Gyoza – History, Recipe and Restaurants

Mentioning Japanese food, you could consider ramen, sushi, okonomiyaki, takoyaki, etc. Apart from these famous dishes, Japanese cuisine has so many distinctive and delicious food that you could not find anywhere else on the earth. Today, in this text, we’re going to introduce Gyoza (餃子), Japanese pan-fried dumplings. Let’s discover what’s special inside this dish, how you can make and where to taste this mouthwatering food in Japan!

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What’s Gyoza?

Gyoza (餃子) (also generally known as jiaozi in Chinese) is Japanese dumplings with fillings of vegetables, cabbage, meat and wrapped by a chunk of dough. There are lots of ways of cooking dumplings corresponding to boiling, steaming, frying or grilling. Even in Japan, except from normal gyoza, some places even have their local specialities. Gyoza is so loved by Japanese that there may be even a “competition” between city on Gyoza consumption per 12 months. Hamamatsu and Utsunomiya have been long generally known as “gyoza capital” in Japan. Nevertheless, in January 2021, Miyazaki has beated these two perpetual cities to take the primary place for the primary time in history.

History of Gyoza

Many Japanese people often eat gyoza as a essential dish, some even eat them every day, but not everyone knows the history behind this popular dish. In reality, each country has its own history of dumplings, and the culture of gyoza in each country is different! Due to this fact, we’ll explain intimately the start of gyoza in each China and Japan.

The origin of gyoza in China

Theory concerning the ancient dumpling

As most of us have known, gyoza originated from China after which was introduced to Japan later and turn out to be one of the favourite in Japanese table. For those who search on the web, there are numerous theories concerning the birth of gyoza. Nevertheless, in accordance with the “Kikkoman Institute for International Food Culture: 54th Food Culture Lecture“, the history is as follow:

In fifth century BC, China already had a culture of eating rice in stead of wheat. Wheat was fodder for livestock but not used as human food. It is because rice may be eaten by threshing while wheat must be powdered to be edible. It is simply after stone mills were introduced through the Silk Road within the fifth to third century BC that the cultivation of wheat flourished and other people began to eat them.
 It shouldn’t be clear when dumplings began to be made and eaten, but plenty of people say that it could be across the Tang dynasty. Dried dumplings have been present in the ruins of Dunhuang, a city in China. It is nearly the identical as today’s gyoza, with the characteristics corresponding to “folded in two”, “folded”, “semi-circular”, and “pointed”.

Souce of the lecture: https://www.kikkoman.co.jp/pdf/no27_j_012_013.pdf

Historical story about Zhang Zhongjing – father of dumplings

Besides, there are one other story concerning the origin of gyoza. In keeping with one story, gyoza stem from Zhang Zhongjing, a master of Chinese medicine. Someday on a chilly day, he stopped by a small poor village, where villagers were affected by frostbitten ears. Seeing this, he desired to do something to assist people there and decided to boil lamb meat, Chinese herbs, spices wrapped by wheat flour skin, which was then served to the villagers in a warm soup. Then, the villagers continued to eat them throughout the cold winter and by the Recent Yr’s Eve, the frostbitten ears had been healed. Time beyond regulation, Zhang Zhongjing’s recipe was adapted and imitated by the people of China. It’s such an interesting story to listen to, right?!

Up until now, Chinese people has a custom of eating jiaozi on Recent Yr’s day. This traditional custome began within the Ming Dynasty, when people used to wrap things (coins, silver coins, jewelry, etc) in dumplings and it was considered an emblem of fine luck for the brand new 12 months. As well as, the reading of gyoza “jiaozi” has the identical sound because the word “jiazi”, which implies to have children. That’s the rationale why dumplings are extremely popular and represent good luck and happiness in China.

Gyoza (餃子)

Introduction to Japan

So how did gyoza come to Japan? Surprisingly, the history of this dumpling in Japan is kind of old, dating back to the Edo period.

In keeping with the Mito clan’s “Shu-Shunsui-shi danki” written by the Mito clan about Shu Shunsui, a Confucian scholar of Ming Dynasty, in 1689, dumplings made with duck meat called fukutsutsumi were presented to Mito Mitsukuni (Mito Komon). Based on this, it is usually believed that the primary Japanese to eat gyoza was Mito Komon. By the way in which, Mito Komon can be said to be the primary Japanese to eat ramen in Japan.

Within the Meiji period, the ban on eating meat was lifted, and books introducing Chinese cuisine were published one after one other, but there have been not many things writing about gyoza. Even when there was appearance of dumplings in Japan at the moment, most of them were steamed dumplings or boiled dumplings. It was only after World War II, when the soldiers got here from China and brought together the recipe of Chinese jiazi that pan-fried dumplings became popular and have become considered one of Japanese favourite street food. The very first gyoza shop that sold gyoza after World War II is Yuraku in Shibuya (Tokyo) in 1948.

Although gyoza stemmed from China, when it got here to Japan, gyoza has evolved and turn out to be an unique Japanese-style food. While boiled dumplings are favourite food in China, Japanese prefer pan-fried gyoza or grilled gyoza. In Japan, garlic is more often used as ingredients and gyoza is often served with soy sauce or chili oil. Nevertheless, Chinese people would not have the habit of eating dumplings with chili oil but normally using soy sauce.

Japan – the heaven of gyoza with many differing kinds

The obsession of Japanese individuals with these poststickers can’t be denied in any respect. From just a straightforward dumpling, when coming to Japan, it has revolutionized and became various different sorts of gyoza. Each region has its own unique local dumplings, so it might be very nice to enjoy gyoza in lots of places whenever you go on a visit.

