Engagement · November 20, 2023

A Gyoza Day

It’s been a while since I made Gyoza.

This week, without actually planning to, over 2 trips to the supermarket, I seemed to have collected the ingredients required to make it. When I opened my fridge on Sunday morning to think of what to cook for evening dinner, I saw that all the ingredients ofr Gyoza was there. Just needed to get the skin. And that was easily accomplished at Recipe house which carries a lot of Japanese products.

The first time I was ever introduced to this dish was in Japan. At Kokusai Gakkyukai Nihongo Gakko, to be precise. This was the college I attended to brush up my Japanese language skills so that I could sit for the University entrance exams.

One day, my classmates planned a class activity. The school had a kitchen and eating area taht we could rent. So we all got together for a pot luck lunch. And one of the highlights of this was the making and frying of gyoza.

In my class there were students from Taiwan, Dalian, Shanghai and Malaysia as I recall. I brought Chicken Curry as my contribution. And I was amazed at the gyoza.

We all sat down at the long table with one end, the Shanghainese students making the gyoza skin from scratch. Then a bunch of us would fill up the gyoza and then another group would fry the gyoza. It was a like a factory line and all the while we just talked and communicated as best we could in Japanese, Chinese or English.

Aware that I did not take pork, they prepared a chicken filling. And the ingredients for making a gyoza is
1. Minced meat (beef or chicken or mix beef and chicken)
2. Soy sauce (kikkoman would be best)
3. Sesame oil
4. Finely chopped chives
5. A bit of ra yu or Chinese chili oil.

I would suggest that you add more of the above than normal as the gyoz skin will dampen any of the ingredients if you use too little.

Anyway, I am glad that I had not lost the are of making gyoza, but myself forgot the above tip and this Sunday’s gyoz had a good mix in terms of volume between meat and skin but lacked depth in taste and flavour.

Cooking is about practice and was glad for the reminder of a happy memory.