Monday, 4 August 2008

Vegetarian gyoza - YUM!

My Japanese friend, Erika, taught me how to make gyoza. In restaurants around here, gyoza are horribly oily and greasy and flavourless (apart from the mountains of oil). But when Erika and her mother made them for us, they were one of the most delicious things I have ever tasted. They were filled with fresh ingredients, loads of garlic and fresh chives, cooked lightly on the bottom and then steamed to finish them off. Very healthy, filling and wholesome. They make for a great side or, if you make a few different types, a dinner that sits lightly in your tummy (unlike those stodgy horrid things in restaurants). Another inspiration in my gyoza experimentation was Confessions of a Food Nazi who is also an advocate of the delicious, healthy gyoza -- she also has some very useful tips!

I think of all the meals I've made recently, this has certainly been the most satisfying. Oh my gosh, for something so healthy they are just so incredibly delicious and moreish. A little bit crunchy on the bottom and all soft and almost velvety on top, and the smell of fresh crushed garlic is just divine.

Erika and her mum's wonderful gyoza. Look at a all of that beautiful fresh chive!

  • Store bought gyoza wrappers (from the local Asian grocer, these are ridiculously cheap)
  • Cabbage (which will be about half of your filling)
  • Mushrooms, marinated tofu or ground pork, as the "feature" ingredient
  • Garlic (another key ingredient in gyoza)
  • Leek or spring onions
  • Ginger
  • Sake
  • Mirin
  • Tamari soy sauce
  • Sesame oil
I followed the preparation instructions from this website, given that Erika wasn't by my side to guide me. I made two types: one with shimeji and shiitaki mushrooms, the other with marinated tofu (I think I preferred the fresh mushroom one though). I'm leaving the ingredients list kind of open because it's totally your own preference. You really don't need to make much filling, only a small bowl full will make about 30 gyoza as you only put about a teaspoon of filling in each.

1. Place a small amount of the mixture in the palm of your hand. Wet around the edges.

2. Fold in half

3. Pleat (this is surprisingly quick and easy but looks really cool!)

I coated a large fry pan in spray oil, placed the gyoza in and cooked until the bases of them were brown. Approximately 5 mins. You can either place the gyoza on their sides or have them sitting upright (like in the photo below): Erika tells me that it really doesn't matter.

I covered the top of the fry pan with aluminium foil (if it had a lid I would have used that), and added about 1/2 cup water to the pan, then let it steam for another 5-10 mins until cooked through. I served the gyoza straight from the pan. The dipping sauce was a simple mixture of tamari soy sauce and mirin, however there are many varieties of dipping sauce inspiration on the net.


Samia said...

That. Sounds. SO GOOD. I will have to try it.

Jenaveve said...

I love gyoza... and you've just convinced me with this very nice photo tute that I should give it a whirl. Yummy ingredients... they look quite sizeable too.

Great visual demo Beth, thanks!!

Jelly Wares said...

This recipe is to die for... My mouth is watering just reading it! Can't wait to give them a try. I just need to find me some gyoza wrappers, no asian grocer around these parts...

Jodie :)

meet me at mikes - crafty! said...

yum yum yum! i want to make these right now!

meet me at mikes - crafty! said...

I made them! They were delicious! I tried prawn and shitake - with leek, grated carrot and cabbage too - I added stock instead of water (because i love salty!) and a bit of soy to the stock too! Delicious! Thanks for the inspiration Beth! Super good Saturday night dinner

Sarah said...

Ohhh this loos YUMMY - I cannot wait to try it!

Another Outspoken Female said...

Better late than never :) - glad you liked them and thanks for the link. Hope you have many happy hours gyoza making in the future.

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