Gyoza are very popular in Japan. There are even chain restaurants specializing in gyoza as well as ramen noodle restaurants serving them. There are three main ways to cook gyoza; (1) fry-steam-fry (most common), (2) steam or boil, (3)deep fry. Some time ago I posted pork gyoza which was first browned and then steamed by adding water (and covering with a lid). After the water evaporates, it again browns and crisps up. This time, I decided to boil the dumpling in chicken broth. This type of gyoza is called “Mizu gyoza” 水餃子 (“mizu” means water).
I served boiled gyoza with a dab of yuzukoshou 柚子胡椒 and ponzu sauce ポン酢.
In this version, I added slices of ginger, soy sauce and mirin to the chicken broth in which the gyoza were cooked and used it as a sauce.
Stuffing: This is same as before. I mixed ground pork (I hand cut the trimming of the pork tenderloins as usual) with sautéed finely chopped onion and shiitake mushroom, boiled and finely chopped cabbage (after they cooled down to the room temperature). The amounts are all arbitrary (if you are “rich” of course use more meat). I seasoned with a small amount of soy sauce, roasted sesame oil, ground ginger and garlic, salt and pepper. I mixed well using my hand until the meat became sticky and the ingredients were bound together.
Gyoza skin: I used American wonton skin (square in shape). I moistened the two adjacent edges of the wonton skin with water. After I placed a teaspoonful of the stuffing in the center, I folded the skin diagonally, pressed it together, and then made a few pleats. This time in order to make the gyoza into pleasing shapes, I used a round cookie cutter to cut off the the edges of the skin after folding it to make a perfect half moon shape but this is optional.
I added chicken broth (my usual low-salt no fat version from Swanson) to a sauce pan and let it come to a boil, I added slices of fresh ginger, soy sauce (I used light-colored soy sauce or “Usukuchi” 薄口醤油), mirin and sake. I dropped the gyoza into the boiling broth and cooked it for several minutes until the skin became semitransparent and the stuffing was cooked.
I scooped them out using a slotted spoon, placed them on the plate without overlapping. Although we could eat them immediately, I prepared this on a weekend morning when I had some free time. So, I let it cool and covered it with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for the evening meal. In the evening, I warmed them up by dropping them in the warm broth and served as seen in the two pictures above.
By boiling, the skin attained a slightly slippery texture which is quite different from either steam-fried or deep fried gyoza. It seemed reminiscent of ravioli somehow. We still like gyoza made in a traditional fry-steam method but the boiled one could be made in large numbers and even can be frozen. This was a perfect small snack to start the evening.