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Variety is the spice of life at gyoza parties

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Clockwise from top left: Ginger-honey gyoza, seafood and egg gyoza, slices of lime and gyoza with toppings

The Yomiuri ShimbunGyoza has become a popular party dish for friends and family to enjoy a sense of “doing something together” by wrapping and eating the dumplings.

Here, Paradise Yamamoto, who presides over a members-only gyoza restaurant, introduces three recipes that would be good for a party. “Gyoza are perfect, as you can make them while chatting in a group,” said Yamamoto, who himself is a frequent gyoza partygoer.

His recipes don’t use ground meat for the filling, instead enjoying the texture of regular cuts of meat. He also doesn’t use garlic and uses a smaller portion of nira Chinese chives than is typical, so his recipes are less garlicky and can be appreciated by anyone.

Ginger-honey gyoza

1. Soak dried shiitake mushroom to rehydrate. Slice pork 5 millimeters thick and chop roughly. Cut nira into 5-millimeter pieces and chop remaining vegetables.

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  • The Yomiuri Shimbun

    Pot-shaped gyoza is made from an ordinary crescent-shaped gyoza by pinching both ends together.

2. Put pork, vegetables, grated ginger, honey, stock powder, salt and 2 tablespoons of sesame oil into a bowl and mix well. Leave in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Alternatively, use a food processor to mince the meat and vegetables.

3. The filling is then wrapped in a gyoza skin and formed into a crescent — the basic shape of gyoza. Start by pouring water onto a small plate. Moisten half of what will be the inner side of the skin and place a dollop of filling in the middle. Bring the opposite sides of the skin together and pinch closed, poking the filling inside with your finger and making pleats in the skin. Make the rest of the dumplings in the same manner.

4. Heat a frying pan on high, turn down to medium-low heat and drop 1 tablespoon of sesame oil into the pan. Place gyoza in pan. (In the top-left of the photo, one dumpling is seen placed in the center of the plate with the other dumplings placed in a radial fashion around it.) Drizzle 1 tablespoon of sesame oil over the gyoza.

5. Shake the pan from side to side. When the gyoza have browned, drizzle 30cc of hot water over them as though drawing circles. Cover with a lid and keep shaking pan until you hear the gyoza sizzling. Remove lid and continue frying until the liquid has disappeared.

Yamamoto uses hot water to avoid lowering the pan’s temperature.

The honey in the filling makes the tangy flavor of the ginger more mild. Gyoza heats the body, but this dish also tastes refreshing with a squeeze of lime.

Seafood and egg gyoza

Yamamoto uses smoked seafood for the filling. The steps for wrapping and frying the gyoza are the same as for the ginger-honey gyoza.

Salad oil is used instead of sesame oil to preserve the flavor and aroma of the filling.

1. Separate egg yolks from whites. Add salad oil to a pan and lightly stir-fry whites.

2. Cut seafood into bite-size pieces and add to cooked egg whites. Wrap filling in gyoza skin and form a crescent shape.

3. Place dumplings in pan and fry in the same manner as in the ginger-honey gyoza recipe.

4. Serve on a plate and drizzle with beaten yolks.

The egg whites are fluffy, and the seafood is chewy — textures you don’t usually get when eating regular gyoza.

Gyoza with toppings

Yamamoto’s final recipe makes gyoza look cute with pops of colors. He uses the ginger-honey filling for this recipe but adds a twist by forming them into a pot shape.

1. Place a dollop of filling onto the skin, a smaller amount than in the ginger-honey gyoza recipe. Wrap to make a crescent shape in the same way as before, but make the pleats longer.

2. Bring both ends of the crescent together. Pinch closed to make a round pot shape, then press the top lightly into a neat opening. Continue in the same manner until all the filling has been used.

3. Heat a frying pan and season with salad oil. Place gyoza in pan. When slightly browned, drizzle 30cc of hot water in a circular motion over the gyoza. Cover with a lid and shake from side to side until the liquid is gone.

4. Put any food you like inside the gyoza “pots” and serve.

Yamamoto said the key is to top the steaming gyoza with chilled vegetables or seafood.

“There are tons of variations when it comes to enjoying gyoza. I recommend you try making unique gyoza,” he said.

Ingredients

Ginger-honey gyoza

13 gyoza skins

2 tbsp sesame oil (for cooking and drizzling)

Filling

⅛bunch of nira Chinese chives

⅛celery stick

⅛naganegi green onion

1 cabbage leaf

1 dried shiitake mushroom

35 grams pork loin

35 grams pork belly

2 tsp grated ginger

2 tsp honey

1 tsp chicken stock powder

½ tsp salt

2 tbsp sesame oil

Seafood and egg gyoza

12 gyoza skins

5 eggs

Desired amount of canned smoked seafood, such as scallops or mussels

1 tbsp salad oil

Gyoza with toppings

Filling from ginger-honey gyoza

More than 13 gyoza skins

1 tbsp salad oil

Desired toppings, such as salmon roe or cherry tomatoes.

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