I want to let you into a little secret. Gyozas are insanely addictive. To make, to eat, the lot. Once you master making these little beauties, you’ll never stop. Pork, prawn and crab, chicken, veggie… You’ll be making them quicker than you can eat them.
A few weeks back my mum came to visit, so I set about making gyozas en masse. I knew full well she’d love them (she’s obsessed with dim sum) but mainly I wanted her to take them home to my dad. My mum and dad struggle with their evening meals – my dad is a pescatarian and my mum is a carnivore that doesn’t eat fish. Its a bleedin nightmare! The only thing they do agree on however is prawns; it’s the only protein they will both eat. So with that in mind I sent her home with a box of these gyozas to see how they’d go down. They were an all round hit. So much so that my dad hasn’t stopped talking about them since! So, a week later, when I had an evening to myself, I stocked up on ingredients and started to make a stash of them for their freezer. It was so incredibly relaxing. Pete was working late and I just stood there folding gyozas for a few hours. It was almost meditative – I highly recommend it for mental well being. And the best bit is they’re not unhealthy. They’re lightly fried to get that gorgeous crispy bottom but that’s it (although I’m sure the amount of soy I drench them in is questionable!), nice and light.
So, here you go. Impressive little prawn parcels, perfect for a party, for a snack or as part of a main meal. Heck, on honeymoon I even had them for breakfast – its all good.
- 30 gyoza skins (You can find packets of gyoza skins in the freezer of most Oriental supermarkets. Otherwise I have included a recipe to make them below)
- 200g raw prawns, deveined
- 200g white cabbage, roughly chopped
- 1/2 red chilli, deseeded and roughly chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 tablespoon low salt soy sauce
- 3cm piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
- 2 spring onions, trimmed and chopped
- Groundnut or vegetable oil
- Soy sauce, rice vinegar and sweet chilli sauce to serve (or whatever you like!)
If using frozen gyoza skins make sure they are defrosted before you use them, it doesn’t take long, they only need about half an hour out of the freezer. Then cover them with a slightly damp piece of kitchen paper to stop them drying out.
FILLING: Place the chilli, garlic, ginger and spring onions in a food processor and blitz until finely chopped (alternatively you can do this by hand). Add the cabbage and prawns to the bowl, along with the sesame oil and soy and blitz again until it is all chopped up and you have a coarse paste. Scrape the mixture into a bowl. Alternatively just chop everything together as fine as you can and mix. You don’t have to use a food processor if you don’t want to.
MAKING: Making gyozas is really easy, and the more you make the quicker you’ll get. Most import is to get your ‘gyoza making station’ ready. You’ll need your prawn filling, the gyoza wrappers, a little bowl of cold water and a clean tray ready to line up the made gyozas. Take one of the skins (keeping the pile covered with the damp kitchen paper in between to keep them from drying out) and place it in the palm of your hand. Spoon a teaspoonful of the prawn mixture into the middle of the round (don’t overfill the gyoza’s or you’ll struggle to seal them), and then damp the edge of the wrapper with a little water. Fold the wrapper in half and pleat the edges, pressing them down to seal completely. I’ve attached a video here on how to pleat gyozas as its much easier watching it being done! I do mine slightly different, I fold the wrapper in half, pinch it in the middle and then pleat outwards one side, followed by the other. But anything goes, as long as they’re well sealed. Keep going until you’ve used up all your filling. If it’s taking you a while to get the hang of it, make sure to refrigerate any gyozas you have made to keep them from spoiling.
COOKING: Pick a non-stick frying or saucepan that is big enough to hold the amount of gyozas you want to cook in a single layer. Place it on a medium heat and drizzle in a tablespoon of groundnut or vegetable oil. Soon as it starts to get warm place the gyozas in the pan, so that they are sitting up right and fry them lightly so they start to turn golden underneath. Soon as they look a little crisp, after around 3 minutes, pour in enough water to come half way up the side of the gyozas. Turn the heat up, bring it to the boil and then cover with a lid. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 8 minutes (you’ll see the pink from the cooked prawns through the wrapper). As soon as they are cooked remove the lid and turn the heat up a little. The water should have almost completely evaporated and you want the bottoms to get nice and crisp. Fry for a few more minutes, checking to make sure they don’t burn, and serve. I like to serve with soy sauce, chilli oil and rice vinegar but you can use whatever you like.
MAKING GYOZA SKINS…
- 300g strong white flour (you can use plain if you haven’t got bread flour)
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl and stir in 150ml boiling water with a spoon. Keep stirring adding a splash more if it feels a little dry. As soon as the dough comes together and is cool enough to handle, start kneading with your hands. After 5 minutes you should have a nice smooth dough (and a nice clean bowl). Divide the dough evenly into 3, then each of those pieces into 2. You should end up with 6 evenly sized bits of dough. Roll each out into a sausage shape (this will make rolling out the skins later easier) and leave on a board, covered in a lightly damp tea towel, for 30 minutes to rest.
Once the dough has rested cut one of the logs into 5 even pieces. Turn each nugget of dough on its side and roll into a round. Roll as evenly as you can, a little bigger than 8cm, and then cut with an 8cm round pastry cutter to make it as even as possible (and discard the excess). Stack the pastry rounds and keep going with all the dough logs until you’ve rolled it all out. You should end up with 30 gyoza skins.