My wife’s dumplings

I love dumplings. My all-time favourite would have to be xiao long bao, the Shanghainese steamed, soupy pork dumplings that explode with warm broth when bitten into. Gyoza, the pan-fried Japanese dumplings, come in second.

About a year ago, my wife (S) spent an afternoon with a Japanese friend learning to make them. Essentially, it was a matter of learning how to make the filling (a combination minced pork, cabbage, spring onions, ginger, garlic, salt, sake, sesame oil, soya sauce, and some chilli bean paste), learning to wrap the dumplings, and then the right technique in cooking them up. While I have to admit, I don’t really contribute in the filling-making process—unless you count peering over someone’s shoulder while making lip-smacking munchy sounds a contribution (which S certainly does not)—I do enjoy helping S wrap the dumplings. The first couple of times I tried this, I made a bit of a mess of things. Creating evenly spaced folds in the edges is not as simple as it sounds. And instead of picture perfect gyoza, my initial creations looked more like some poor Tokyo citizen that had been trampled by Godzilla. But after some practice, I can happily say that when I offer my help, S doesn’t swat me away but instead pulls out a chair for me to join her.

Cooking the gyoza is something I enjoy. Essentially, you pan-fry them over pretty high heat until the bottoms are browned. Then you add a little bit of water and cover the pan, allowing the dumplings to steam through. After a couple of minutes you can uncover and cook until the water evaporates.

The above pictured gyoza were made by S for a mid-week meal for me and her father. Incidentally, they are plated on a Staub cast iron plate, given to me by the local distributor. The plate is not only sexy and hardy, but because it is cast iron, retains heat beautifully.

About Aun Koh

Aun has always loved food and travel, passions passed down to him from his parents. This foundation, plus a background in media, pushed him to start Chubby Hubby in 2005. He loves that this site allows him to write about the things he adores--food, style, travel, his wife and his two kids!

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8 Comments

  1. J 5 June 2005

    those are some of the prettiest gyoza i've seen in a while – what military precision! also love the curvaceous uppermost edges…

  2. Anonymous 6 June 2005

    cute lil' dumplings. i bet taste even better. question: i thought gyoza supposed to be sticking together…i'm not sure!?

  3. keiko 9 June 2005

    This is the most beautiful dumplings I’ve ever seen.

  4. stephen 1 August 2005

    Nice work, and congratulations on your DMBLGIT win! I knew it the moment I saw this picture…!

  5. Ruth 8 August 2005

    Congratulations on the win. The photo is amazing and I suppose we should congratulate your wife on gyoza. They are truly a work of art.

  6. McAuliflower 3 October 2005

    I would love a tutorial on how to fold these up properly!

    I’m sitting down for my first attempt, and am afraid I’ll be making awhole city of squished Tokyo citizens!

  7. Asha 27 October 2007

    Those little dumplings look delectable. We made gyozas for a dinner party earlier this month. They took a while, but they were worth it!

  8. Regina 26 December 2007

    Do you have a recipe to sha
    re on these beautiful yummy gyoza.
    thanks

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