A Taste of Japan: How to Make Gyoza

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I’ll never forget the summer I spent in Japan. I was 19, working as a day camp counselor on an American military base and had the entire beautiful, mysterious and eccentric country at my fingertips. Everything about Japan, from the culture, to the food and history struck a chord with me, and I still think about it almost every day.

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I came back from that summer abroad with many memories, new experiences and stories to share…as well as 8 extra pounds on my body! 8 pounds on a 5’2 person is…a lot. I looked like a little marshmallow! 8O

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Several things contributed to my weight gain that summer. The worst offenders, not surprisingly, being the most delicious. ;) Yoshinoya Beef Bowls, Chu-Hi, Tokyo Style Ramen Noodles

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And Gyoza. Tons and TONS of chewy, savory, incredible Gyoza!

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(source)

Commonly called “pot stickers” in Chinese cuisine, Gyoza typically consist of ground meat and vegetables which are crimped and sealed in a dough that is much thinner than pot stickers. In Japan, they’re usually served in “rows” of five and have a thin, chewy outside with a crispy, crunchy bottom. Aka, they’re one of the best things on earth.

Japan was on my mind nearly every day after I left – Gyoza’s included – and I knew that recreating them at home would not only satisfy my cravings, but it would also take me back, if only for a little while, to the best summer of my life. After some searching and testing, this is the closest thing I’ve found to replicating the enticing Gyoza that I enjoyed so much during those unforgettable months in Japan.

Japanese Pork Gyoza

Print this recipe!

Makes 30 gyoza

Ingredients:

1 cup cabbage (or coleslaw mix)

1 egg

1 Tablespoon soy sauce

2 green onions, sliced

2/3 lb pork (could use ground turkey or chicken)

30 wonton wrappers

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Directions:

1. If coleslaw shreds are longer than 1/2 inch, chop them up with a knife or kitchen scissors.

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2. Whisk egg and soy sauce, then add with the green onion to the cabbage. Stir to combine. Add pork and incorporate with hands.

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3. Open wonton package and cover with a wet paper towel that has been wrung out, so they will not become dry and hard.

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4. Working in batches, lay wonton wrappers on a clean, dry surface and spoon 1 tablespoon of pork filling into the middle of the wrappers.

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(a cookie scooper works really well!)

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5. Using your finger and some water, wet two sides of the wonton wrappers.

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6. Fold the wrapper over and press down firmly to seal, making sure to press out any excess air from around the filling.

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7. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper and lightly press the Gyoza down, creating a flat bottom so they stand up straight.

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At this point, you can either freeze the Gyoza on the cookie sheet and transfer to a freezer bag once frozen through, or move forward with cooking them!

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Cooking Gyoza

1. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat.

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2. Line the Gyoza up in the pan, making sure not to crowd them, and pan-fry for 2-3 minutes or until the bottoms are crisp and golden brown.

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3. Add 1/3 cup water to the skillet and immediately place a lid on top. Steam for 2-3 minutes, or until the wrapper becomes transparent.

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4. Remove the lid and allow the remaining water to evaporate and the bottoms to crisp back up. Shake the pan occasionally, or use a spatula, to make sure they are not sticking to the bottom of the skillet.

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Enjoy with your favorite dipping sauce!

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One taste of these Gyoza instantly takes me back to a tiny table in a crowded little Japanese restaurant. It makes my heart ache!

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The chewy wrapper, crunchy bottom and salty filling are indescribable. It’s more than an appetizer, eating these is an experience!

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I prefer to dip my Gyoza in plain soy sauce. Simple is best, I think, so you can really taste the filling. It’s only made up of 5 ingredients, but they all work together so incredibly well!

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Make this recipe – nay, double it! You’ll want a stash of these to eat whenever you feel like it. They cook the same straight out of the freezer as they do fresh. How convenient is that?!

