Gyoza dumplings with beef
Dimsum, dumplings, wontong, wantan, wuntun, jioazi or gyoza (餃子): they are slightly different in taste and preparing, but it comes down to the same thing: dough parcels stuffed with strong seasoned meat, fish and/or vegetables. It makes a delicious snack, or a wicked breakfast. It’s similar to an Italian ravioli.
It’s probably a Chinese invention, but you can find a wide variation anywhere throughout Asia. Beb has some Chinese recipes in her book like taste crab balls or bapao but no dumplings or dimsum. I think that these delicious steamed surprises should be on my blog. So here is my Pisang Susu dumpling recipe.
I like Japanese gyoza a lot. The dumpling is fried just shortly on one side and then steamed all the way through. So let’s get started.
Accounting for at least 20 gyoza’s. Preparation is 1.5 hours.
Ingredients gyoza dough
- 240 grams flour (2 cups)
- 120 ml freshly boiled water (still blazing hot)
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- some cornstarch for rolling out the dough
- Peanut oil
chopsticks – to mix the hot batter
plastic wrap – to cover the dough while resting.
Ingredients gyoza filling
- 4-5 tablespoons of finely chopped cabbage
- 100 grams of minced beef
- handful of shrimps
- 8-10 twigs of marsh samphire
- 5 cm of ginger
- 2 tablespoons of Kikkoman soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons of oyster sauce
- 2 teaspoons of sesame oil
Preparation of the dough
To make the dough you can use white bread flour or plain flour. I choose plain flour. I weigh the quantities meticulously so it will be a nice, shiny and firm dough. The water that you add has to be very hot. That will make the dough firmer and a bit thicker. Ice-cold water and flour make a crispy cover, such as tempura, but for the gyoza a wetter and firmer package is needed.
I use chopsticks to mix the flour with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and the boiling hot water. It’s too hot handle with bare hands but it quickly cools in my metal bowl. When I knead the dough with my hands it turns into shiny, silky substance without granules. I add the 120 milliliters of hot water at once. During kneading, I add another tablespoon or two. It depends on your flour if it needs some extra water.
Time to prepare the filling. I love marsh samphire. These salty sea plants fit well with Japanese food I think. I chop up the ingredients for the filling very finely. Especially the fresh ginger. It will be too strong otherwise. When you chop the ingredients up this way it will be easier to fill the dumplings and nicer to bite into these ‘bite-sized’ snacks. I add a handful of shrimps and minced, low-fat beef as well. I love to mix meat and fish. I choose firm shrimps, that are not too wet. But I think any kind of shrimp works fine. I do not add extra salt. The filling gets it flavors from the salty Kikkoman soy sauce (2 tablespoons), the oyster sauce (2 tablespoons) and some sesame oil (two teaspoons). The smells are amazing already yet very different from Indonesian food, but certainly not less tasty.
I mix the colorful filling and put it aside to continue with the dough. Now the filling has the time to absorb all those great flavors. The dough has rested, and cooled and is firmer now. I cut the two pieces of dough both into 9 smaller pieces. Because the dough sheet must be neatly cut in a circle, I can make out of the leftovers 2 or 3 extra sheets of the wrapper. Keep your dough under a napkin or plastic wrap otherwise it will dry out while making your sheets.
Now I make small ping-pong ball sized balls and dust the countertop with cornstarch. I roll my dough with a small roller first from the front to the back, then I turn it and roll it out again. This way you make an equally thin wonton sheet. Because I do not have a big cookie cutter, I use my Chinese bowl that has a sharp edge to cut out my dumplings. It works well and the size is fine. Now it’s time for origami.
Place a small amount in the middle and make the edges wet. Loulou (5 years) shows how to do it. She wets the edges of the wrapper with her fingers. Loulou picks up one side of the dough and sticks it to the other side. Then she makes three pleats with her tiny wet fingers. Good girl. They are ready to go into the pan. I see several recipes online where you have to add water to the gyoza while it is bubbling away in the oil. That gives a lot of splashes and is dangerous. You have to cover the pan immediately. I choose a different method. I fry the gyoza’s 2-3 minutes in some peanut oil. ‘Peanut oil has a high smoke point relative to many other cooking oils, so is commonly used for frying foods’ (wiki).
I’ve already poured 2 cups of water into my wok or wadjan and it steams now. I place the basket with the gyoza on top. The water mustn’t touch the basket. I steam the gyozas for about 5 minutes. I squeeze the top dough part of the gyoza lightly to check if it’s done. If it crumbles a bit, let it steam for an extra minute or two. Your gyoza’s need to be firm, shiny and light yellow. For the sauce, you have many options. Here is a gyoza sauce recipe (with rice vinegar) I want to try too.
Today I choose a very simple one. I mix a teaspoon of sesame oil through 2 tablespoons of Kikkoman soy sauce. The filling is still crunchy with hints of the sea because of the samphire and shrimps. I love it.
No frying in the pan
If you do not want to fry the dim sum in the pan and only steam them, that is also possible. Just use a piece of baking paper under the dim sum in the steaming basket, otherwise, they will stick to the basket. Steam them for about 10 minutes.