Goodness Gracious: Gyoza!

September 30, 2005



Caryn and Winnie sit on pillows on the floor around the coffee table. Armed with a fancy set of chopsticks, each girl is devouring her own plate of tender dumplings stuffed as full as they can get.


I never understand why people take the time to make perfect pleats on these things. Who looks at the pleats?


No time to examine them on the way to my mouth.

Caryn dips the last dumpling in the dark sauce and finishes it off. Winnie sets down her chopsticks.


Still no sign of him?


No. I’m getting bored. Maybe it’s time to look for another job.

Winnie laughs.


There’s no pleasing you, is there? Either you’re overworked and wanting to quit, or you’re bored…and wanting to quit. I can’t keep up.

Caryn starts to clear the table.


All I know is that celebrities are weird. Who can keep up with them?

She plops her hands on her hips.


Maybe I’ll go to law school and become a lawyer like you. That seems interesting.

Winnie snickers at the thought.


Enough shop talk.

She gets up and follows Caryn into the kitchen.


Got any mochi?

Gyoza (Pot Stickers)

This is a fairly traditional recipe for gyoza. You can substitute half the pork with an equal amount of minced, raw shrimp. Or chicken. Or use all vegetables. The mix is easy. The folding and pleating is the labor-intensive part.

5 oz. Napa cabbage, finely shredded

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 lb. ground pork

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp. fresh ginger, minced

2 green onions, green and white parts, chopped

2 tsp. cornstarch

1 TB. soy sauce

2 tsp. rice wine

1 TB. sesame oil

40 round gyoza skins

4 TB. vegetable oil, divided

1 cup chicken stock, divided

Dipping sauce:

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup rice vinegar

splash of sesame oil

1. Salt cabbage in a collander over a large bowl. Toss to combine. Set aside for 20 minutes.

2. Combine pork through sesame oil with hands in a large bowl. Squeeze excess water from cabbage. Add cabbage to pork mixture and stir until well-combined.

3. Place a rounded teaspoon of pork mixture in the center of the gyoza skin. Wet the edges of the skin with water on your fingertip. Fold in half to form a semi-circle. Make pleats along the edges, squeezing tight to seal and tapping the bottom on the work surface to flatten. Set aside and repeat with remaining skins.

4. Heat 1 TB. of oil in wok or large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Place about ten gyozas in wok and pan fry until bottoms are golden brown, about 2 minutes.

5. Pour 1/4 cup stock into wok and cover with lid to steam gyozas until cooked through, about 4 minutes. Remove from wok and set aside.

6. Heat another TB. of oil in wok. Repeat process with another ten dumplings until all are cooked. Serve hot with dipping sauce.

16 thoughts on “Goodness Gracious: Gyoza!

  1. leannwoo

    OMG, Caryn, you put up a recipe I have been looking for! Thank you! It sounds perfect! Now with the dipping sauce, does the sesame oil give it a little spice? I have had some dipping sauce that was nice and spicy.

  2. caryn

    Rainey, there’s a great dumpling house in San Gabriel that is wonderful! I wish I could remember the name. I love watching the guys there make the dumplings. My next quest is to learn how to make my own wrappers.

    Leanwoo, no, the sesame oil doesn’t spice it up. Use chili oil instead for a little kick. I’ve also used fresh, minced thai chilis to pack a little heat.

  3. Dawna

    Beautiful, Caryn! I love making gyoza – after you’ve made enough of them, you can do the folding and pleating almost mechanically while your mind wanders, I find. They also freeze beautifully – you just reverse the order of steaming and pan-frying. Oh, I think I know what I’m having for dinner tonight…

  4. matthew

    Caryn, I think you’re thinking of Din Tai Fung dumpling house. It is delicious, but that Taiwanese joint is unlikely to call its treats gyoza, which I believe is a Japanese term. Be sure to visit with your best-looking friend.

  5. steph

    Hi Caryn, I liked the pictures of the food. They looked yummy. I wish that i could have some of it. Was it good? I bet it was.


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