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Until I make my way back to the country that has me so smitten, these will absolutely do – while they last. They certainly go fast! :D

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Enjoy!

~~~~~

Have you ever been somewhere, or gone through an experience, that changed your life?

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Comments

  1. Lo 03.07.2010

    Man, goyza is awesome. You make it look so easy to make. I’m not a cook, but I think I might have to try that!

  2. Oh i love gyoza, and most dumplings for that matter… i love the filling recipe on yours!
    I went to Spain when i was 18. Then I went to college to be a Spanish teacher, so I’d say yeah, that changed my life…

  3. I have yet to go somewhere that has changed my life! I’ve had life changing moments… I know that for sure!

  4. megan 03.07.2010

    Hi! i always read your fun blogs…and me being a gyoza lover had to leave a comment about the gyoza. If you try and add some sesame oil to the mix…o m g its TDF! anyways keep doing what ur doing and godbless!

  5. Evan Thomas 03.07.2010

    Those look so tasty! The best ones I’ve found are from trader joe’s; I bet yours are better
    When i was in 8th grade, we went on a 10-day trip to costa rica for community service. The trip started off with a 9 mile hike through the rainforest–it was unreal

  6. That looks so simple and Gyoza is one of my favorite things from the Japanese restaurant.

    I am entralled with Spain since I studied abroad. I make food with those influences as often as possible.

  7. Holy YUM!
    Amazing recipe, Kristin!
    Oh, and I loved to know you´re 5’2… I´m like 5’1 and a half, and I always thought I would never find someone that tiny!
    Short girls rule! Haha ;)
    Have an amazing week, girlie!
    Brazilian XOXO´s,
    Gabriela

  8. Kristin 03.07.2010

    I studied abroad in London in fall 2006 and am still OBSESSED with all things UK and England. I also spent summer 2007 taking classes in Santa Barbara, CA, and am also OBSESSED with that town and with southern California in general. If those two places weren’t so flippin’ expensive… I’d move from Iowa right now. :)

  9. Kelly 03.07.2010

    Oh man I love Gyoza but I can’t eat the meat inside most of them. I’m wondering now if I could create my own at home and put chicken or turkey inside…hmm. I’d love to go to Japan someday.

    I think all the places I have traveled have changed my life is so way truthfully. That’s why I love travel so much.

  10. I’m always a little scared to try new foods… BUT when try to make something new at home or see how and what it made off I’m more likely to try it.
    I totally think seeing how Gyoza are made and what goes into them makes me want to have one. YUM !! Thanks for sharing that.

    I spend 2 weeks in Paris when I was 22 with my Godmother, it was a great experience!!

  11. Bridget 03.07.2010

    We are fellow Camp Adventure alumni!!! My husband and I met on the plane to Tokyo in 1994 and were counselors on Fussa AFB–that trip totally changed my life. We’ll celebrate our 13 year anniversary this June. I loved everything about our summer in Japan and we tried lots of different cuisine. One of our favorite things was to walk through the local grocery stores. Did you climb Mt. Fuji? We did and it was amazing. Our kids love looking through our photo albums from that summer. I’m rambling now, sorry! This post puts a smile on my face. :)

    I look forward to trying this recipe!

  12. Lee 03.07.2010

    I don’t know how authentic it is, but Trader Joe’s has good Gyoza.

  13. My boyfriend’s favorite food is gyoza….I’m gonna have to try this out!!

  14. Carrie 03.07.2010

    Traveling abroad the first time (Borneo) was a life changing experience that since then, I’m always looking for ways to get out of the country and go somewhere new. This spring will be my third trip to Europe. :-) Can’t wait!

  15. Funny! I had gyoza for lunch. I can find these low fat chicken and veggie ones at my local supermarket.

    And to answer your question – I lived and studied in Paris on to separate occasions. I often like to say that those are the good old days you always hear about. Seriously the time of my life! I will always remember the moments I lived, the people I met, and the things I saw. I’ll even remember the elderly American gentleman who told me before I went that he hoped Paris was as magical for me as it had been for him
    immediately following the war.

    And on that note, I think I’ll go dream of my happy place! 

  16. Wow that all looks so amazing!! Though haha, on the direction that said ‘work in batches’, I misread it as ‘work in BROTHELS’ the 1st time round (it’s early in the AM….!!) – I was like, eh!!??
    I’m yet to have a big life changing experience..but I can’t wait for when I do :)

  17. Jessie 03.08.2010

    I love gyoza but I have never considered making it on my own. It was really funny to see your post because as I was reading how to make it home made I was putting some TJ’s chicken pot stickers in a skillet to cook for dinner.

