You’ve probably tried an order of gyoza at a local Japanese or sushi spot, but have never dared to make them at home. These guys are the perfect appetizer to serve if you’re entertaining, or you can even invite friends over and have a dumpling party! After you combine ingredients to create a flavorful filling, it’s time to start folding your gyoza. Don’t get overwhelmed if your first few don’t turn out so well, you’ll get in a rhythm eventually. Pro tip: the less filling you use, the easier the gyoza are to fold. Start small and build up your gyoza folding skills – you’ll be a dumpling expert in no time!
For the Gyoza
- ½ head Napa cabbage (about 1 lb), finely shredded
- 1 Tbsp kosher salt, divided
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1-inch hunk fresh ginger, minced
- 3 scallions, minced
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 package round dumpling wrappers
For the Sauce
- ½ cup rice vinegar
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- Place the cabbage and 2 teaspoons salt in a large bowl and toss to combine. Transfer cabbage to a fine mesh strainer and set it over the bowl. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes in order to draw out excess moisture in the cabbage.
- Transfer cabbage to the center of a clean dish towel and gather up the edges. Twist the towel to squeeze the cabbage, wringing out as much moisture as possible. Discard the liquid.
- To make filling, combine the pork, drained cabbage, remaining teaspoon of salt, white pepper, garlic, ginger, scallions, and sugar in a large bowl and knead and turn with clean hands until the mixture is homogeneous and starting to feel tacky. (If you have a few minutes to spare, test your filling for seasoning: place a saute pan over medium-high heat and add a splash of grapeseed oil. Once the oil is very hot and shimmering, add a pinch of the filling to the pan. Cook until browned on both sides, then taste. Add more salt, sugar, or white pepper as desired. If you’re in a hurry, just trust your instincts and skip to step 4.)
- Set up a workstation with a small bowl of water, a clean dish towel for wiping your fingers, a bowl with the dumpling filling, a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet for the finished dumplings, and a stack of dumpling wrappers covered in plastic wrap.
- To form dumplings, hold one wrapper on top of a flat hand. Using a spoon, place a 2 teaspoon- to 1 tablespoon-sized amount of filling in the center of the wrapper. Use the tip of the finger on your other hand to very gently moisten the edge of the wrapper with water (do not use too much water). Wipe fingertip dry on kitchen towel.
- Working from one side, carefully seal the filling inside the wrapper by folding it into a crescent shape, pleating the edges together. Transfer finished dumplings to the parchment lined baking sheet.
- At this point the dumplings may be frozen by placing the baking sheet in the freezer. Freeze dumplings for at least 30 minutes then transfer to a zipper-lock freezer bag for long-term storage. Dumplings can be frozen for up to 2 months and cooked directly from the freezer.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add as many dumplings as will fit in a single layer and cook, swirling pan, until evenly golden brown on the bottom surface, about 1 ½ minutes.
- Increase heat to medium-high, add ½ cup of water and cover tightly with a lid. Let dumplings steam for 3 minutes (5 minutes if frozen), then remove lid. Continue cooking, swirling pan frequently and using a thin spatula to gently dislodge the dumplings if they’ve stuck to the bottom of the pan, until the water has fully evaporated and the dumplings have crisped again, about 2 minutes longer. Slide dumplings onto a plate, turning them crisped-side-up before serving with the sauce.
- Make the sauce: combine vinegar and soy sauce. Serve on the side for dumpling dipping.