Read This Book: Asian Dumplings

Read This Book: Asian Dumplings


Okay, I'm going to out myself here -- I'm totally "gyoza otaku," or obsessed with Japanese-style fried dumplings. I'm not alone. In Japan, gyoza is the classic companion to ramen (with a frosty mug of beer finishing the picture), with bespoke versions the subject of magazine articles and television shows and endless debate online. There's even a Gyoza Stadium in Tokyo, a food theme park that brings together the giants of Japanese gyoza cooking. But for all my gyoza adoration, I have never tried to make them -- until I got a copy of Andrea Nguyen's amazing new book Asian Dumplings. First, Andrea is a fantastic cook and writer and one super-cool human. Second, her new book rocks, covering dumplings from across Asia with terrific recipes, clear techniques and illustrations, and insights into pan-Asian food culture.

I quickly turned to Andrea's gyoza recipe on page 41 and gathered the ingredients. I cut corners a little bit by buying gyoza skins instead of making them from scratch (sorry, Andrea!). Also, my wife and I have a ton of shiso growing in our garden, so I chopped up some of that fabulous herb and threw it in, too. My wife also wanted more nira, or Chinese chives, so we doubled the amount Andrea calls for. (As always, think about how you want to prepare recipes). Now it was time to assemble the dumplings, by pleating together the edges. I never did this before, so my gyoza looked pretty pathetic. But luckily my honey's a trained sculptor with phenomenally nimble hands. She shoved me aside and quickly formed a bunch of lovely dumplings, even though it turned out I got the wrong shaped skins -- square instead of round (thanks, honey). We fried them up, chowed them down. Fantastic. And we made enough for another round tonight for dinner.

Posted by Harris Salat in Book | Permalink | Comments (9) | Email | Print

Comments (9)

Gyoza is one of my favorites, too! I've never been to the Gyoza Stadium in Tokyo—thanks for the tip! I'll have to check that out the next time I go.

I also tried my had at making gyoza recently, but the recipe I used made it super easy to assemble. I pan-fried them and finished it off with some water and katakuriko, which made an incredibly crispy crust. If you're wife isn't around to help, here's a good alternative!

There is nothing like a really good dumpling. On the few occasions I've made them at home, I always use the store-bought skins. With three little ones running around and a full-time job, I'm lucky to have just enough time to mix the fillings and assemble the dumplings before it's time to eat. ;) But really, they are so easy I can't believe we don't make them more often. Curious what you put in your sauce...?
Thanks for your comment, Dawn. Amen, sister! Ah, the dipping sauce. Small detail I left out! Glad you flagged that. It's a combination of soy sauce, rice vinegar and ra-yu (chili-infused sesame oil), the classic accompaniment to gyoza. Ratio is something like 2 parts soy sauce to 1 part vinegar to 1/2 part ra-yu.
I love dumplings! I know the homemade is always good, but I found the great frozen dumpling made in Brooklyn at Fairway. Sometime you need a shortcut! For the dipping, I love using Chinese Chinkiang black vingar with ra-yu.
This article made me feel like eating gyoza!!!! Oh yeah, I love Gyoza, too. Harris, we got to have a gyoza party. I will make pork gyoza and shrimp gyoza. I like deep fried gyoza, which is crispy and can be a great snack. BTW, the square skin you bought is for wontan, similar dumplings but the skin is thinner and supposed to be dropped into hot soup.
Doh! Round skins next time! Let's do gyoza!
Hi Harris - thanks for the reply. It looked like the "traditional" sauce, but you never know. :) Hiroko - I have never tried Chinese black vinegar. I'll have to look for that!
They look delish, even if the skins are the wrong shape. Where did you obtain shiso to grow in your garden? I'd really like to get some for myself but it seems hard to find.
Hi Abby, thanks for your comment. I bought the shiso from my local Japanese market -- but -- it's pretty easy to grow, too. In fact, my wife and I are going to plant a bunch in the spring (which seems so far away as I watch the heavy snowfall today in New York!). Here's where you can buy seeds: -- Harris

Post a Comment

Type the characters you see in the picture above.

Email This Story

Email this article to:
Your email address:
Message (optional):