Yesterday I was sitting on the bus on the way home craving Japanese food. So I decided to make gyoza.
There is something exceedingly satisfying about eating dumplings. Chopsticks in position, chasing your slippery target around the plate, you finally get a firm grip. The tension is palpable. Quivering, you dunk it into the dipping sauce and begin the treacherous journey from bowl to belly, your mouth wide open in anticipation. You make it this time but it could just have easily made a bid for freedom in the bowl of dipping sauce or plopped smugly into your lap. Eating gyoza for those with less-than-perfect chopstick skills is a labour of love. But what a treat (and if all else fails, you can use your fingers…)!
Juicy little steamed envelopes coated in slick sauce and packed with sweet prawns, pork, coriander and chilli. They are both comforting and exotic, like a hug from a Japanese grandma (I imagine).
You can buy gyoza wrappers but making the dough is an absolute cinch and totally worth the effort. Get involved.
Pork & prawn gyoza
Makes 35-40 dumplings
For the dough:
– 300g plain flour (plus extra for dusting), sifted
– approximately 200ml boiling water
For the filling:
– 350g minced pork
– 200g raw prawns, shelled and de-veined, chopped
– 6 spring onions, finely chopped
– handful of coriander, finely chopped (leaves and stalks)
– 2 birdseye chillis (or equivalent), finely chopped
– large knob fresh ginger, peeled and grated
– 2 tablespoons soy sauce
– juice 1/2 lemon
– 1 tablespoon sesame oil
– salt and pepper
For the dipping sauce:
– soy sauce
– lemon juice
– sesame oil
– 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
– glass boiling water
For the dough, put the flour in a bowl and pour in the boiling water, mixing as you go, until the dough forms a rough ball. If the dough is a little dry, add a splash more water; if it is too tacky, add a spoonful of flour. Tip: I used the dough attachment of my food mixer but you could mix with a fork. Don’t use your hands though – you will burn yourself!
Knead for a few minutes until soft and elastic, and place in bowl. Cover with clingfilm and allow to rest for between 15 minutes and an hour. Tip: Resting makes the dough easier to roll out so try to leave time for this if you can.
For the filling, mix all the ingredients together with your hands. Set aside to chill until needed.
When the dough has rested, knead briefly and roll out onto a floured surface. The thinner the dough, the finer the result so you’re aiming for just a couple of millimetres thick if possible. Cut out 10cm rounds with a cookie cutter. Tip: If you stack the circles, flour lightly to avoid sticking!
To assemble, put just over a heaped teaspoon of filling into the centre of each round. Fold in half and seal the edges, crimping as you go, so that they resemble tiny Cornish pasties.
Heat the oil in a large pan on a high heat. Add the gyoza and fry for a couple of minutes until the bottoms are browned and crisp. Pour in a glass of boiling water and steam with the lid on for about 6 minutes, until the filling is cooked through. Tip: Check the pan after about 4 minutes – add more water if necessary. Remove the lid and cook for a further minute or two.
For the dipping sauce, mix the ingredients to taste. Tip: I use approximately 2 parts soy sauce to 1 part lemon juice and sesame oil.
Serve immediately with the dipping sauce (and chopsticks if you dare!).
Source: Recipe and photos by pip & little blue.