Gyoza

In this house, we love Gyoza!  We’ve always purchased them from the freezer department of our local little Asian market because frankly, the idea of making them has always intimidated me.  Pretty little pockets of perfectly seasoned meaty delight!  Me, make them in the quantity that my boys can go through them?  Nuh uh!  I’d be chained to the kitchen counter with mounds of wrappers, filling, and trays of finished pouches of potential deliciousness surrounding me while my gloves fill with blood from the endless filling and folding.  Ugh… Ok, that doesn’t sound too appetizing.  Which is part of the whole intimidation thing!

How am I tying in paganism?  Well, they’d be ideal as appetizers for any of the coming feasts.  They’re wrapped up bits of deliciousness.  Like an edible gift.   Premake them, freeze them, and give a bag to a friend wishing them a merry Yule/Solstice.  A gift within a gift!

ingredients

Why is there no pretty picture of the finished product here?  Because they looked so good when they were done and we were hungry.  So.  Picture to come when we cook up the rest of the batch.

Quick note here:  I pulled this recipe together from three different sources; Madame Wong’s Long-Life Chinese Cookbook by S.T. Ting Wong with Sylvia Schalman (no, the Powells.com site doesn’t have a picture of the book like Amazon does, but they’re not charging $8,999.00 either!  Besides, I believe in supporting my local businesses and Powell’s is a second home to me.), The Joy of Wokking by Martin Yan, and Chinese Cooking by Mary Wilson.  None of these recipes gave any kind of measurement for the ginger.  And even if they had said, “a slice of”, or “a piece of”, ginger comes in all shapes and sizes for cripesake!  So…

ginger

This is how much ginger I used.  With 3 pounds of pork.  Does it look like too much?  Yeah, you’re right.  We all like ginger and it was good, but … that’s pretty much all we could taste.  Not good.  Next time I’d halve this amount.

Another quick note:

Food Chopper Love

I totally ❤ my Zyliss food chopper!  Obviously, the one pictured is not the same as the one in the link.  That’s because I shop thrift stores for bargains and I got mine for $2.99 still in the box, never used.  It was probably a wedding gift.  Silly bride!  Your folly is my joy!

I couldn’t do half of the cooking I do without it.  Being disabled is a major pain in the tookus and the latest in my list of diagnoses includes Carpal Tunnel.  What fun.  What joy.  Oh rapture.  So the doc says, “Use a brace but it probably won’t do any good so schedule surgery.”  Chopping with one of my crappy kitchen knives?  Not happenin’.  Beating on the big springy button?  Hells yeah!

So anyway, onward!

Pre Mixing

Before mixing.

Mixed

After mixing.  Here’s a tip:  Use those gloves!  Vinyl or Nitrile gloves are great for mixing mushy stuff that needs to be mixed thoroughly!

There are a lot of ways to shape these little buggers and from what I can see, the shape determines what they’re called.  I’m calling them Gyoza because that’s what I’m used to seeing on packages.  Your mileage may vary.

Finger Tangling Way:

Pre Hard Way

Looks easy, yes?  Dampen the edge with water on your finger.  Plop on the filling.

Mid Hard Way

Fold in half and seal edges together.  Feel free to form it a bit to the filling.  I did that after I took the pic.

Done!

Bring the corners around and “glue” them together with a bit of water.  Flip up the top corner and Poof!  You have a wonton.

Easy Cheaty Way:  Use a dumpling/gyoza press and a cookie dough scoop. (Amazon links because it’s easy and writing this is taking too bloody long and my local cooking store doesn’t have a web site.)

Pre fold

Anyway, I’ve got about 6 of these things in sizes from an open diameter equal to that of a silver dollar to slightly larger than a standard salad plate.  ALL of them purchased at my local Value Village for under $1 each!  Why?  Because people get them as gifts, don’t want to figure out what they can be used to make or take the time to make whatever it is (see my intimidation above) and they donate them to charity.

Moisten the edges with a finger wet with water.  Drop a ball of filling in the middle and close it firmly so the edges stick together and you get:

Post Fold

Yes, my press is round.  No, my wrappers aren’t.  It’s what I had and it doesn’t change the flavor one whit.

Repeat.  A lot.

Tray

By the time I was done with a single package of the skins I had three trays of spread out Gyoza to freeze.  Don’t be me.  Don’t layer them like this.  They stick together and deform when you go to spread them out to freeze individually.

Because I only had the one package of skins and three pounds plus of filling, I froze the remaining filling for the next time I buy skins.  Multiple packages.  Round ones.

Gyoza

  • 5 cups Bok Choy, finely shredded and finely chopped
  •  3 pounds plain ground pork
  • 2 t salt
  • 3 eggs
  • Ginger (to taste)
  • 5 T soy (I use Yamasa because it has no MSG)
  • 12 small green onions, very finely diced
  • ½ t toasted sesame oil
  • 3 T tapioca starch (you can use corn starch if you wish)
  • 6 T Maderia or Dry Sherry
  • 1 ½ – 2 t granulate garlic
  • 1 T rice wine vinegar
  • Packages of Gyoza/wonton/potsticker wraps
  1. Before you start making the gyoza, get out as many cookie pans as you think you’ll need then get one or two more.  Line each pan with foil and spray lightly with non-stick veggie oil spray, or smear with veggie oil using a gloved hand.
  2. Throw all of the ingredients into a bowl (except the wraps) and smoosh it up with your gloved hands.  Your hands will get cold.  Tough it out, or warm them up, gloves still on, under your warm water tap.  Just don’t touch the faucet and make sure you scrub that sink when you’re done cooking since you’re getting raw meat in it.
  3. Fill the wraps and fold as you choose and put them on the trays so they don’t touch.
  4. Freeze the trays until the gyoza are solid then bag them up in zipper bags, write the date on the bag, and toss in the freezer for future use.
  5. There are a variety of ways to cook them.  We put them in our fryer heating the oil to 375 degrees and cooking for about 5 minutes (frozen).  You can also heat maybe a tablespoon of veggie or olive oil in a skillet and set the gyoza in the oil after they’ve been thawed.  After they’ve browned a bit, pour a half cup of water into the pan and cover tightly until they’ve steamed to doneness.
At some point I’ll make the dipping sauce and post that recipe.  😀
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