(THE YOMIURI SHIMBUN/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Gyoza has become a popular party dish for friends and family to enjoy a sense of "doing something together" by wrapping and eating the dumplings.
Here, Paradise Yamamoto, who presides over a members-only gyoza restaurant, introduces three recipes that would be good for a party.
"Gyoza are perfect as you can make them while chatting in a group," said Yamamoto, who himself is a frequent gyoza partygoer.
His recipes do not use ground meat for the filling, instead enjoying the texture of regular cuts of meat. He also does not use garlic and uses a smaller portion of nira Chinese chives than is typical, so his recipes are less garlicky and can be appreciated by anyone.
13 gyoza skins
2 Tbs sesame oil (for cooking and drizzling)
1 dried shiitake mushroom
35g pork loin
35g pork belly
⅛ bunch of nira Chinese chives
⅛ celery stick
⅛ naganegi green onion
1 cabbage leaf
2 tsp grated ginger
2 tsp honey
1 tsp chicken stock powder
½ tsp salt
4 Tbs sesame oil
1. Soak dried shiitake mushroom to rehydrate. Slice pork 5mm thick and chop roughly. Cut nira into 5mm pieces and chop remaining vegetables.
2. Put pork, vegetables, grated ginger, honey, stock powder, salt and 2 Tbs sesame oil into a bowl and mix well. Leave in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Alternatively, use a food processor to mince the meat and vegetables.
3. The filling is then wrapped in a gyoza skin and formed into a crescent - the basic shape of gyoza. Start by pouring water onto a small plate. Moisten half of what will be the inner side of the skin and place a dollop of filling in the middle. Bring the opposite sides of the skin together and pinch closed. Use your finger to ensure that the filling stays enclosed, then make pleats in the skin. Make the rest of the dumplings in the same manner.
4. Heat a frying pan on high heat, then turn heat down to medium-low. Add 1 Tbs sesame oil into the pan, followed by the gyoza in pan. Drizzle 1 Tbs sesame oil over the gyoza.
5. Shake the pan from side to side. When the gyoza have browned, drizzle 30ml hot water over them as though drawing circles. Cover the pan with a lid and keep shaking it until you hear the gyoza sizzling. Remove the lid and continue frying until the liquid has disappeared.
The honey in the filling lessens the tangy flavour of the ginger. This dish also tastes refreshing with a squeeze of lime. Makes 13 pieces
Seafood and egg gyoza
Yamamoto uses smoked seafood for the filling. The steps for wrapping and frying the gyoza are the same as for the ginger-honey gyoza. Salad oil is used instead of sesame oil to preserve the flavour and aroma of the filling.
1 Tbs salad oil
Desired amount of canned smoked seafood, such as scallops or mussels
12 gyoza skins
1. Separate egg yolks from whites. Add salad oil to a pan and lightly stir-fry whites.
2. Cut seafood into bite-size pieces and add to cooked egg whites. Wrap filling in gyoza skin and form a crescent shape.
3. Place dumplings in a pan and fry in the same manner as in the ginger-honey gyoza recipe (see above).
4. Serve on a plate and drizzle with beaten yolks.
The egg whites are fluffy and the seafood is chewy - textures you do not usually get when eating regular gyoza. Makes 12 pieces
Gyoza with toppings
This recipe makes gyoza look cute with pops of colour. Yamamoto uses the ginger-honey filling for this recipe, but adds a twist by forming them into a pot shape.
Filling from ginger-honey gyoza
More than 13 gyoza skins
1 Tbs salad oil
Desired toppings, such as salmon roe or cherry tomatoes.
1. Place a dollop of filling onto the skin. It should be a smaller amount than what is used in the ginger-honey gyoza recipe. Wrap to make a crescent shape in the same way as before, but make the pleats longer.
2. Bring both ends of the crescent together. Pinch closed to make a round pot shape, then press the top lightly into a neat opening. Continue in the same manner until all the filling has been used.
3. Heat a frying pan and add salad oil. Place gyoza in the pan. When the gyoza are slightly browned, drizzle 30ml hot water in a circular motion over them. Cover the pan with a lid and shake from side to side until there is no more liquid.
4. Add desired toppings into the gyoza "pots" and serve.