水餃子 Gyoza with kabocha pumpkin in broth

Today, I suddenly had the urge for gyoza so I made a beeline to the supermarket afterwork to get some ingredients and made some for dinner.

There is one thing I really love about Japanese supermarkets, there are many convenient items!

Today, along with my dumpling stuffing ingredients, I also bought pre-made gyoza skins (gyoza wrappers). I think that this is also available in supermarkets overseas nowadays, but here they have “regular”, “large size”, “extra sticky”, and “large size but extra thin”:D  Next to the gyoza wrappers, they also have “wonton wrappers”, “siu mai pork dumpling wrappers”, “spring roll wrappers”, etc.!

I made some adjustments to this recipe I found on a Japanese cooking site.  I couldn’t resist adding some kabocha pumpkin in the stuffing as I thought it would give the dumpling a subtle sweetness, and I was right:) It was a very good and satisfying meal especially in this cold weather!

 

Ingredients (for 30 gyozas)

  • 30 gyoza wrappers
  • 150 g fatty pork
  • 150 g Chinese cabbage
  • 1/4 onion
  • approximately the same amount of kabocha pumpkin as onion

Marinade:

  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp of grated ginger
  • 1/4 tsp of grated garlic
  • 1.5 tbsp cooking wine (Chinese or Japanese cooking wine would work best)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • salt and black pepper
  • 6 tbsp of chicken broth (or add 6 tbsp of water with some chicken soup stock powder)

Method:

1) Chop the Chinese cabbage finely. Add around 2 tbsp of salt and mix well. Let the mixture sit around 20 – 30 minutes until a lot of moisture has come out of the Chinese cabbage.

2) Finely chop onion and pumpkin (microwaving the pumpkin for 30 seconds would make it softer and hence less likely to break the gyoza wrapper when you wrap the gyozas).

2) In the meanwhile, chop the pork until in very small pieces (almost to minced stage but not quite so uniform) and sticky. Add the cooking wine and grated ginger and mix well. Add rest of the marinade.

3) Squeeze all the juice out of the Chinese cabbage, and add to meat mixture. Add also the chopped onion and pumpkin.

4) Take wrappers out one at a time and wrap according to instructions on the package of the wrappers (basically as long as you try to seal all the edges and press to ensure a good seal, it should be fine). With commercially prepared wrappers, there is often a lot of flour on them (to prevent them from sticking to one another) so it is best to wet the edges to ensure a better seal.

5) To boil the gyoza, boil some hot water in a pot. When the water boils, add the gyozas (make sure they do not stick to one another). When this boils again, add some cold water to cool it. Repeat this again when it starts boiling again, for a total of 4 times.   The water you are boiling the gyozas in should be slightly flavored by the ingredients in the dumplings. Add a little chicken soup stock to make it a chicken soup flavour, if you like.

6) Take the gyozas out and serve with Chinese “Chinkiang” vinegar and soy sauce.

I added some broccoli for some color. Certainly, you can also panfry this gyoza and I am sure it will also taste very good! I made “gyoza soup” because I love soup especially in this weather, and because of calorie-consciousness (ie. being able to eat more gyozas due to saving calories which panfrying with oil would incur:D

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