It’s been quite a long time since I did a cooking related blog entry, so here goes.
I hosted a dinner party that coincided with the last night of the annual Celebration of Lights fireworks. Since the final fireworks contestant was Team Japan, I decided that the dinner party would be Japanese cuisine.
My contribution to dinner was home-made gyoza. The beauty of this dish is that japanese gyoza, cantonese pot-stickers, northern chinese jiaozi, and korean mandoo are all variations of the same thing. If you can competently make one, the method and ingredients are quickly adaptable to the others.
But where to start? Finding recipes is easy with the internet. I found several hundred within minutes. But which one is a good recipe? I bailed on the internet, and went with a recipe provided by a friend (thanks Steph!). This has the virtue of a recipe that’s been tested and approved by someone who I know loves making these things.
I picked up a pack of prepared dumpling wrappers (the round ones are so much easier to shape and manipulate than the square ones). Then prepared a mixture of ground pork, blanched shredded napa cabbage, and diced (re-hydrated) shiitake mushrooms, seasoned with garlic, ginger, soy, sesame oil, sugar, salt and white pepper.
After a good hour and a half of wrapping, I ended up with about 45-50 dumplings, ready to be cooked. Actually, it probably was 50, but I had to play test a few just to check the flavor and seasoning of the filling before wrapping them all up.
A quick pan sear, then doused with water to steam in the pan, then a flip and a re-sear, and I’m done.
I served this with two dipping sauces, one made from rice vinegar, soy, ginger & sesame oil, the other made from sriracha, hoison sauce & sesame oil (yeah, I know the second sauce is not japanese at all. But I like this combination, and it’s my party, so, nyeah :-p)
Overall, I was pretty happy with these. I imagine I’ll make numerous adjustments as I go forward. I’ll try some different wrappers, tweak the filling, try some different dipping sauces, etc.