Gyoza are Japanese stuffed dumplings, usually half-moon shaped.
Ground pork is a common filling, but restaurants will offer a zillion choices, even fruit. Ebi-gyoza” — “ebi” meaning “shrimp” — are Gyoza stuffed with mashed shrimp. They are served with a dip. A typical sauce for savoury ones is soy sauce, vinegar, and chile flakes or hot pepper oil.
The wrappers for the dumpling are made of wheat flour and egg. They are about 3 inches (7 1/2 cm) wide, round, and thicker than wonton wrappers. The dumpling is like a turnover in how it is formed. The edges need to be tightly sealed or they can explode during cooking. You can get gadgets called “Gyoza presses” or “Gyoza moulds” that press the dumplings together and form and seal the crinkled edges at the same time for you. Use them with a piece of plastic wrap in them to avoid sticking. There are also more elaborate machines to do the same.
Gyoza are typically steam-fried. You fry them first in hot oil to brown the bottoms, then turn them, add some hot water, and put a lid on the pan to steam them. When the water is evaporated, take the lid off, let cook a few more minutes to crisp them up. They can also be deep-fried, boiled, or steamed.
- Age-gyōza – Deep fried
- Mushi-gyōza – Steamed.
- Sui-gyōza – Simmered in a liquid.
- Yaki-gyōza – Fried and browned on one side, then turned and steamed.
Kirasse is a restaurant in Tokyo that lets you sample Gyoza from over 70 restaurants in one place; then you can go to the particular Gyoza restaurants whose stuff you like the most. It is run by the Utsunomiya Gyoza Association.
Utsunomiya, 75 miles north of Tokyo and capital of Tochigi prefecture, is well-known for its Gyoza. The Gyoza boom there happened after World War II. No.14 Division of the Japanese Imperial Army was headquartered in Utsunomiya. During World War II, they were stationed in northeastern China, a hot spot for Gyoza in China. Many returning soldiers opened Gyoza joints in the city upon returning.
Brasor, Philip. Annals of cheap: Gyoza no Osho. Japan Times. 10 September 2009.
Szymanski, Andrew. Welcome to Utsunomiya — gyoza town. CNNGo Site: Tokyo. 21 September 2009. Retrieved September 2010 from http://www.cnngo.com/tokyo/eat/utsunomiya-gyoza-town-200431