 140g whole wheat flour
- 90ml boiling water
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp rice vinegar
- Drizzle sesame oil
- Sesame seeds
- Espelette pepper (opt.)
Start making the filling for the gyoza. Chop the zucchini, carrot, turnip in small dices – brunoise style – and set aside. Thinly chop the garlic, scallions and shallots.
Heat up a pan over a medium heat with olive oil and place the garlic and shallots. Cook for a few minutes before adding the vegetables chopped previously with salt, let cook for around 10 minutes stirring regularly.
While the veggies are cooking, roughly chop the spinach and parsley. When the vegetables are almost cooked, add the spinach, parsley, scallions, sesame oil, ginger, sesame seeds, Espelette and regular pepper. Mix all together and let cook for another 3-5 minutes, then set aside.
Prepare the dough for the wrappers in a bowl with the flour and salt. Using chopsticks, mix the flour clockwise while slowly pouring the hot water. Keep mixing until a ball forms.
When you have formed the dough, start kneading it for about 10 minutes. You should end up with a very elastic and homogeneous dough that you can stretch well without breaking it. Form a ball again and make a whole at the center, then stretch the dough into a doughnut shape. Let rest for 20 minutes with a slightly wet kitchen towel.
While the dough rests, prepare the dipping sauce mixing the ingredients above together. Let sit in the fridge.
Take the doughnut shaped dough and cut into 16 equal pieces – start cutting in 2, then in 4 etc … – and place the pieces under the wet kitchen towel again.
Prepare a small bowl with a little bit of water next to you and sprinkle flour on you kitchen surface before you start shaping the gyoza.
Take a piece of dough, roll into a bowl with your hands and make it a thin disc of dough using a rolling pin. Try to make as regular as you can.
You now should wet the disc’s edges with water, I suggest you simply use your finger rather than a brush which might break the disk.
At the center of the wrapper, place 1 to 2 tsp of your filling and fold the dumpling according to your selected method. To check my demo, head to my Instagram highlight “How To”.
Repeat until you have no dough pieces left.
Heat up a pan on medium high with a tbsp olive oil. When it’s well heated, place the dumplings to pan-fry them. It should take around 5 minutes for the dumpling to turn golden brown and form their crunchy side.
Then, drop the temperature to medium- low and add 3-4 tbsp water with a drop of soy sauce in the pan and cover with a lid immediately, this is the steaming step. Let the gyoza steam for at least a good 7 minutes.
Enjoy the gyoza dipped in the soy and rice vinegar sauce 🙂