I grew up watching the super campy Batman TV show with Adam West. He had such an awesome voice and the cartoon illustrations during the fights–BAM! ZOWEE!–were awesome. Hubby and I finally saw the (not-so) new Batman movie over the weekend. It was not worth shooting people over, but the sideways driving motor bike was purdy cool. I also watched two episodes of Hannibal. I liked those better than the movie I think. Sorry, Mr. Bale. You still look great in a bat suit.
I would not look good in a bat suit. One of the many reasons why is gyoza.
What is a gyoza, you ask? A potsticker. You can steam em, you can fry em, you can sautee em. You can put meat or vegg in em or on em. They are as flexible as they are yummy. They are a bit of a pain in the ass to make, but the effort pays off in taste and you can (actually SHOULD) make as many as possible in one round and freeze them. That way they are only a pain once every couple months and you relish the flavor in between long enough to want to make them again. Actually, they aren’t hard at all, just time consuming, and if you had a person that could help you factory-line-style, you’d be golden. They are quite messy though. Not sure there is getting around that.
Saying that, I have learned a thing or six (!) about making these yummy devils that are worth sharing:
- You have to get as much of the liquid out of the cabbage as you can. I have found that salting the heck out of it and letting it sit for a couple hours (as if you were making kraut) works great. You can rinse it and squeeze the water out and it’s much easier to work with. I haven’t found a big difference in the taste with different cabbages. I wouldn’t use red though, unless you want purple gyoza.
Squeezing the water out of cabbage.
- Dried mushrooms will save you time and effort because you don’t have to get the water out. This only works if you have an ultra sharp knife or a food processor.
This is the brand of mushrooms I used, but I’m trying the dried mushrooms at Whole Foods next!
- You can have too little seasoning, but I have yet to use too much.
- You can use (easier to find) wonton wrappers that are square, but they won’t fit well into the little press. I’d make the trip to the Asian grocery and look for them in the freezer food. The wrappers are cheap as dirt and are made for this.
- You can seal these by hand, but it would likely triple the amount of time and be a remarkable mess. You’re working with flour and water to seal, so your hands would be a gummier mess than they already get. Up to you, but I’d use the $2 press you can buy when you hit the Asian grocery to grab the wrappers.
I’ve tried both of these. I found the one on the left to be harder on my hands and it didn’t seal as well. I liked the one on the right much better.
- 20 of these does NOT equal 20 of the Trader Joe’s (or other store-bought) gyoza. I learned this from my husband when he had to have a second dinner after having gyoza with me. This means that making a batch of 100 will not make 5 meals. It will make 4 meals for one couple comprised of one person watching what they eat and one who can eat anything because he has the metabolism of a 14-year-old. This works as long as the watcher gets 10 and the hungry man gets 15. I reserve the right to steal though. OR, you could stick to 20/meal and just have more side dish food than one bag of steamfresh broccoli or green beans, which both go great with pot stickers. OR, you could make these a appetizer for four or five people if making stir fry or something else. Ta da! Ideas abound!
2-50 packs of potsticker (gyoza) wrappers
half a head of napa or savoy cabbage shredded as thinly as possible (about 4-6 cups)
a handful of pickling or kosher salt
1 lb of ground pork (or chicken or turkey)
1-2 oz of dried Shiitakes (or whatever you like better or have on hand)
1 bunch thinly sliced scallions (just the white and light green parts)
1 Tbs fresh ground ginger
2 Tbs minced garlic
2-3 Tbs of soy sauce
liberal seasoning of pepper
a gyoza press
Put the thinly sliced cabbage into a gallon-size baggy and throw in the handful of salt. Mush it around so the salt gets distributed and leave it on the counter for an hour or two. It will get all watery–this is what you want. The longer it sits the better. If you leave it for about three days, you’ll have a basic saurkraut. Yum. You don’t want it to sit that long for gyoza though.
Put the salty cabbage into a collander and rinse very well with water. Squeeze out as much water as you can by hand. I ended up putting the cabbage back in the baggy, cutting off a corner and squeezed more water out that way. One your done getting the water squeezed out, chop the cabbage as small as you can and put in a big mixing bowl.
Pulse the dried mushrooms in a food processor until very small. Add to the mixing bowl with the cabbage. Add all the other ingredients except the wrappers and mix really well. Now if you don’t want to waste a lot of effort to have a bunch of lack-luster gyoza (I’ve done this before and it’s a bummer) take a pinch of the mix, put it on a plate and nuke it for 30-45 seconds until the meat is cooked. Taste it and if the seasoning needs tweaking, do it now.
The best smelling mess around! This is what the filling looks like.
Now that you have yummy filling, get your wrappers and your press and clear off a working area. Get a small bowl and fill it with water. Put a wrapper on the press and ONE TEASPOON (yes, that’s all) of the filling in the middle.
Just a teenie leetle bit. or the wrapper won’t close.
Dip your finger in the water and run it along one side of the wrapper. Make sure you are getting the side that will be pressed wet or you’ll not be sealing anything. Close the gyoza press as tightly as you can. Hold it for a second or two and open it back up. If you put the water in the right place, you’ll have a pretty little half moon of nom-nom. Put it on a parchment-paper lined baking sheet (the biggest you have that fits in your freezer) and hit the next one. Don’t let them touch until they are frozen as they WILL stick. Repeat 99 times or until your hands fall off. Slide the boogers into the freezer and after about 30 minutes, you can put them in smaller bags (meal-size) and freeze them up to 3 months.
This is what 50 gyoza looks like. Nom nom nom.
There are about as many ways to cook gyoza as there are ways to fill them. Many people steam them or fry them. You can try any way you like. I do a combination of both sauteeing and steaming. I get a big deep skillet and heat up 1-2 teaspoons of oil. I have a stir fry oil I use that has garlic and ginger in it and it works well for this. Olive oil won’t work for this, use something flavorless. Put a bag of the frozen gyoza in the oil making sure they are in a single layer. Let them heat for 2-3 minutes, flip them and let them go another 3 minutes. Then add about 1/4 cup of broth or water and lower the heat. Cover the pan and steam until the liquid is gone. I’ve steamed veggies in the pan with the gyoza and I often sautee another bunch of scallions with them because I think it tastes good and is pretty.
Once the liquid is gone, serve them with a small bowl of soy sauce for dipping–I add a splash of rice wine vinegar and some hot chili paste to my soy sauce for kick–and eat them up!