Saturday, 20 March 2010

Pork, ginger and spring onion gyoza with fragrant dipping sauce

No surprise these have made an appearance, I've waxed lyrical about my dim-sum-and-all-things-like-it-addiction (Plum Valley being something of an obsession of mine) so it was only a matter of time before I made the traditional Japanese gyoza and popped them on the blog.

There's loads of fun to be had with the fillings for these, some that I've tried before that work really well include:

- Minced prawns with ginger and toasted sesame oil
- Chopped sauteed leeks and shitake mushrooms with chopped water chestnuts
- Minced rump steak with chilli oil, corriander, garlic and ginger

Think I'll be rediscovering them soon, writing about them is making me want to eat them all now!

Gyoza for me are a really good little snack, perfect for a starter if you're cooking for people, or good as the main focus of a quick evening meal - I like popping them into soups instead of meat because they make a great main ingredient.

For ease, I like to make them in batches and then freeze some for using mid week (like in the soup, no one wants to spend time making them when they get home from work eh).

For around 30-36 gyoza:
600g minced pork - don't be scared of it being fatty, the fat carries flavour
2 big pieces of ginger, peeled
4 spring onions, topped and tailed
2 cloves garlic, peeled
A few good scrunches of sea salt
Two tablespoons shaoshing rice wine / dry sherry
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons chilli oil
1 medium sized bunch corriander
Oil for frying
For the dipping sauce:
Half light soy sauce to half rice vinegar
Several stems fresh corrander, coarsley chopped
Quarter of a teaspoon chilli flakes
A little finger sized piece of ginger, peeled and grated

- For the dipping sauce, simply combine all the ingredients together in a bowl or ramekin and leave for an hour for the flavours to mingle
- Take the gyoza wrappers out of the freezer about an hour before you need them, leave them unopened
- Combine all the ingredients apart from the pork in a food processor and blitz until finley minced
- Add the pork and pulse until all the ingredients are combined - I like there to still be a good texture in the meat instead of it being totally pureed
- Open the gyoza wrappers and put them on a plate, cover them with a damp towel so they don't dry out
- Put a little water in a bowl to wet the wrappers when you need
- Take a single wrapper in your hand and place a teaspoon of the mixture in the centre
- Wet a finger in the bowl and then run it all around the outside of the wrapper
- Gently roll the wrapper between your thumb and forefingers (the action is a little bit like rolling a cigarette!) until the gyoza is effectively folded in half and the meat is like a sausage inside
- Now press the wet edges together, sealing the gyoza and being careful to not trap any air in there, it should now look like a half moon
- Wet your fingers gently now and crimp the edges all the way around, I like to do one crimp in the centre, and two either side of that - you'll see in the pic how the crimp should look but if how you do it isnt clear there are videos of people doing it (much better than me!) on Youtube
- Heat around 2 inches oil in a frying pan and bring to a medium hot temperature on a medium high heat for around 8 minutes
- Pop the gyoza in the hot oil carefully (don't crowd the pan or they'll steam not fry), they should sizzle and fry but not go too brown too fast, they need to cook for around 6 minutes to be piping hot inside
- Remove, drain, devour