Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Gyoza, Dumplings, Potstickers....What ever you wanna call them

    I have been seeing Chinese Gyoza, or Chinese Potstickers everywhere. I love Asian food, and I  couldn't resist the temptation any longer. I went to the store, picked up all the ingredients, and set to work on a pretty labor intensive mission to cure my craving.
    Although these little creations can be gobbled up in a matter of seconds, they are very time consuming to create. I had a lot of fun making them, but had I known how many my recipe made, I definitely would have cut the quantities in half. So if you decide to make these for yourself, keep that in mind. However, I'm not complaining. I have gyoza up the wazoo. Now every time I feel like Asian food, I have the perfect little appetizer to go with it.
    They keep well, and can be stored for upwards to six months in a freezer (If stored properly). They can be cooked from frozen. So no thawing involved. How convenient is that? The premade, store bought version cannot even compare to how delicious these are.

Pork and Scallion Gyoza (Potstickers)

Fried, then steamed Pork and Scallion Gyoza with Thai Chili
dipping sauce.


1 head Napa cabbage (about 6 cups shredded)
2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 lbs. ground pork
2 tbsp. corn starch
8 green onions, minced (whites and greens)
3 tbsp. soy sauce
1 1/2 inch piece ginger, grated
3 garlic cloves, grated
4 oz. silken tofu
800 grams of potsticker or wonton wrappers
1 tbsp. peanut oil, for frying


1) Prepare the filling by thinly shredding the cabbage.

2)Place into a colander and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons salt. Toss with your fingers to coat all of the cabbage with the salt. Allow to sit for 20 minutes to draw out the excess water.

Add the salt.
After you allow the salt to work it's magic,
the cabbage will reduce in volume by nearly half.
3) While it sits, continue preparing the filling. In a large bowl add the ground pork, corn starch, minced green onion and soy sauce. Grate in the ginger and garlic. A well prepared filling should have finely chopped ingredients that are uniform in size.
4) Add the silken tofu. This can be found in the natural foods section of your grocery store, in the dry food aisle. The silken tofu adds an extra bit of moisture to the filling and you won’t even know it’s in there. Use a spoon to blend everything together. Break up all of the meat so it’s almost like a paste.
(5) Place the cabbage into a clean kitchen towel and twist up the sides, squeezing the cabbage of its excess water. You will be shocked how much water comes out. Remove it from the cloth, and give it another run through with a knife. Add it to the pork mixture. Stir to combine. Refrigerate until ready for use. Some people like to precook their filling, but it isn't necessary.

5) You can buy round potsticker dumpling skins in the refrigerated grocery section of some grocery stores, but the square wonton wrappers are available pretty much anywhere. So you'll have to use what you can find or make your own from scratch. I opted to save making my own for another day, and used the square wonton wrappers. But since I wanted to fold them using the round wrapper technique, I cut them into rounds using the rim of a glass.
6) Once you are ready to start folding the potstickers, create a work station. Have everything you need within arms reach. You will need a container to place the folded dumplings (covered with a damp dish towel so the wrappers don't dry out), and another damp cloth to cover the unused wonton wrappers.

7) Lay out two or three wrappers at a time, and place about 1/2 tbsp. of the mixture in the middle of each wrapper. The wrappers dry out quite quickly, so it is important to work fast.

8) Fold as desired. There are a few ways you can do this, but it would be impossible to explain. I think it would be best to take a Youtube tutorial if you want them to look dainty.

Yields 120 potstickers

    Once you are ready to cook them up. Heat a tbsp. or so of peanut oil in a pan. Fry them until the bottoms have browned. This will just take a moment. Add about a 1/4 cup of water and/or chicken stock to the pan. Immediately cover with a lid. From here you will be steaming them cooked. Once the wrappers have become translucent and the filling appears to be cooked, (5 minutes or so. 8-10 if cooking from frozen), transfer them to a serving dish. If your pan has become dry, and the potstickers still haven't finished cooking, just add a little more liquid and put the lid back on. These can be paired with a multitude of dipping sauces, or you can eat them plain. Enjoy!

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