Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas Gyoza

Merry Christmas! (It's still Christmas until January 5, then it's Epiphany, in case you were thinking I was a little late.)

I just realized it's been over a month since I last posted. I guess I've not felt very inspired lately in my writing. I'm also homesick for Japan. So, since food always inspires me, I'd like to share my recipe for Christmas gyoza, which is definitely not traditional in any place where gyoza/chaozu are typically consumed. I just made it up myself, taking inspiration from traditional flavors as well as the delicious ham we had for Christmas last year.

Gyoza with dipping sauce. The one on the left was cooked according to the method here; the other was boiled. That's also an option.

Christmas Gyoza

  • 2 tablespoons Butter
  • 1/2 red onion (125g)
  • 120g mushrooms (button, cremini, or maitake)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 sage leaves
  • 30g almonds
  • 20g ginger
  • Zest of one orange
  • 150g cabbage or nappa cabbage (hakusai)
  • 1 small carrot (50g)
  • 85g dried cranberries
  • 1 egg
  • 400g ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon port (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • A pinch of cinnamon and cloves (optional)
  • 3-4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 60-70 gyoza skins
  • Vegetable oil
Note: No need to be exact on the measurements. These quantities are suggestions. Once you gain a bit of gyoza-making experience, you can make them by instinct. But I've provided measurements for those who aren't yet confident in their gyoza skills. :)


Melt the butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Meanwhile, mince the red onion and mushrooms in a food processor. Transfer to the frying pan and sauté them until they are fragrant and softened. Allow to cool somewhat.

Mince the garlic, sage, almonds, ginger, orange zest, cabbage, carrot, and cranberries in the food processor. I recommend doing the nuts, orange zest, and sage together. Transfer to a large mixing bowl as you finish processing each vegetable.

The food processor makes this so much easier. 
Add the mushrooms, onions, and the remaining ingredients (other than gyoza skins, of course!) to the mixing bowl and mix. Using your hands is kind of gross, but it works pretty well. Adjust the consistency with additional cornstarch if necessary--you don't want it too wet, or your gyoza will disintegrate before they make it to the frying pan! Taste test and adjust the seasoning by microwaving or frying a bit of the filling.

Lay out your wrappers (or you can make them from scratch if you're really ambitious) and spoon about 1 1/2 teaspoons of filling onto the center of each one. Wet the edges with a bit of water and pinch shut.

This time we did have handmade wrappers. Yay!
The nice-looking ones were not wrapped by me.

Heat a dollop of oil in a large frying pan (you will need one with a lid) over medium-high heat. Arrange the gyoza in the pan, allow them to brown a bit, then add about a centimeter of water to the pan. Quickly cover and turn down the heat to medium low; continue to cook until the water is mostly gone. Remove the lid, flip the gyoza, and allow the other side to brown slightly.

Ready to flip!
Jiayun flips the dumplings
Serve with dipping sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 c chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped sage leaves
  • A pinch of cinnamon and cloves (optional)
  • A few pinches of hot pepper flakes
  • 1/4-1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2-3 tablespoons soy sauce

Melt the butter and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat; add the onions and allow them to soften a bit. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before serving. Adjust the seasonings if necessary.

Christmas dinner hors d'oeuvres. I think they went over pretty well. Maybe this will become a new tradition!

1 comment:

Colin said...

The 1cm of water in the pan for frying should have some flour mixed in for thickening, which produces the nice texture. Also, I highly recommend making your own skins if you fry them. The pre-made skins work better for boiling.