Oh, hey there, delightful little pillows of porky goodness. With their crispy bottoms, soft tops and a seriously tasty filling these Pork Gyoza are a slight addiction of mine.
Most often served as a side to a nice bowl of ramen in Japan, I tend to make a big batch and eat them as the main course and serve them with a 2 ingredients gyoza dipping sauce.
Japanese gyoza may look intimidating to make but they really aren’t. The filling takes minutes and if you can’t get the hang of pleating them it actually doesn’t matter. As long as they are sealed, they’ll still cook perfectly and be delicious so fold them any which way you like.
There are so many reasons you need to try these cute little Japanese dumplings;
- A few simple ingredients
- Flavour, flavour, flavour
- They take minutes to cook
- Make them ahead (a day or 2 is fine, in fridge, covered)
- Freeze them (in an airtight container)
- Perfect in soups, as a side, appetiser or even main dish
- The sauce is even easier.
What Is Gyoza?
The Japanese Gyoza are small pan fried pork dumplings, very similar to Chinese potstickers. Authentic gyoza ingredients are a mixture of ground pork, garlic, ginger and spring onion.
The filling is all at once incredibly simple and absolutely brimming with flavour. My pork gyoza recipe uses spring onion but you can swap it for finely chopped leek or garlic chives.
The gyoza skins or gyoza wrappers are found in Oriental supermarkets and some major supermarkets. Gyoza wrappers are normally white and round, however you can use regular thin wonton wrappers instead and use a round cookie cutter to cut them into circles.
How To Make Japanese Gyoza
Gyoza are actually very easy to make. Just take the ingredients for the pork filling and mix them all together in a bowl. Wrap the filling in special gyoza wrappers and cook.
The top steams while the bottom fries getting golden and crisp and they cook in under 10 minutes.
How To Fold Gyoza
These Japanese pork dumplings are folded to form a little pillow with pleats along the top and forming a crescent shape. The crescent shape is achieved by pleating just one side and leaving the other side flat. Here are the steps to folding them.
- Holding a gyoza wrapper in the palm of your non-dominant hand, place 1-2 teaspoons of filling in the centre (start small and work up as you get better at folding)
- Brush some water around the entire edge of the gyoza wrapper
- Grab one edge and fold it over the gyoza filling to meet the other edge without sealing (so that it’s the shape of a taco)
- Seal just a tiny bit of the corner closest to you dominant hand together.
- Place the thumb of your dominant hand on that seal
- Now, with your non-dominant hand place the index finger on the inside very close to the bottom corner.
- With your non-dominant thumb on the outside, slide that side of the wrapper down to overlap it over the corner a little bit.
- Press that new seal down with the thumb of your dominant hand
- Repeat until you have 6-7 pleats and have reached the other end.
The pleating on just one side will naturally force the dumpling into a crescent shape.
How To Cook Gyoza
Japanese Gyoza have a wonderful combination of texture from being both steamed and pan fried. The top is soft and slightly chewy, while the base is crispy. Here’s how you do it
- Start by frying the gyoza in just a little oil until the bases start to take on some colour
- Add some water being careful to use the lid of the pan to shield yourself from spitting oil.
- Place the lid on top and let the pork gyoza steam for 3-4 minutes until the water has evaporated.
- Remove the lid and let them cook a little longer until the bases are golden and crisp
Gyoza Dipping Sauce Recipe
A simple mixture of equal amounts of rice wine vinegar and light soy make the perfect gyoza dipping sauce.
Tips For The Best Pork Gyoza
- Don’t knead the ingredients together – just a light mix until they are distributed evenly.
- Use light soy sauce – not the sushi style or sweet soy.
- Be careful when adding the water – it will cause the oil in the pan to spit, so hold the lid of the pan over it while you pour the water in so you don’t get splashed.
- Don’t cook them too long – 3-4 minutes is perfect for the pork filling to be cooked and the gyoza wrapper to soften. Any longer and the gyoza filling will be dry.
- Gyoza wrappers – If you can’t find traditional gyoza skins / wrappers just use regular thin wonton wrappers and use a circle cookie cutter to shape it.
- Gyoza filling – change the filling to make fish, beef or chicken gyoza or even vegetarian gyoza.
- The signature pleated shape is cute but if you find it tricky, just fold the wrappers and seal them with a flat seal. So long as the filling is sealed inside, it will taste delicious.
What’s not to like about a delicate little dumpling wrapper, encasing a tasty, juicy pork mince filling? Pork Gyoza a such a delicious authentic Japanese treat that are actually very simple to make.
You can make them ahead of time and even freeze them for later. Such a versatile little dumpling, you can change up the filling and use them in soups, as a side dish, appetiser or even as a main.
More recipes you’ll love
- Asian Chilli Beef Mince
- Mini Korean Beef Tacos
- Golden Sesame Prawn Toast
- Karaage Chicken (Japanese Fried Chicken)
- Pork Satay Noodle Bowls
- Salt and Pepper Chicken Wings
Pork Gyoza Recipe (Japanese Pork Dumplings)
FOR THE GYOZA DUMPLINGS
- 200 g pork mince (ground pork) (7oz)
- ½ cups chinese cabbage
- 1 ½ teaspoons grated ginger (notes)
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons spring onion (green onion), finely chopped (notes)
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 22 round gyoza or dumpling wrappers
- 2 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil (notes)
- ⅓ cup water
FOR THE GYOZA DIPPING SAUCE
- ¼ cup soy sauce (60ml)
- ¼ cup rice wine vinegar (or mirin) (60ml)
- Wash the cabbage leaves, then finely shred - you’ll need 1 ½ cups. Place it in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Let it soften for 5 minutes, then drain well, pressing out the water, and set aside.
- Put the pork mince, ginger, garlic, spring onion, sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar, pepper and salt in a separate bowl and thoroughly mix together. Add the cooled cabbage and mix to distribute everything well.
- Prepare a small dish of water, the pork mixture, a teaspoon, the gyoza wrappers and a clean plate on your workspace.
- Take one wrapper on the palm of your non-dominant hand. Use your finger to run a little water around the entire edge.
- Place 2-3 teaspoons of pork mixture in the centre (notes), fold it in half bringing the edges almost together so it looks like a little taco shape.
- Press the bottom corner on one side together with the thumb and forefinger of your dominant hand and press together firmly.
- Now use the index fingertip (inside) and thumb (outside) of your non-dominant hand to fold a small pleat over the thumb that is holding the seal closed. Now move that thumb on top of the pleat.
- Repeat to make 6-7 small pleats on one side while the other side remains flat. This will cause it to bend into a small crescent with a pleated top edge.
- In a heavy bottomed fry pan, heat the oil over medium high. Place the dumplings in, pleated edge pointing up and fry until the bottoms just start to take on some colour.
- Carefully pour in the water (it will splatter so don’t stand too closand cover with a lid). Allow the dumplings to steam for 3-4 minutes until the water has evaporated. The dumplings should be softened, shiny and a little translucent.
- Remove the lid and allow them to fry 2 more minutes until the bottoms are a nice golden brown colour.
- Serve them crispy side up with the combined soy and vinegar for dipping.
- I use an Australian standard 20ml tablespoon
- Gyoza skins can be found at large supermarkets or Oriental supermarkets
- The amount of pork mixture you can fit into the wrappers will depend on the size of them and how well practiced you are at folding the dumplings. Start with less and as you get better work up to more filling.
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