Homemade Japanese Gyoza. Yup, these dumplings are very easy to make.

Every once in a while I’ll post a recipe to share. This recipe goes out to one of my Foodie Pen Pals, Nikki, who just received my Foodie package a few days ago.   (Hi Nikki!) We were assigned to each other through the Foodie Pen Pal exchange by The Lean Green Bean food blog. It was pretty simple as to what I wanted to enlighten her cooking knowledge with…homemade Gyoza! These are the Japanese version of Chinese Potstickers or dumplings that we all tend to buy packages of from Whole Foods or Trader Joes. Believe it or not, these yummy morsels are actually pretty easy to make.

I sent Nikki a couple a handy, dandy plastic Gyoza molds from Japan to speed up the preparation of these dumplings. If you can’t find these molds, you can easily pinch the dough to seal the dumplings.
All the basic ingredients to making these dumplings are found in your local supermarket or at an Asian grocery store like the 99 Ranch Market (primarily located throughout the Greater Los Angeles area). I have found that the Gyoza Wrappers aka Chinese Potsticker Wrappers are readily available at the refrigerated section of your local grocery store next to the won ton wrappers to be specific. Note that a package of wrappers makes about 40 to 50 dumplings. They also come in packages of 100. A small package costs less than $1.60.
What I also like about making this type of dumpling is that can easily freeze in a plastic container or in a large plastic storage bags for future consumption or entertaining unexpected guests. I especially like that I save lots of money after making a ton of them.
Another thing about making dumplings is the cooking method. The Chinese cooking method is to either steam or boil the dumplings. Some deep fry them too. However, I personally prefer the Japanese way of eating these treats, which is pan-fried.
Note that ground pork is the traditional method of making these delicious dumplings. I have found through the years that I prefer them a little more savory so I add ground beef. Also, regular cabbage or Bok Choy is a good enough substitute if you can’t find Napa Cabbage. However, it helps to extract the excess water from the cabbage by sauteeing it, because it brings out the aromatics of this veggie and it also makes the dumpling a lot less soggy during the cooking process. Enjoy the recipe!

Sunny’s Japanese Gyoza Recipe 
A package of Gyoza Wrappers (or Chinese Potsticker Wrappers)
½ pound of Ground Pork
½ pound of Ground Beef
½ cup of finely chopped and sauteed (cooked) Napa Cabbage
½ cup of chopped fresh Green Onion
4 cloves of minced Garlic
1 1/2 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon grated Ginger
2 Tablespoon Sesame Oil for the filling.
½ Teaspoon Salt
½ Teaspoon Cornstarch
2 Eggs
2 Tablespoons Water
Sesame oil for frying.
A large mixing bowl.
A small bowl.
A large non-stick skillet or a wok.


The Filling

In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground pork, ground beef, Napa Cabbage, green onion, garlic, soy sauce, ginger, sesame oil, salt, pepper, cornstarch, and one egg. Mix with either your hands or a large spoon until well incorporated. 
The Slurry
In a small bowl, combine one egg and water. Mix thoroughly. This will be the binding slurry to seal the dumplings.

Making Dumpling

Take one Gyoza wrapper and with your fingers brush the edges of the wrapper with the slurry. Place a tablespoon dollop of the filling onto the middle of the wrapper. Seal the dumpling by pinching the edges together or use a Gyoza mold to make the seal picture perfect. After sealing the dumpling, place it onto a large plate or tray and proceed to make the rest of the dumplings. Note, you may need to adjust amount of filing if needed.

Pan-Fried Method

Steaming and boiling are healthier alternatives to cooking these dumplings, however, I prefer the pan-fried method. What I love about the pan-fried method is the appearance of the dumpling. It looks prettier with the golden brown markings and translucent texture. Also, the pan-fried dumplings add more flavor specially when you cook them with sesame oil.  I just love how the sesame oil adds a little nuttiness or edge to the flavor.
Heat a large skillet or wok in medium-high heat and add about 3 tablespoons of sesame oil. The oil is hot when it appears to be glistening. Add 8 – 10 dumplings to the pan and brown until golden. Next, pour 4 tablespoons of water into the skillet and cover it with a lid. Cook the dumplings on each side until the water evaporates.  Note that this method introduces the moisture back into the dumplings and gives them that translucent appearance. 
Alrighty, the more traditional sauce is a combination of soy sauce, ground ginger, and chopped green onion. However, if you like spicy like I do, a nice Sriracha sauce is a perfect compliment. 

In search for a Foodie Pen Pal? The Lean Green Bean food blog is how I found my Foodie Pen Pals. The concept is unique as you receive and send a Foodie package of goodies and/or gadgets (worth  $15) to and from someone from the all over the world. It’s easy and it’s fun.