  18. Those look amazing! I don’t think I’ve ever had gyoza before, though. I’ll have to try making these sometime.

    How do you get your won ton wrappers so secure? I had tried making your squash ravioli, and while they worked, I had a hard time keeping the filling inside the ravioli! Is there a secret? I’m wetting down the sides and making sure there isn’t too much filling, but it doesn’t seem to work!

    K

  19. I love goyza!! Yours look great, I need to make soon!

  20. Priscilla Y 03.10.2010

    This looks phenomenal! It seems easier than I would have expected for such a tasty treat!

    Thank you for posting :)

  21. Melissa S. 03.12.2010

    wow, those gyoza look amazing!!! i’ve got a head of cabbage I’ve been needing to use and have been wanting to make these things! your tutorial is great! i can’t wait to try!

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  25. Darcy 05.19.2010

    I have been buying these in bulk from sams for years, now I am going to make them fresh and save tons of money!! Thanks IGE!

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  27. Brittany 06.09.2010

    I just made these like an hour ago. They tasted great! Everyone loved them and they where pretty easy to make. :) I like you’re blog a lot!

  28. Filomena Fesh 06.17.2010

    This is a very good introduction from the highly professionals. .I enjoyed every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post. Highly informative and thanks for posting. Regards

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    Nice blog,your blog is very interesting and I will link it

  31. happyliz 01.14.2011

    Camp Adventure Alum here too! I did Camp in Japan 4 different times! I totally understand exactly what you are talking about! Thanks for this recipe. I tried gyoza in Japan for the first time and LOVED them. I live in Kuwait now (I teach elementary school) and they don’t allow pork here so I will just have to wait until I return home to make these!

  32. My husband and I currently live in Japan. You are right–gyoza is one of the best things about living here and I will dearly miss it when we move back home. We go to a little Mom and Pop place every week and they make THE BEST GYOZA I have ever tried. If a restaurant offers gyoza I always order it, but nothing has compared. It’s the best.

  33. Sarah 04.25.2011

    I’ve been thinking about making these for a potluck. I have a pound of chicken thighs in the freezer that I’m dying to make something with. I’m wondering if I could just grind up raw pieces to make my own “ground chicken” — I wonder if it would work out well!

    • Sarah 04.27.2011

      These were great. I made them with pork. They’re so good I’m going to make another batch in a few days for myself and freeze them.

  34. Sarah 04.25.2011

    Also — you have GOT to try the ones from Trader Joe’s! There’s 200 calories in 7 of them, but I normally only eat 2-3. They seem to last me forever for only $3.50-$4.00 and they’re the best I’ve tried frozen!

  35. […] a lot more romantic than it would actually be, at first anyways, but yes I’d totally do it. Living in Japan for a summer in college definitely gave me the bug, but I think if I ever did it again (well, aside […]

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  37. […] you’re not working with them so they don’t dry out. Use the remaining wrappers to make this, this, or these (OMG) or freeze for another […]

  38. Stefan 07.11.2012

    I made these by your recipe. They were amazing. Thank you so much.

    I made a dipping sauce that tasted really good and i thought you might want to give it a try. I was serving six people and this was plenty. they had about four each

    1/3 cup of soy sauce
    1/3 cup of rice vinegar
    about a teaspoon of sesame oil
    and a tablespoon of raw cane sugar

    heated in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves

    delicious

  39. karlitops 08.14.2012

    This is so tasty and so easy to make! My husband loved it!

  40. Chantal 08.25.2012

    I just made these for supper. Oh My God!!! Soooo delicious. And overall pretty healthy compared to store bought or restaurant versions. I made a sauce like the lady above suggested, with rice vinegar, soya sauce, and a little sesame oil. Perfect! Totally satisfied my intense gyoza craving and the best part is that I have about 50 more in the freezer for another time! I never would have thought I could make something like this myself. Love your recipes, especially the ethnic inspired ones. Thank you!

  41. Karla 09.20.2012

    I just started reading your blog and I’m loving it!! These look soooo good and I’m definitely going to try making them … I feel concerned about that pork cooking so quickly, but it seems like no one has had a problem with it, so it must be fine!

  42. September 10.07.2013

    I made these this weekend and they were awesome! Thanks from Canada

  43. Kelly 11.30.2013

    This is my first time visit at here and i am genuinely pleassant to read everthing at single
    place.

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