Gyoza fried to crispy perfection with a flavorful crisp skirt and juicy filling that’s not only a pleasure to your palate but also gorgeous to look at. Using frozen or fresh dumplings, gyoza great as an appetizer or a full meal, a great alternative to the everyday dumpling.
Gyoza is actually the Japanese word for the Chinese “dumpling” (餃子, jiao3zi), somehow it became the popular English term for pan-fried dumplings we called “煎餃” (jian1jiao3). This fried dumpling recipe is different than most recipes out there, since there’s a golden “skirt” surrounding the fried dumplings, gluing all the dumplings together. There’s a satisfaction in making a crisp sound when breaking the dumplings apart. Because of the way the skirt looks, a thin layer of crispiness with holes in between that resembles the frost on an ice cold window, this type of gyoza is called “冰花煎餃”(bing1hua1jian1jiao3), meaning “ice flower fried dumplings” in Chinese.
Dumplings are probably the most common frozen food item in every Taiwanese household, whether they’re homemade and store bought. You can use any of your favorite dumplings for this recipe, I’m using my homemade, frozen PORK AND CABBAGE DUMPLINGS | 高麗菜豬肉水餃 and MOM’S SPECIAL VEGAN DUMPLINGS | 家傳純素水餃. This recipe is much more about the technique than dumpling making, which is explained mostly in the other post. I love making food from scratch, even though it takes much longer than starting with store bought. I believe that making food from scratch not only help us learn about what we’re eating, but also make us appreciate the food we’re putting into our mouth more. Food made from scratch always taste better and knowing what goes into our food makes it healthier since you wouldn’t want to put some weird ingredient with a compound name into the food and thinking twice about the sugar and fat you’re adding.
The crisp skirt of this gyoza is made with flour mixed with water. It took me a while to find out the perfect proportion that makes a perfectly thin and crispy skirt, many many failed gyoza attempts in my tummy. Adding a little sesame oil at the end makes the skirt even crispier also adds aroma and flavor.
I prefer to make gyoza in a non-stick wok, but you can use any pan with a little depth and a lid. Since we’re using raw dumplings to make this dish, it relies on a half steam, half fry technique to make sure the dumplings are cooked through. Starting with a cold wok, adding cold oil and iced dumplings to the wok and heat it up until the dumplings start to sizzle, then add water to the wok ensures that nothing sticks to the wok.
Sauce is also a very important part of gyoza. There are many kinds of sauce out there but I like it simple, the dumpling’s already delicious itself, so why add some crazy sauce to cover up the amazing flavor? There are only 2 ingredients in my sauce- soy sauce and vinegar. Adding chili or some amazing homemade MALA HOT SAUCE if you like it spicy. I have to say, MALA HOT SAUCE is probably the best hot sauce for gyoza. It is heavenly!
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- 1 TBsp Oil
- 10 Fresh or frozen dumplings add more dumplings if making for more people
- 2 tsp all-purpose flour
- 1 C Water or enough to cover half of the dumplings
- 1 TBsp Sesame Oil (Optional)
- 1 TBsp Soy Sauce
- 1 TBsp Rice Vinegar or white vinegar
- 1/4 tsp Mala Hot Sauce (Optional)
- In a wok without turning the heat up, add 1 TBsp Oil and place the dumplings in a circle making sure the bottoms are coated with oil
- Turn the heat on medium high
- While the dumplings are frying, mix 1C of water with 1/2 TBsp of flour
- Once the dumplings start to sizzle, let them cook for another 30 seconds to set the bottom
- Pour the flour mixture into the wok. making sure that it's mixed well and covers about half way up a dumpling. Add a little extra water if needed
- Bring the liquid to a boil then over with a lid. Steam-fry on medium for 7 minutes
- Remove the lid and turn the heat up to medium high to evaporate the rest of the water, about 5 minutes
- Once the water is gone, a thin layer of skirt will start to form. Drizzle 1 TBsp of sesame oil around the skirt and continue frying until the outside of the skirt is lifted and the skirt is golden
- Plate and serve
- Mixing soy sauce and vinegar together, adding a few dashes of sesame oil or homemade mala hot sauce if desired.
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