By Jacqueline Church
Years back, my mother took a Chinese cooking course and learned this gyoza recipe. Our family, including my husband now, has loved these dumplings for years. Napa cabbage is terrific this time of year. A vegetarian version is simple to make by subbing the pork with black mushrooms and slivered carrots. And remember, practice makes perfect, and imperfect still tastes wonderful, so have fun.
1/2 pound Napa cabbage, finely chopped
1 pound ground pork
1/2 cup finely chopped scallion
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sake
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons water
1 package round (about 2-1/2 inches in diameter) gyoza wrappers
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup hot water
Place the cabbage in a colander and sprinkle generously with salt. Let sit for 10 minutes, so it releases its liquid, then rinse and drain well in the colander. Roll in a clean towel to dry.
Mix the cabbage with the pork, scallion, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, sake, sesame oil and a pinch of salt.
Mound a rounded teaspoon of the mixture in the middle of a gyoza wrapper. Dab cornstarch and water slurry lightly around the right edge. Fold the left side over to the meet the right (like a half moon). Then, using the thumb of one hand and index finger and thumb of the other feed a pleat toward your thumb and pinch gently. Pleat about five or seven times to create a pleated crescent.
Heat the oil in a large, wide nonstick pan over medium-high heat (let the oil get nice and hot). Working in batches, arrange 6-8 dumplings seam-side up in the pan in the shape of a pinwheel (don’t overcrowd the pan) and fry for 3 minutes, until blistered and crispy on the bottom (but not burnt). Add the water, cover, and steam for 8-10 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally. Repeat with remaining gyoza.
Serve with dipping sauce. (Find our recipe for All-Purpose Asian Dipping Sauce here.)