Thursday, December 15, 2016

Gyoza (Japanese dumplings)

We got a new toy this week - a Kitchenaid attachment of a meat grinder! We picked up some wonton wrappers from the grocery store and made our first meal with meat we ground ourselves. It was AWESOME. They were probably the best dumplings we have ever had. The dough will probably be better if we make it ourselves, and we plan to next time. But even with the store bought wonton wrappers it was pretty amazing. We had to make some adjustments, and fold them into triangles as the dough was too brittle to be cut into circles and properly pinched into the proper dumpling shape. However, the triangle dumplings were very easy and fast to make and turned out delicious.
The sauce was probably the best sauce we have tried and made also and to think that it is just three ingredients. Very yummy, will definitely make again!

We had some extra wrappers left over, so we also made some quick cream cheese wontons. We made those by blending 8oz of cream cheese with 3 cut green onions and filling the wontons. Then the edges just get pinched together into the middle and voila, the wonton is done. Also probably the best ones we have had and SUPER easy to make. They beat out some restaurant ones, possible because we used really good cream cheese.

Here is the original recipe for the gyoza: http://steamykitchen.com/5874-gyoza-recipe-japanese-pan-fried-dumplings.html

Gyoza

NOM

They are just ready to be eaten

okay, last one

Gyoza done!

Wontons being assembled

Wonton assembly

Wontons assembled

Wontons frying

More frying wontons 
Cream Cheese Wontons ready for eating!


Ingredients:

4 cups, loosely packed, minced Napa cabbage (use the frilly leafy half of the cabbage)
1/2 teaspoon table salt
11/12 ounces ground pork
1/2 tablespoon freshly grated ginger (with a Microplane grater)
5-6 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon green onion (green part only), minced
2 teaspoon aka miso paste (red/dark miso paste)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 red bell pepper (optional - we ground this through our meat grinder at the same time as pork)
1/4 teaspoon sugar
40 dumpling wrappers

For cooking the dumplings:
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 cup water

Dipping Sauce:
6 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
Several drops of sesame oil 

Directions:

1. Toss the minced cabbage with the salt in a large bowl and let it sit for 10 minutes. Using a sturdy paper towel, wrap the cabbage and squeeze to drain and discard the excess water (prevent your dumplings from becoming mushy) and then transfer the cabbage to a deep bowl. Add the pork, ginger, garlic, green onion, miso, sesame oil, red bell pepper, and sugar. Mix everything together with your hands until all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Using your hands, scoop the mixture into a ball, lift it, and then throw it back into the bowl. Repeat several times to tenderize the meat and help the mixture stick together. (we mixed with just a spoon, but our ingredients were ground, so that probably made a difference)

2. Have a small bowl of cold water ready. Lay a dumpling wrapper on a dry work surface, and place a heaping teaspoon of the meat mixture in the center of the wrapper. With a fingertip moistened with water, trace a line along half of the edge of the round wrapper. Fold the wrapper over to enclose the filling, and pinch the wrapper in the center to seal the edges together at that spot. Holding the filled half-circle in the left hand, pleat the top of the wrapper from the middle out, pressing it to the flat edge of the wrapper at the back. Set aside the stuffed dumpling with the pleated-wrapper edge up. Repeat to make 40 dumplings in all.

3. In a large skillet with a tight fitting lid, heat 1 teaspoon of the sesame oil over medium-high heat. Carefully place as many of the dumplings that can fit without touching in the skillet with the pleated-wrapper edge up. Cook the dumplings for 3 minutes, or until nicely browned on the bottom. Check the progress by lifting 1 or 2 dumplings by their pleated edge.

4. Once the bottoms are nicely browned, use the skillet lid to shield yourself and carefully pour in 1/4 cup of the water. When the hissing and splattering die down, drizzle in 1/2 teaspoon of the sesame oil around the edge of the skillet. Place the lid on the skillet to trap in the moisture and then quickly lower the heat to keep the liquid at a bare simmer.

5. Check the dumplings after 2 minutes. When the wrappers appear slightly translucent and the meat feels firm when pressed lightly with a spoon, remove the lid and raise the heat slightly. Continue to cook until all the water has evaporated and only the oil remains (about 2 minutes). Once you hear a sizzling sound, shake the skillet. The dumplings should slide about. If they seem to stick to the skillet, move the skillet away from the stove and replace the lid for a moment. Remove the dumplings from the skillet with a broad flexible spatula. If you'd like, flip them over so that the seared surface faces up. Cook the remaining dumplings the same way. Serve the dumplings hot accompanied by the dipping sauce.

4. While the dumplings are cooking, make the dipping sauce by mixing the soy sauce and rice vinegar together in a small bowl. Pour the sauce into a small serving pitcher or distribute among individual dipping dishes.

What we liked:

SOOOO GOOD. Best dumplings ever. The meat grinder is also awesome. Cannot wait to make kofta kebabs with it!

What we didn't like:

The store bought dough, but even with that it was great. 

What Kaspian and Astrid thought about it:

Astrid loved it all, especially the meat. Kaspian was really into the cream cheese wontons, although he really did not like that there were green onions in there. We told him that it was a necessary ingredient to keep the wonton from falling apart.

Next time:

Try our own dough!