If you don’t have nimble fingers, no matter. This gyoza is simple to assemble—the most low-maintenance version I’ve seen. The gyoza skin is filled, folded in half, and the top section is pinched at one point. No laborious crimping, no fear of air pockets, no mending needed when the filling pokes out.
The filling is made with pork belly, which I bought thinly sliced at the Japanese grocery store, then chopped into small bits at home. It’s mixed with green onions, fresh ginger juice, pepper, tien mien jiang, shoyu, sake, and sesame oil. This is weird to say about raw meat, but as I was mixing the ingredients, the aroma was delicious!
After browning and steaming for a few minutes, a mixture of warm water and katakuriko (potato starch) is poured in to create a light and crispy crust.
Makes 4 servings (about 36 pieces)
Adapted from ぜひ覚えたいおかず
3/4 lb. thinly sliced pork belly, chopped
5 stalks green onions, white and green parts chopped
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
1 tsp. ginger juice (I grate the ginger, then squeeze the juice out)
1 Tbsp. sake
1 1/2 Tbsp. shoyu
1 1/2 Tbsp. tien mien jiang
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
1 package gyoza wrappers
1 Tbsp. katakuriko (potato starch)
In a medium bowl, combine the pork, ground pepper, ginger juice, sake, shoyu, tien mien jiang, and sesame oil. Mix with chopsticks or a fork. Add the green onions and mix until just incorporated.
Take one gyoza wrapper and place about a teaspoonful of filling in the center. Gently pat the filling down and roughly shape into a rectangle across the center of the wrapper. Dab your finger in a small bowl of water and dot the top of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper in half, align the edges, and pinch. The dot of water creates a seal. Set aside gyoza in a plate or baking sheet and repeat until you use up the filling. You should have extra wrappers leftover, which I usually put in a ziplock and freeze for later use.
Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over a high flame. Make sure the oil is evenly distributed and add 12 pieces of gyoza, in 2 rows of 6. Fry until the bottoms are lightly browned. Add 1/8 cup of water and immediately cover, reduce to medium heat, and steam for 2–3 minutes.
Meanwhile, dissolve the katakuriko in 1/2 cup warm water. Remove the cover from the pan and pour 1/3 of the katakuriko mixture around the edges of the gyoza. Be sure to stir the katakuriko and water again before you pour because the starch sinks to the bottom quickly. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and check occasionally to see if the water has boiled off and the katakuriko becomes dry around the edges.
Uncover, increase the heat to high, and fry until the edges are brown and crispy. Repeat with remaining gyoza. Serve with shoyu, vinegar, and ra-yu for dipping.
You can also place the sheet of uncooked gyoza in the freezer (making sure they are not touching each other) and transfer to a ziploc once they are frozen. To cook, just place the frozen gyoza in the hot pan directly and cook as directed above.