Sunday, July 31, 2016

Dueling Gyozas - Pork vs. Tofu #SundaySupper

With a good hit of fresh ginger, garlic and chili pepper, these gyozas will delight your whole family, vegetarians and meat eaters alike. Bonus: They are fun and easy to make!

First off, let me say that dueling gyozas is a misnomer. There's really no competition between the two. Both are delicious. That said, I couldn't name this recipe pork and tofu gyozas because that would imply that each gyoza contained both of those ingredients. Which they do not. Half are pork, half are tofu. The other seasonings and ingredients are otherwise almost identical.

We had been living in Southeast Asia again for just a couple of years when I first learned about gyozas from Jamie Oliver on his show Oliver’s Twist, circa 2004. Kinda funny, when you think about it. Living in Kuala Lumpur, Japanese friends and restaurants all around me and I find out about gyozas from a English chef on television!  The gyoza episode was called East Meets West and, in typical Jamie style, he made them look so easy.

I scribbled down the ingredient list as I watched and have made it with my daughters ever since. Since we like things spicy, we add fresh red chili peppers to both the filling and the dipping sauce. Oh, and Jamie also puts sake - Japanese rice wine - in his filling. I never have sake in the house, so I just leave it out. The original calls for ground pork but when the girls left home for university and became vegetarians, we adapted the recipe to use firm tofu as an alternative.

Not only is this one of our favorite family recipes, it’s a great group activity. Gather everyone around the kitchen table, put your fillings and gyoza skins in the middle, and get filling and folding. As the saying goes, many hands make light work and we have a lot of fun chatting and joking while getting it done.

If you’d like to watch Jamie make gyozas, here’s a link to the show on YouTube. East Meets West is actually Season 2, episode 22, but this is the only link I could find.

For the dipping sauce:
5 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 red chili, minced
1 tablespoon chopped green onion

For the pork filling – for 40-45 gyozas
10 1/2 oz or 300g ground pork
1 cup or 100g finely sliced Chinese cabbage
5 green onions, chopped finely
2-in length of ginger, peeled and minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red chili pepper, minced - optional
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons sesame oil

For the tofu filling – for 40-45 gyozas
1/4 oz or 7g dried porcini mushrooms, rehydrated, drained and chopped
10 1/2 oz or 300g firm tofu, cubed and drained
1 cup or 100g finely sliced Chinese cabbage
5 green onions, chopped finely
2-in length of ginger, peeled and minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red chili pepper, minced – optional
4 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons sesame oil

4 packages gyoza skins  - about 25 per packet - you'll have some left over.
2 tablespoons oil for pan

Start by making your dipping sauce by combining all the ingredients, so that the minced chili has time to infuse. Set aside.

In large bowl combine your green onions, sliced cabbage, ginger, garlic, chili pepper and pork.

For the tofu filling, in another large bowl, mash the tofu with a fork until it’s in big crumbles then add in your mushrooms, green onions, sliced cabbage, ginger, garlic and chili pepper.

Sprinkle the soy sauce and sesame oil into each filling bowl.

Mix well with a fork and pan fry a small amount of each to check seasoning. Add a little more soy sauce if the filling still needs salt.

Get yourself a small bowl of cool water and dip one finger in it. Run your wet finger around the outside of the gyoza skin.  Place a spoonful of the filling mixture on top of the skin.

 Close edges carefully, making sure there is no air inside.

Wet the semi-circular edge and then make pleats around it.

Set it pleat side up in a non-stick skillet coated with the oil. Press down gently to flatten out the bottom a little bit so the gyozas can stand up.

N.B. With this many gyozas, you are going to have to cook them in batches or use more than one pan. Also, you will want to keep the tofu ones separated from the pork ones if you are serving strict vegetarians. When they are cooked, they are pretty much identical from the outside.

Continue with remaining filling until all of your gyozas are made. These guys are listed under appetizers below but we often make a whole meal of them.

The tofu filling

Tip: You can freeze the gyozas now in a well-sealed container and cook them from frozen when you are ready to eat. They just take a bit longer to cook.

Heat your pan and fry the gyozas until the bottoms are brown and crispy.

Add 1/2 cup or 120ml water to the pan and cover the pan tightly.

Steam over low heat for 8 - 10 minutes, until the gyozas are cooked through and the water has evaporated.

Serve with the dipping sauce.


This week my Sunday Supper family are sharing their kids' favorite recipes. We hope you find some new family favorites among them. Many thanks to our host Ellen of Family Around the Table and our event manager, Renee of Renee's Kitchen Adventures for all of their hard work.



Main Dish


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