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Gyoza: The basics on Japanese dumplings

If you believe the best things come in small packages, you’ll probably love gyoza. We look at the appeal of these doughy delicacies.

Traditionally known as a jiaozi, they originated in China – but these little dumplings also go by the Japanese name gyoza. A thinly rolled piece of dough is filled with ground meat or vegetables and sealed to form a mini parcel. It’s common to eat them with a hot soup or broth, or they may be served with a dipping sauce with strong umami flavours. Now they’re available in frozen packs, high-street takeaways and as ready meals. How healthy they are will depend on the filling and sauce – but you can easily make your own with healthy ingredients.

Here’s what you’ll need…

For the parcels

Just four ingredients are needed to make gyoza dough: flour, a little salt, oil and water. For gluten-free options, look for a recipe that replaces wheat flour with rice flour. The ingredients are mixed together and rolled out into a thin sheet, then biscuit cutters are used to create the traditional circular wrappers. There are many different ways to fold gyoza, but the most common technique is the pinched-edge fold. You can watch videos on YouTube that demonstrate this technique, but it won’t take long to get the hang of it.

For the filling

Protein-based fillings are typically mixed with vegetables to add bite and texture. Ground pork and beef are popular meat choices, while prawns and lobster are favourite seafood options. For vegetable fillings, it’s best to pick varieties with strong aromas and textures, such as savoy cabbage, leeks, mushrooms and celery.

For the soup or sauce

Traditionally, gyoza were served with a black vinegar and sesame oil dip. More recent dip choices include soy sauce and ponzu, but be careful not to have too much as these are rich in salt. If you serve gyoza in a broth, you can choose to make this nutritious and lower in salt and fat.

How to cook them

You can boil, steam or pan-fry gyoza but, if you want to serve them with a broth, let the liquid cook the dumplings. No matter how you choose to cook them, making your own gyoza allows you to control what goes into your parcels.

Off the shelf

In a hurry? You can pick up pre-made gyoza from the supermarket! For a more substantial way to enjoy gyoza, try serving them in a vegetable broth or ramen soup. Simply add uncooked gyoza to a boiling broth and let them cook in the liquid.

Try our Pork and vegetable gyoza soup for a quick, flavoursome meal using your favourite store bought gyoza brand.



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