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Gyoza on the left, tofu-turkey patties on the right!
I'm half Japanese and an eighth Chinese, so loving Asian foods just seems sort of obvious. One of the things I stopped eating when I decided to be healthier was gyoza (i.e. the little dumplings that have all sorts of names depending what Asian culture you're talking about). I call it gyoza, my little sister calls it mandoo, my boyfriend calls it wonton, my cousin just says dimsum, and the list goes on.

There are lots of different fillings, different preparation methods, different wrapper recipes, blah blah blah blah. Most of the times I've bought them, they've been filled with pork and veggies....I normally say no to pork these days; it has too much fat. Also, a lot of places fry them, which adds more unnecessary oil to the mix. BUT...I was at a point where I missed it so much that I decided to just try and make it myself...for the first time ever. I was amazed that they didn't actually turn out that bad, hahaha.

The whole process ended up being a lot easier than I thought it would be, but that probably has more to do with the fact that I bought the wrappers and pre-julliened veggies instead of making them myself, shhh! Don't tell! (^_~) I also used two leftover tofu-turkey patties (click on the link for the recipe!) that I had made a few days earlier, so there was even less to do...but it's a great recipe nonetheless. I kind of feel like the hardest part was just assembling all the parts...it's so tedious trying to crimp all the wrappers once you fill them!


Cooking them was sort of an issue, too. I wanted to steam these little suckers, but I don't own one of those bamboo steamers, so I had to improvise. I place a pancake/omelette ring in a large pan, put an upside down plate on the ring, put the gyoza on the upside down plate, filled the bottom of the pan with water, and boiled it with the pan being covered. My very own ghetto steamer. In case you're wondering about the ring under the plate, I tried it without the ring first...but the bubbles kept making the plate rattle and move as they tried to escape from under the plate. I didn't want the plate suddenly exploding upwards or something, so I used the ring to keep the plate elevated above the water. It allows all the air bubbles to escape from under the plate without making all the rattling sounds, yay!

I know it sounds difficult....but if you missed gyoza as much as I did, you'd go through the trouble. It's worth it! :D

Tofu-Turkey-Veggie Gyoza

Makes 20-25 gyoza

Ingredients:
(Some pictured to the right to help you out; click on them to enlarge the photos)

  • 2 pre-made tofu-turkey patties (or 6.5 oz. firm tofu, or meat, or a mix of both)
  • 9oz. Shirakiku frozen burdock and carrot mix (or whatever veggies you'd like to use in it's place)
  • 2 tbsp Bragg liquid amino (or shoyu/soy sauce)
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 2 tbsp cooking sake
  • 20-25 ct. pack of 3.5" wide gyoza wrappers (or mandoo or wonton or whatever kind of wrapper you have at your supermarket)


Directions:
  1. Heat a wide frying pan over medium-high heat, spray with nonstick spray, and throw the burdock and carrots in to fry for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the liquid amino, mirin, and cooking sake to the pan and reduce heat to medium-low heat. Stir the veggies around, allowing them to soak up and cook in the liquids about 2 minutes. (Pictured below)
  3. Crumble the tofu-turkey patties (or your substitution) into the pan and stir. Cook another 3-5 minutes, until all liquids have been absorbed.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat, and let filling cool.
  5. Meanwhile, set up an assembly station that includes a spoon, a small cup of water to help with sealing the wrappers, and a tray or plate to place your filled gyoza on. It might be helpful to line your work surface with plastic wrap or wax paper so that anything that falls will be easier to clean up. (Pictured below)
  6. When filling has cooled, pick up your gyoza wrapper (stretch it a little if you need to), and using a spoon, place 1-2 tbsp of filling in the center of the wrapper, leaving a 1/2" margin from the edges. Dip your finger in water, moisten the 1/2" margin you left, fold the wrapper in half, and press the edges together gently to seal in the filling. Try to get any excess air out of the gyoza before fulling sealing. Crimping the edges is optional, but it makes it look pretty.
  7. Placed finished gyoza on a tray (pictured below). Repeat step 6 until you've filled all the wrappers or run out of filling, whichever happens first. Try to keep the gyoza cool and separated; they get sticky if too warm and may tear they stick together. Keep in the fridge or freeze them until ready to cook.
  8. When ready to cook them, use a bamboo steamer to steam the gyoza until the wrapper is tender and slick. If you don't have a steamer, you can also use an upside down plate in a large frying pan with boiling water. Place the gyoza on the "bottom" of the plate, cover the pan, and let it steam, but keep an eye on the water level. (Pictured below)
  9. Serve hot!
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Shirakiku Burdock & Carrots packaging
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L to R: Cooking sake, Bragg liquid amino, & mirin
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Ended up buying mandoo wrappers



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