I LOVE dumplings of all kinds-momos, gyoza, potstickers, Polish pierogies, the list is endless. The perfect ones are full of filing with a thin, delicate outer skin; chewy yet tender. So delicious, if done right. During my second year one of the stalls on campus sold chicken momos, which naturally got everyone excited. Unfortunately, I found bits of cartilage/bone in mine on more than one occasion and since then have become a little wary of street side momo joints.
I’ve always wanted to make dumplings on my own. For one, you can control the quality of the ingredients going in, and secondly, it gives you a lot of room to experiment with different flavours. Making the wrapping and shaping it is an art, and if you love cooking, definitely a skill you want to have.
In the meantime while I contemplated building enough courage to actually make my own gyoza, I re-watched hours of food related k-dramas and the channel Strictly Dumpling on Youtube. If you’re fascinated by Korean food and vicariously enjoy watching people eat as much as I do, then the Let’s Eat series is for you, available on Netflix. You’re welcome. 🙂
A few months ago, my boyfriend visited Japan with his family and it inspired me to get off my lazy butt and actually make some of the food I’d been dreaming of for so long. I decided to cook three dishes over the course of the week- Spicy udon noodles, prawn gyoza with salmon rice balls (I’ll be posting about those later on) , and teriyaki salmon with several side dishes. Getting all the ingredients took a while, but I managed to find everything I needed, and I’ll include some of those links below.
I was really happy and a little surprised with how these turned out. There were definitely some struggles along the way, which i’ll share with you. Making dumplings in a tiny hostel room is no joke, but it was a fun and exciting experience. I can’t wait to do it all over again, though maybe i’ll be less goofish the next time around. 😛
Regardless of the housing situation you’re in, I hope you’ll give this recipe a try, and have as much fun as I did, as well as a very happy tummy. 😀
STEP 1: Sift the flour into a large bowl and mix the salt with warm water. Slowly pour the water into the flour and stir gently until a dough begins to form. When the dough is fully combined and doesn’t stick to your fingers roll it into a ball and set aside.
STEP 2: Scatter some flour over your surface and transfer the dough. Make sure you remove all other items from the area so you don’t make everything look like it’s covered in snow (the cleanup afterwards was not fun 😛 ). Kneed the dough for ten minutes until it is smooth and elastic to the touch, then roll it in the shape of a log. Wrap and set aside for at least 30 minutes.
STEP 3: Cut the dough into pieces, approximately the size of two fingers and roll into a ball. Use a rolling pin to form each ball into a thin circle, ensuring that the edges are thicker than the middle. Use a cup (I spent a good 20 minutes searching for one the right size and knocked over several objects in the process, so make sure you’re prepared) and mould them into a perfect circle. Sprinkle with a little flour and cover with a damp cloth so as to prevent them from drying out.
FOR THE FILING:
STEP 1: Finely chop the cabbage, garlic, and green onions. I like cutting the prawns into slightly larger pieces because the texture is so much nicer, but feel free to chop them any way you like. Then add the chili flakes, soy sauce, sake, salt, and sesame oil and mix well.
STEP 2: Lightly wet the edges of the wrapper and add a little less than a tablespoon of the filing into the centre. Fold the edges of the wrapper and pinch to form your dumpling. Heat some oil in a pan and add the gyoza gently, frying until the bottom is golden-brown. Gently pour in a little water, cover and cook for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and assemble on a plate
Serve with your favorite dipping sauce. I added soy, chinese black vinegar, chili oil and sesame oil. Et voilà! Bon Appétit! 🙂