Japanese Gyoza


I never thought I would dare to make these delightful little Asian dumplings, but once I saw my “Deutsch Schwägerin” (German sister-in-law) make them I was convinced I could make them too!

Here’s a little background on the gyoza from the Deutsch Schwägerin herself!

This fried, then steamed Japanese Gyoza recipe was taught to me by my Japanese Friend Akiko at my house. Ron my West Virginian husband, and her husband worked together in the military at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island in Washington State. We’ve always loved Gyoza and I always wanted to learn how to make it authentic at home. I have tweaked it a bit, like adding a weeee bit more garlic and green onion. Other than that, the following recipe is what she taught me. Enjoy!

Karin’s Japanese Gyoza

  • 2 or 3 Gyoza wonton wrapper packages (they usually come 44 to a package)
  • 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3/4 lb ground pork (unseasoned)
  • 1 nub of fresh ginger (size of half a thumb), peeled and grated
  • 1 small head of garlic, peeled and grated (about six cloves)
  • 1 large bunch of green onion (scallions) sliced fine
  • 8 Tbsp corn starch or tapioca starch
  • 1/4 cup good soy sauce
  • 1 can water chestnuts, finely diced
  • 1/8 tsp chili oil
  • 1/8 tsp sesame oil
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Salt and pepper

Place the shrimp, garlic and ginger into a food processor and pulse until you get the consistency of a chunky paste. Add the ground pork and pulse until incorporated. If you prefer a chunkier version which I do, reserve some shrimp and add to the end and pulse a few times.

Empty the mixture into a large bowl and add the green onion, water chestnuts, chili oil, lemon juice and sesame oil and mix well with a wooden spoon. Pour in the soy sauce and mix well. Add the corn starch a portion at a time mixing well in between. The mixture will appear and feel “pasty” which will help it hold together when steaming.

At this stage, heat a non-stick fry pan with a dash of canola oil and fry up about a spoonful of the mixture and give it a taste. If it needs salt, pepper or more of any of the other ingredients, now’s the time to make any adjustment.

Set out a large cutting board for the assembly; I use several baking trays with lightly dampened towels (or paper towels) to cover them and use as a holding area so the dumplings don’t dry out. Also set out a bowl of water, pastry brush and a melon baller, if you have one. Keep a damp hand towel handy to clean your fingers every once in a while…it can get messy!

Lay out a few skins on the board and use the melon baller to place small portions of the filling in the center of each. Dip the pastry brush in the water bowl and dampen the whole wrapper edge, all the way around.

Watch this short video clip to learn how to seal the dumpling.

After the dumplings are created, heat up a large non-stick frying pan that has a good fitting lid with a little frying oil. Arrange the gyoza but don’t crowd the pan. You don’t want them sticking together. When the bottoms are nicely brown (you may have to move them around so they brown evenly) pour in water almost half way up the gyoza. For me, 15 to 20 gyoza I use about 1 to 1 ½ cups. The heat level is important, you want the water to bubble around the gyoza steadily. If it only simmers your gyoza will be soggy; if you boil the water too fast they won’t be properly steamed. The gyoza skins will go from a dough color to opaque and the water will evaporate. Then you know they’re done. Tip: Keep them from touching until they are cool, they will stick together.

You can dip these in sushi sauce or just plain old soy sauce. I macerate a mixture of soy sauce, green onion, fresh grated garlic and ginger, chili oil and sesame oil overnight, strain out the solids and voila, a tasty complimentary dipping sauce!

Here are some photos of the ingredients and the process.

Gyoza Ingredients

Sure you can buy these ingredients at the grocery store, but why not shop for them at your local Asian specialty store? More adventure = more fun 🙂

Devein Shrimp

Don’t forget to devein the shrimp!

Making Gyoza

Making dumplings can be a fun family event!

Gyoza Filling

Gyoza filling consistency


AMAZING. Worth the little extra effort. I promise!

A few additional TIPS from the Deutsch Schwägerin:

If you have more mixture than skins to fill, know that the filling freezes very well for a next time. Also, you can make the gyoza, line them up in a pan that fits into the freezer and when frozen, put them in a freezer bag for a quick meal or appetizer any time. Just thaw and follow the fry/steam instructions.

The biggest compliment is hearing “these are really good, we don’t have to order them out any more!”


2 responses to “Japanese Gyoza

  1. It must taste really nice, after all that effort. Thanks for stopping by and liking my post. Have a great week!

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