Gyoza, pork dumplings, pot stickers, what ever you call them, they’re an Asian take-out staple made easily and deliciously at home, filled with ginger, garlic, and fragrant sesame oil then steamed and fried. Grab a partner, grab some pork, and get to pleating, you’ll never need that Chinese take-out menu again.
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Last week, before going to the farmers’ market, my husband asked if I could make gyoza. And for my honey, I can make anything. Thankfully the big farmers’ markets in Atlanta are international ones and they carry anything from sashimi-grade fresh fish and umeboshi to local farmers’ cattle, pork, and poultry butchery, fresh baked goods, and produce from around the world. And whole sharks, but I haven’t been so adventurous haha.
Gyoza is something we love, even our son Greyson loves them (and he’s a terribly picky toddler) but they’re $5 for about 8 of them which isn’t economically sound for me, but with the time spent making and pleating them, I understand. The most tedious part about this recipe is the pleating of each little dumpling.
When it comes to the recipe, this is pretty traditional: napa cabbage, ground pork, garlic, ginger, etc. You can add whatever you’d like to the gyoza like shrimp, ground chicken or turkey, leeks, mushrooms, beef, the options are endless. Really, I’ve seen pizza pot stickers. It’s endless.
Alright, first get out your napa cabbage, use about 3-5 leaves. You can use the white part, the frilly green part, both, it doesn’t matter. Chop it nice and fine.
In a bowl, toss in your cabbage and sprinkle about 1/2 tsp kosher salt over it and wait for 20 minutes. This will get the excess water out of the cabbage. When time is up, squeeze the cabbage in a cheesecloth or sturdy paper towel to completely rid the cabbage of excess water, otherwise the dumplings will be soggy.
Mix your filling: the ground pork, cabbage, minced garlic, green onion, ginger, soy sauce, salt, sugar, sesame oil, all of it.
Mix it very well with your hands or with forks or spoons.
With your wrappers, keep them under a damp paper towel so they don’t dry out. Keep a little bowl of water near by to dip your (clean!) finger into to wet the edge of the wrappers. Scoop (i used a 1/2 tbsp measure) your pork mixture into the center of the wrapper. You don’t want it to be too big, since you still have to close and pleat your wrappers, so keep that in mind.
Fold the wrapper in half, and begin pleating. They don’t have to be that attractive, so long as they taste good. Nobody will really notice, promise. Just pleat one side of the wrapper, the other side will be flat.
Now you will have about 45 or so gyoza just waiting to be steamed and fried. Some people fry then steam, I steam then fry. It’s just a preference, but steaming then frying 1) makes sure you don’t have to use the lid as a shield when you pour water into hot oil and 2) the fried part of the gyoza remains crispy and delicious. Fry and steam with pleat side up.
Then serve them up on the cabbage leaves (they don’t stick to the dumplings) and eat with an easy chili dipping sauce made with some soy sauce, a little brown sugar, chili flakes, sesame oil, and green onion. Just mix up a little bit of each (about 3 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp brown sugar, 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes and green onion, and 1/2 tsp oil).
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- 40-50 pot sticker wrappers
- 3-4 leaves napa cabbage, finely diced
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 lb ground pork
- 3 tsp freshly grated ginger
- 4 cloves garlic, pressed (minced finely)
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp green onion, chopped into small pieces
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 3 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tbsp light brown sugar
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 green onion, chopped
- In a small bowl, pour 1/2 tsp salt over diced cabbage and let sit for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, drain bowl of water and use cheesecloth or sturdy paper towel to squeeze out excess water.
- In a medium bowl, mix the pork, cabbage, ginger, garlic, 1 tsp sesame oil, salt, sugar, and green onions with clean hands or fork and spoon. Mix until well combined.
- Keep wrappers on a clean, dry surface with a damp towel over them. Have a small bowl of water to dip your finger in. Take one wrapper and scoop 1/2 tbsp pork mixture onto the wrapper. Wet the edges of the wrapper with your finger and the water from the bowl.
- Fold the wrapper in half and begin pleating. Starting at the side or middle is fine.Pleat only one side of the wrapper, then press onto the other side to seal.
- In a nonstick skillet on medium high heat, place the dumplings pleat-side up in a circle, making sure none touch so they don't stick together. Pour in the 1/3 cup water and place a tight fitting lid on the skillet. Let steam for 2-3 minutes. The dumplings should be a little translucent. Leave lid off.
- Pour in the 2 tbsp sesame oil and cook until the bottoms of the gyoza are nicely browned, about 2 minutes.
- Serve immediately with sauce on the side.
Sweet and Spicy Sauce
- In a small bowl whisk together soy sauce, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, sesame oil. and green onions.
These freeze very well, just freeze on a sheet in one layer right after pleating them (uncooked) then put into a freezer safe bag. When you want to eat some, just take out the desired amount and immediately place into your nonstick pan and cook them as instructed. No need to thaw, that will make them soggy.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 17
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Eden Westbrook is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Sweet Tea and Thyme. A classically trained chef, Eden has inspired home cooks into the kitchen with cultural comfort foods, easy family-friendly eats and sweets, and glorious spreads for date night and entertaining since 2015.