Growing up, my mom would find a food that my little brother and I liked for dinner and then make it over and over. She did this with mashed potatoes, chicken pot pie and mostly, frozen potstickers. She would grab a bag out of the freezer and pop them into a hot steamer, simply serving them with soy sauce. The pork and vegetable ones were always a hit until we finally burned out.
About two years ago, I took a dumpling making class at the Pantry at Delancey, a beautiful kitchen space home to various cooking classes. My dad and I took on the daunting task of learning how to construct two different kinds of dough and 4 different kinds of dumplings.
I recently reverted back to the recipe we used for pork and shrimp gyoza. It had been so long that the directions (which weren’t comprehensive) no longer made sense. The gyoza turned out marvelously regardless, but I’m not sure I’m enough of an expert to try and explain how I managed to make the wrappers myself. Instead, here is the recipe for the filling and use store-bought wonton wrappers or your own dough recipe.
The amount of ingredients may be alarming. If you want to make this more simply, skip the additional sauce and dip them in soy sauce instead.
Makes about 25 dumplings/Adapted from the Pantry at Delancey
For the filling
- 2 cups lightly packed, finely chopped Napa cabbage, leaves only and stems removed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt plus 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cloves garlic, minced finely
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1/4 cup chopped chives
- 6 ounces ground pork with fat
- 1/3 pound medium shrimp, shelled, deveined and chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sake
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
For the dipping sauce
- 2 tablespoons mirin (sweet rice wine)
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons bonito flakes
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, or more to taste
To make the filling
Combine the cabbage and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a bowl for about 15 minutes. This process is necessary to draw all the moisture from the cabbage. Drain in a mesh strainer and then rinse with water. Transfer the cabbage to a cheese cloth (or fine dishtowel) and wring out the moisture over the sink.
In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, shrimp, chives, garlic and ginger. Mix well with a fork or pair of chopsticks.
Next, make the seasoning. In a mixing bowl, combine and stir the salt, pepper, soy sauce, sake and sesame oil.
Pour the seasoning over the pork and cabbage, then stir the ingredients together until well incorporated. Set aside in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
If you are using round wonton wrappers, simply fill them with about 1 tablespoon of the filling. Dab the top edge with a tiny bit of water. Then, fold the bottom onto the top and crimp the edges. If there are air pockets, get them out. It’s harder to explain how to do this than to actually do it.
To cook them, heat up the oil in a skillet or stir fry pan over medium heat. Arrange the gyoza and cover with a lid. Pan fry the gyoza until the bottoms are golden brown and become crispy.
Add about 1/4 inch of water into the skillet and cover with a lid immediately. The water should evaporate after a few minutes. Continue to cook the gyoza a couple more minutes to recrisp the bottoms. Cut into one to make sure the filling has cooked through.
An alternate way to cook them is to steam them.
For the sauce
Combine the mirin, vinegar, soy sauce and bonito flakes in a saucepan over and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat, strain out the bonito flakes over a bowl, and add the lime juice.