Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Vegetable gyoza

You may remember that I made "pork" type gyoza earlier this month, using seitan. This is the vegetable version. I'm sure many combinations of vegetables would work great in gyoza—Marc over at No Recipes has a recipe and gorgeous photographs for vegetarian gyoza with quinoa that I'm eager to try. Because I'm never going to stop making these. Apart from the time it takes to sit and stuff them—while you're listening to music or an audiobook or talking with a friend—they're easy, delicious, and really impressive to serve to guests. My mom, sister and I had them with beer for an afternoon snack and they're a perfect appetizer. Which do I like better, the seitan version or this one? They're both delicious, though for the sake of explanations maybe these are better to serve to omnis.

My recipe is based on this one, but with a few substitutions from the fridge, and I left out the cilantro because my mom is a cilantro-hater, but if you're not, by all means put it in.

Vegetable gyoza
Makes approximately 40

1 tbsp canola or peanut oil
1 onion, red or white, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 cup sliced shiitake mushroom (I used reconstituted dried ones leftover from making dashi)
1 1/2 cups Chinese or savoy cabbage, shredded
1 cup carrot, grated
1 cup chopped garlic sprouts, chives, or green onions
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional)
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tbsp soy sauce

1 package egg-free round wonton skins, also called gyoza (my package contained I believe 40 wrappers)
canola oil

In a wok or large sauté pan, heat the oil and, when hot, sauté the onions, garlic and ginger until the onions are beginning to turn translucent. Add the mushrooms and sauté another 30 seconds. Add the cabbage, carrot, and chives and continue to stir fry until the vegetables are tender and they have given up any excess water—there should be no water in the pan; the original recipe calls for the filling to be placed in a colander and drained; I didn't have to do this, but do whatever you need to to ensure that your filling is relatively dry.

Let the filling cool a little, then put it all into a food processor, add the pepper, sesame oil, soy sauce, and cilantro (if using) and pulse the mixture a couple of times so that everything is well-mixed and in small pieces. It should not be a paste. If you don't have a food processor or don't want to use one, just chop it all up finely. Put the completed filling into a bowl, and clean the kitchen while it finishes cooling (you'll be glad you did).

To form the gyoza, place about a teaspoonful of filling in the centre of a gyoza wrapper and dab water along the edge of half the wrapper. Make a semicircle, gathering the front side of the wrapper and sealing the top. Make four or five folds in the gyoza as demonstrated here. Put the completed gyoza on a plate to await cooking or freezing. If you plan to freeze them, have a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper or parchment paper handy (the lining is important as, without it, your frozen gyoza will stick to the bare pan), and put each gyoza on it as it's completed. They shouldn't touch.

At this point, you can freeze the dumplings for later by simply taking your lined pan and placing it in the freezer for a few hours until they're frozen solid, then carefully storing the frozen dumplings in a container or plastic bag.

To cook them, add about 2 tbsp canola oil to a medium-sized frying pan, non-stick or well-seasoned cast iron, heated to medium heat. Arrange the gyoza in the pan, not touching, and cook on medium heat until the bottoms are beginning to turn golden. The tops will still look raw. Pour 1/4 cup water into the pan, cover the pan, and let steam for about 10 minutes, covered all the time but you can check on them periodically to make sure they're not burning, until the dumpling wrappers are cooked and translucent. If, when the dumplings are cooked, there's still a little water in the pan, remove the cover and let it boil off.

Serve with the dipping sauce of your choice. Mine was a mixture of soy sauce, sesame oil, grated ginger, and semi-crushed sesame seeds.


  1. The article about cilantro hating is fascinating, because it is legit confusing to me that some people hate it so much. But that it might be a genetic thing (like asparagus pee?) is kind of awesome.

    You've made this process look very accessible and I might have to try it now. Really, really good post.

  2. Myself, I'm a cilantro convert. At first taste, I couldn't understand why anybody would ever voluntarily ingest it...but then, even while I was avoiding started to grow on me and suddenly I was craving it. I was hoping the same process would happen over October with wakame seaweed too, but, alas, it didn't.

  3. These look fantastic - I love the stuffing mix. I'll definitely have to go hunt down some wonton skins.

  4. I love gyoza. I haven't tried making them with seitan (TVP also lends a minced pork texture) but it sounds lovely, as does the all-veggie version. These look so very tasty.