I'm willing to go out on a limb: gyoza are my favorite food. They have been since as long as I can remember. They are a time consuming project to make, so it was always a family affair. Mother would make the filling and roll the wrappers, and my sister and I would stuff and fold them.
This is a version of the recipe I've grown up loving. Take the trouble to find REALLY good pork. Niman Ranch pork is widely available, or you might even be able find good Berkshire pork shoulder from a local farmer. If you can, ask to have it ground with 25-30% fat, twice through the medium grinder. You want it fatty and not too fine.
If you're up to it, I'd highly recommend making your own wrappers. If you're not, skip to the next step.
4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup boiling water
Pour boiling water into a bowl with the flour. Mix with chopsticks until the water is incorporated, and knead 10-15 minutes, adding a handful of flour if the dough is sticky, and a few Tbsp of water if it refuses to hold together. Once the dough is smooth, wrap in plastic and allow it to rest for at least an hour.
1 lb good pork
1 lb cabbage, savoy or plain green
2 tbsp finely chopped ginger
1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
2 scallions, with green tops, finely chopped
2 tbsp mirin (sweet rice wine)
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sesame oil
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, and briefly blanch the cabbage leaves (1 minute or so). Plunge leaves in cold water, squeeze vigorously to remove as much moisture as possible, and chop fine. Mix meat, cabbage, and the rest by hand. Fry a bit in a pan and taste for seasoning. You want the seasoning to be assertive. It should taste gingery and garlicky and salty.
To roll out the dough, cut off a piece ¾ the size of a wine cork and roll with a small pin to 2.5 inches in diameter. Place 1 ½ Tbsp filling on the wrapper, fold to enclose like a ravioli, seal, and seam side up, bend into a crescent and pleat the seam.
To cook, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil and 1 Tbsp sesame oil in a pan. Dissolve 2 Tbsp corn starch in 1 ½ cup cold water. Crowd gyoza together in the pan in batches of five, add water with corn starch, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and cook until the water evaporates. Remove the cover and continue to cook until the corn starch forms a gold crisp.
Serve upside down. Make a sauce with 2 parts rice vinegar to one part soy sauce. Add hot chili oil, if you'd like.
Related: Back to basics with Peko-Peko Catering
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