Gyoza




Ingredients

oil, as needed for frying
soy sauce, vinegar and chilli oil, to serve


For the wrappers

280 g (10 oz/generous 2 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
½ teaspoon salt
120 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) just-boiled water
cornflour (cornstarch), for dusting


For the filling

500 g (1 lb 2 oz) minced (ground) pork – not the lean stuff
½ leek, trimmed and finely diced
2 cm (¾ in) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and very finely chopped
6–10 garlic cloves (depending on your preference), very finely chopped
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper (black is good; white is better)


METHOD

For the wrappers, sift the flour and salt together into a mixing bowl. Add the
boiled water to the flour little by little, incorporating it with a spoon or
spatula as you go. When all the water has been added, start working it with
your hands; when it all comes together, it should be soft but not at all sticky.
Sprinkle some cornflour on the work surface and tip the dough out onto it.
Knead for about 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth. If you have a stand
mixer with a dough hook, by all means use it, but do use your hands to make

sure the dough is nice and soft and dry.

Roll the dough out into two chubby logs, about 3 cm (1¼ in) in diameter.
Wrap each log in cling film (plastic wrap) and leave to rest in the fridge for
30–60 minutes. Unwrap the dough and sprinkle a little more cornflour on
your work surface, then cut each log into pieces about 1 cm (½ in) across –
you should get about 20 pieces out of each log.


Use your hands to roll each piece of dough into a little ball, then use a rolling
pin dusted with cornflour to roll each ball out into a flat disc. Try to make
them very thin, but not so thin that they become difficult to work with – 1
mm (
132 in) thick is a good goal, but 2 mm (116 in) will be fine. In fact, 3 mm
(
110 in) will probably be fine. Just make them as thin as you are comfortable
with!


Dust each wrapper with cornflour and stack them up as you go, covering the
stack with a clean, damp tea towel to keep them from drying out. Oh, and
don’t worry if they’re not perfect circles – you can still manipulate them into
a nice shape when you fill and fold them. If you’re not using them
immediately, you can keep them wrapped in cling film in the fridge for about
3 days.


For the filling, mix the minced pork, leek, ginger, garlic, salt and pepper with
your hands until everything is well incorporated. That’s it.


TO ASSEMBLE AND COOK:

First of all, you will need the following things set up: a small spoon; a bowl
of water, 1 or 2 baking trays lined with baking parchment and dusted with
cornflour; and a non-stick frying pan (skillet) with a lid.


Let’s make gyoza!


1 Lay out about 6 gyoza wrappers at a time on your worktop.

2 Use your small spoon to portion out a little bit of the filling into the centre
of each wrapper.


3 Dip a finger in the water, and wet the outside edge of each wrapper.

4 Cup the wrapper in your (clean, dry) hand and fold the wrapper over the
filling, pressing in the middle to seal.


5 Press down along one side of the gyoza to seal and to force the air out.

6 Press down along the other side of the gyoza to complete the seal.

7 Fold the sealed side over itself 3–5 times to form an attractive parcel
(NOTE: gyoza need not be attractive to be delicious).


8 Lay the gyoza in rows on your lined trays.

9 Repeat until all the filling or wrappers are gone. (You are a gyoza master if
you ration both perfectly – but if you have extra filling, just make yourself
a meatball or two. Go on, you’ve earned it!)
Now the fun part: cooking. Gyoza cook in two ways simultaneously: frying
and steaming. The trick is to get a nice, crispy bottom and a supple, tender
top.


Heat a little bit of oil (1 tablespoon or so) in your non-stick pan over a
medium heat. Add the gyoza in rows or a circular pattern and fry until the
bottoms are golden brown – it should take about 3–5 minutes. Without
turning the gyoza, add about 50 ml (2 fl oz) water to the pan and put the lid
on. Let them steam for 5 minutes or so, until they’re cooked through and
most of the water has evaporated.


(How to tell if they’re cooked through: give them a little prod on their tops. If
they feel firm, they’re cooked. And if you’ve made really beautifully thin
wrappers, then you may be able to actually see through them; the meat will
go from pink to pale grey when it’s cooked.)


Let the remaining water evaporate from the pan to ensure crisp bottoms.
When they’re done, carefully lift them from the pan with a spatula, or turn
them out directly onto a big, flat plate. Serve with a little bit of soy sauce,
vinegar and perhaps (definitely) chilli oil for dippin’.



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