Chinese pot stickers / gyoza

These are easy to make if you buy the wrappers, and they freeze well. Cooking directions and a dipping sauce recipe are below.

1 lb ground pork
1/2 lb nappa cabbage
2 TB Shoaxing rice wine or dry sherry
2 tsp sesame oil
4 scallions, white and most of the green, finely minced
1 tsp ground white pepper
1-1/2 tsp salt
2 packages gyoza wrappers*

Blanch the cabbage leaves in boiling water for about a minute. Drain and refresh with cold water. Using your hand, squeeze out as much of the water as you can and chop finely. Put in a large bowl.

Add 1/4 of the pork (still raw) to chopped cabbage along with the salt, pepper, scallions, sesame oil, and 1 TB of the wine.

Cook the remaining pork in a wok or fry pan until separated and just cooked through, adding the remaining 1 TB wine and 1/2 tsp salt during the cooking. Let cool a bit and add to the bowl and mix well.

In 2 batches, put the mixture in a food processor and zap once or twice, for no longer than a couple of seconds total. The ensures the mixture is well blended and gives it a slightly finer texture. You do not want to puree it or even come close.

Place a wrapper on a flat surface and put a spoonful of mixture in the center (the “teaspoon” that you typically use for tea or coffee). Do not overfill – you’ll get a feel for the amount of filling to use after making a few. With a wet finger, moisten the edge of the wrapper 1/2 of the way around then fold it in half and press the edges together. Try not to trap air inside. As you make the gyoza, place them on a wax paper-lined cookie sheet, not touching each other. Place in the freezer, uncovered, to freeze and then transfer to zip-loc bags for storage.

* Available frozen in all oriental groceries. These are thin disks of dough about 2-1/2 inches across, about 50 to a package. You can use wonton wrappers, but they are thicker and not, IMO, as good. Thaw overnight in the fridge before use.

Cooking

These can be simmered or steamed, but IMO the best way is to combine simmering and sautéing so each gyoza will have a slightly crispy bottom. You need a non-stick frypan big enough to hold the gyoza in one layer.

Put a bit of vegetable oil in the pan, just a thin layer. Add the frozen gyoza and distribute evenly. Then add enough water to partially cover the gyoza — about half-covered. Put over medium heat, bring to a gentle boil, cover the pan, and cook until the water is almost all gone, shaking the pan occasionally. Remove the cover and cook until the water is all gone and the gyoza start to sizzle. Cook for another few minutes until the bottom is nicely browned.

Dipping sauce

There are endless variations on this, and I encourage you to experiment.

The basic sauce is fine as it is. Mix together:

1/2 c soy sauce (Kikkoman’s is excellent)
1 tsp roasted sesame oil
1/2 to 1 tsp hot pepper flakes in oil, depending on your taste

You can also embellish the basic sauce with one or more of the following:

1 TB finely chopped scallions
1 tsp grated ginger
1 small clove garlic put thru a press
1 TB rice vinegar

Explore posts in the same categories: Ethnic, Miscellaneous, Starters

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