Chinese Potstickers or Gyoza

Sorry that it has once again taken me a while to get back to the blog. I’ve been working on final projects and getting ready to graduate and reading a book – I shall not mention the exact order of which these things may have occured. Anyways, before spring break I found another cooking blog and I started looking at her recipes and noticed this one for Chinese dumplings/potstickers. In Japan we ate this tasty little dumplings and called them Gyoza. These things are amazing! I decided that no matter how hard it sounded I needed to make my own including the dough – something  Iwon’t be quite so eager to do again in the near future (we did try some in store bought wonton wrappers and they worked out just as well although not quite as doughy). I believe this was a massive undertaking especially considering that every Asian friend that I mentioned this too always said “ohh really – that’s interesting” so I decided that I really must succeed. The final verdict was that they were absolutely amazing, I am obviously not Asian and cannot successfully make perfect dough circles, and I am not the best at wrapping the little dumplings with the perfect pleats and a teardrop at the end. We did however discover my “not very artistically talented” mother to be the best dumpling wrapper in the house.
Just a little history of the potsticker: back in the day, the Emperor’s the chef was fixing dinner, and he got busy and disracted and he forget about the dumplings and they were burned by the time he remember. Unfortunately there wasn’t time to make any new dumplings so the cook sent them to the Emperor and he loved the crispy side. The chef was extremely relieved and kept making the posticker, the Emperor was happy and got good food, and I am happy because I love postickers. The moral of the story: just because you think dinner’s ruined doesn’t mean your recipe can’t be salvaged and become famous!

Ingredients:

Pork Filling:

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 4 large Napa cabbage leaves, minced
  • 3 green onions, minced
  • 7 shitake mushrooms, minced (I just used button mushroons because that was all I could find and they worked.)
  • 1/2 cup bamboo shoots, minced
  • 1/4 cup ginger root, minced
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons of corn starch

Dough: this recipe needs to be doubled to hold all of the filling

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • flour for work surface

Dipping Sauce:

  • 2 parts soy sauce
  • 1 part vinegar
  • a few drops sesame oil
  • chili paste
  • minced garlic
  • minced ginger
  • minced green onion
  • sugar

Directions:

Filling:

  1. Cut up all ingredients and stir together with corn starch, sesame oil, and soy sauce.

Dough

Hand Made Method – this is the method I used due to the curse of a small food processor, but it can be done and I think this is the traditional method.

  1. Mix flour and 1/4 cup of water until all water is absorped.
  2. Add water one tablespoon at a time and mix dough until it begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
  3. You want to end up with a dough that is firm and slightly sticky to the touch.

Food Processor Method:  I think this is the preferred method if you have the rigth size food processor.

  1. Put flour in to food processor and start the blade
  2. Add the water a little at a time until it is all absorped.
  3. Remove from food processor into a bowl and knead with hands until uniform and smooth.
  4. Dough will be silky to the touch and not sticky

Both Methods:

  1. Knead dough about twenty times and cover with a damp towel and let rest for about 15 minutes.
  2. Take dough and form into a dome shape
  3. Cut dough into 1 1/2 – 2 inch strips.
  4. Roll strips into long cylinders.
  5. Cut each cylinder into 3/4 in rounds and use palm of hand to flatten each round.
  6. Use a rolling pin to flatten each round into a flat circle – try to keep the middle a little thicker and don’t make the wrappers to thin or else they will break while cooking.
  7. Fill each dumpling and fold. There is an art to folding so here is my description: Make pleats in one side and pinch the top together. Then you should have a tear drop shaped opening on each end. Use your finger and push the bottom of the teardrop towards the top and pinch together from the sides. You can either google the correct form or if you are like the Marshall’s you can get them closed however you can!
  8. I would reccommend rubbing the side you plan on sticking in the pot in some flour to help keep it from sticking to your pan too badly.

Cooking Directions;

Potstickers:

  1. Use a non-stick (we used a cast iron pan) frying pan with a lid.
  2. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in the bottom of the pan on medium-high heat.
  3. Once you get the oil hot, place the dumplings into the oil and cook until the bottom starts to get golden brown.
  4. Once they begin the golden then dump in water (I used a little less than a 1/2 cup) and slam the lid down (it important to get the lid on because the dumplings will start popping when the water hits the oil and because the steam will cook the tops of the dumpling.)
  5. Let the water cook off, approx 3-4 minutes.
  6. Remove from pan and place on a plate with the golden side facing up.

Dumplings – Boiling and Steaming

  • To boil: bring water to a boil and dump in dumplings. Boil the dumplings until they float to the top.
  • To steam: Place dumplings on napa cabbage and steam for about 6 minutes.

If you don’t want to cook all of the dumplings at once then just package them up and freeze them for another night. If you don’t eat all the ones you cook, just steam them a little the next day to reheat them.

Dipping Sauce:

The sauce is a personal preference thing, but you must use the soy, vinegar, and sesame oil. The other ingredients are all optional and up to whatever you think is best.

Here are some picture of the ones I made. Keep in mind this was my first try so they don’t look wonderful, but I can assure you they tasted wonderful and all were eaten.

All of the chopped ingredients.

All of the chopped ingredients.

Stirring in all of the oils and sauces. Yummy looking right?

Stirring in all of the oils and sauces. Yummy looking right?

All folded and ready for cooking. The ones with the pretty pleats are the ones my mom folded.

All folded and ready for cooking. The ones with the pretty pleats are the ones my mom folded.

Getting fried on one side!

Getting fried on one side!

After slamming on the lid and waiting for all of the water to cook off.

After slamming on the lid and waiting for all of the water to cook off.

Yummy and ready for eating!

Yummy and ready for eating!

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1 Comment

Filed under Ethnic Recipes, Japan

One response to “Chinese Potstickers or Gyoza

  1. Cindy

    I can give this recipe high marks! They were delicious. Court’s dad and I ate the ones she froze in the wonton wrappers. I was a little worried when I let them thaw out because the bottoms were a little soggy. I followed her suggestion to lightly touch the bottom in flour before I put them in the hot grease. They turned out perfect! We will definitely request this recipe when our cooking kid returns home!

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