Vegetable gyoza (Japanese dumplings)

Knowing that I can enjoy an unlimited amount of these gorgeous dumplings without having to eat out, or pay hiked up prices at restaurants is music to my ears. Gyoza may seem complicated to make from scratch but is actually quite a simple step-by-step process. Filling and folding of the dumplings may take a bit of time but, it can be a fun activity if done with family or friends! For me, food made from scratch tastes way better, so I think its definitely worth giving it a try.

(Scroll down for full recipe)

Why is boiling water used?

Using boiling water scalds/cooks the flour. This process gelatinises the starch, increasing the elasticity and the smoothness of the dough. Scalded flour can also be used when making bread, and is known to provide a softer texture. East Asian cuisine is widely known for the use of this method in a variety of dishes including the gyoza.

Corn flour vs Wheat flour

Cornflour contains a higher amount of fat which is responsible for the soft texture it provides. When rolling out the dough, I recommend dusting the work surface and rolling pin with cornflour rather than wheat flour. This is because if the cornflour does combine with the mixture, it will not alter the texture.

Fillings

Gyozas can be filled with a variety of fillings to suit all taste buds. I used a mixture of vegetables I believed would provide a good balance between texture and flavour. Also bearing in mind not to use vegetables that could turn mushy when cooked (e.g. potatoes), as this would clash with the soft and chewy texture of the gyoza dough. If you do not have any of the vegetables listed in the ingredients below, feel free to substitute or leave out specific veggies.

Tip: Why not add chicken mince to the filling, or soya mince if you are veggie/vegan.

These gyozas will be fried and then steamed, giving them a crispy bottom and a soft, chewy texture capturing the best of both worlds. When cooked serve the gyoza with soy sauce and chilli flakes or with a sweet chilli sauce.

Makes: (approx.) 15-20 Gyoza

Preparation: 45 minutes

Cooking: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

For the dough:
  • 150g Plain flour
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 100ml Boiling water
  • Corn flour (for rolling)
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable oil (for frying)
for the filling:
  • 3 tbsp Sesame oil
  • 1 White onion
  • 2 Cloves garlic
  • 1 Red chilli
  • 1/2 tsp Fresh grated ginger
  • 1/2 Small white cabbage
  • 1 Carrot
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1 Bell pepper
  • 4 Button mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp Soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Chinese five spice
  • 1/2 tsp Ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp Paprika

Method:

Making the Dough
  1. Firstly, sift the plain flour into a medium-sized bowl, then add the salt and the boiling water, and bring together using a spoon.
  2. Once the mixture has slightly cooled use your hands to bring the dough together.
  3. Roll the dough into a ball shape, cover with clingfilm and rest for 30 minutes.
Making the Filling
  1. Meanwhile, for the filling, finely dice the onion, bell pepper, button, mushrooms and red chilli. Thinly slice the spring onions, shred the cabbage and coarsely grate the carrot.
  2. Heat the sesame oil in a medium-sized pan and fry the onion on a medium-high heat until translucent, then add in the garlic, ginger and chilli then fry for 2 minutes.
  3. Add in the bell pepper and mushrooms then fry for a further 5 minutes.
  4. Next, add in the cabbage, spring onions, grated carrot, soy sauce, salt and the spices, then fry for 8 more minutes until the cabbage is cooked through.
  5. Place the vegetable mixture into a shallow container and set aside to cool.
Assembling the gyoza
  1. Uncover the dough and knead for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  2. Then cut into two equally sized pieces. Dust a surface with cornflour and begin rolling out the dough while stretching and turning (use as much cornflour as you need to prevent the dough from sticking to the surface). Roll out the dough as thin as you can (approx 2mm).
  3. Cut disks from the dough using an 8cm circle cutter (if you don’t have a cutter, you can use a plastic cup). Repeat the rolling and cutting process until all the dough has been used up.
  4. To assemble the gyoza, hold one disk of dough in the palm of your hand and spoon in 3/4 tsp of the vegetable filling. Using your fingertip wet the edges of half of the circle and seal the gyoza, pinching the edges to create a fan effect.
  5. Then place on to a plate dusted with cornflour or lined with grease-proof. Repeat this step until all of the dough and filling are used up.
Cooking
  1. To cook the gyoza, add 2 tbsp of vegetable oil to a large pan, arrange the gyoza in the pan leaving a small space between them (so that they do not stick together). Fry them over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes until the gyoza bases are crispy and golden.
  2. Then carefully add 40ml of water to the pan and cover with the lid. Steam for 3 minutes, gently giving the pan a few shakes to ensure the gyoza are not stuck to the pan.
  3. Finally, remove from the pan and serve with soy sauce and chilli flake dip.

 

 

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