Enban Gyoza (Fukushima Prefecture)

Enban gyoza

It is a local dumpling in Fukushima. You’ll be able to easily find restaurants around Fukushima Station. The characteristic of Enban gyozas is that they’re arranged in a disc-shaped and fried with a small amount of oil.

Utsunomiya Gyoza (Tochigi Prefecture)

Utsunomiya is long generally known as considered one of the 2 best city within the competition of dumplings consumption. The signature of gyoza here is the sunshine seasoning and vegetables are used far more than meat.

Click here to seek out out more about local gyoza in Utsunomiya.

Hamamatsu Gyoza (Shizuoka Prefecture)

Hamamatsu dumplings are famous for his or her sweetness of ingredients because of the usage of onions together with vegetables. One other unique point is Hamamatsu gyoza will likely be served with boiled bean sprouts.

Need to read more about Hamamatsu dumplings? Go here!

White Gyoza (Chiba Prefecture)

White dumplings are characterised by a rather thick skin that wraps the fillings inside and is pan-fried in a considerable amount of oil to make it crispy. 

Tsu Gyoza (Mie Prefecture)

The looks is the thing that makes this dish unique from normal dishes. Dumplings are wrapped in gyoza wrappers with a diameter of 15 centimeters after which deep-fried. In comparison with general dumplings, they’re much greater and the skin is crispy with juicy taste inside.

Kobe Gyoza (Hyogo Prefecture)

Kobe gyoza is dishtinguishable by its miso-based sauce. Each store has its own original miso-based sauce, which is the charm of Kobe gyoza! As well as, in Kobe, people have the habit of adding garlic, chili oil, and vinegar to the miso sauce, which incorporates red miso, white miso, and vinegar miso.

Tetsunabe Gyoza (Fukuoka Prefecture)

These dumplings are local specialies of Hakata city in Fukuoka Prefecture. You’ll be able to enjoy gyoza in an iron skillet here without the fear of them getting cold whenever you haven’t finished the dish yet. Due to the recent iron pot, the dumplings have crunchy crispy texture and juicy fillings. The dimensions is smaller than the conventional one so that you could eat dozens of them.

Want to seek out some good restaurants serving Tetsunabe dumplings? Search here!

Sendai Aoba Gyoza

A shiny green gyoza in Sendai city, Miyagi prefecture. It’s made using green vegetables, an area specialty.

Shining Gyoza

This dish is the “modernized” version of traditional dumplings and takes inspiration from the dish “Cheese dakgalbi” from Korea. Identical to cheese dakgalbi, pan-fried dumplings are arranged on each side of a hot plate after which cheese is spread in the center. That’s the rationale why this dish known as “shining gyoza”.

Macaron Gyoza

Speaking of macaron, you could consider something sweet nevertheless it shouldn’t be like what you’re considering in any respect. The name “Macaron Gyoza” refers to dumplings with 9 different coloured wrappers from a store called “Daiho Gyoza”. The colourful skin is constituted of vegetable powder and squid while the fillings are ingredients corresponding to bamboo shoots, plums, squid, etc.

Vegan dumplings

Vegan gyoza is Japanese vegetables dumplings. This dish is an incredible alternative for vegetarians. Just from vegetables, there are lots of sorts of fillings of vegan gyoza which have been made. Due to this, you won’t ever get tired of the dish despite the straightforward ingredients. Some ingredients are sometimes utilized in vegan dumplings are soymeat, shiitake, cabbage, chives, green onion, etc.

Find out how to make Japanese dumplings?

Easily making wrapper at home!

Ingredients for gyoza’s wrappers

Ingredients
Cake flour 140g
Bread flour 110g
Salt 1/2 tsp
Boiled water 170ml
Katakuriko (Potato starch) moderate amount
Bean paste moderate amount
Water (used for wrapping) moderate amount

Let’s making the wrapper!

STEP

Making the dough

  • To start with, mix the cake flour, bread flour and salt in a big bowl.
  • Pour hot water and blend with chopsticks. When it becomes a minced ball, knead by hands for about 5 minutes.
  • When the dough is elastic, shape right into a ball and wrap it with a plastic wrap and leave at room temparature for about quarter-hour.

STEP

Rolling the wrappers

  • Divide the dough into 3 equal parts and shape each part right into a stick shape.
  • Next, divide each stick dough into 12 equal parts (36 parts in total).
  • Sprinkle potato starch on the whole surface and flatten every bit by crushing with hands. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough right into a thin circle (about 10cm thickness).

Ending

Finally, dip the wrapper in water, wrap it together with your favorite bean paste. If you should store the wrapper, keep it within the refrigerator for 3-4 days or within the freezer for an extended time frame (about 1 month).

Gyoza (餃子)

Recipe for a classic gyoza

Ingredients

Ingredients (for 4 people)
Minced pork 150g
Cabbage 3 pieces
Chives 5-6
Dumpling wrapper 1 bag (25-30 pieces)
Salt 1/3 tsp
Salad oil 1/2 tbsp
Sesame oil 1 tsp
Garlic (chopped) 1 piece
Ginger (chopped) 1 piece
Wine 1 tbsp
Soy sauce 1 tbsp
Sugar 1/2 tsp
Pepper a bit of

Able to cook!

STEP

Making the fillings

  • Firstly, chop the cabbage finely and sprinkle with salt. When the cabbage becomes soft, squeeze out the water.
  • Cut chives into small pieces (about 5mm).
  • Next mix minced pork, cabbage and other ingredients in an enormous bowl.

STEP

Wrapping the gyoza

  • Next, when the mixture is completed, place a wrapper within the palm of your hand, put a bit of amount of fillings in the middle and fold the wrapper. Proceed to do the identical with the remaining.
  • Then add salad oil to the frying pan and fry the gyoza over medium heat. Add some water and canopy the pan with a lid.
  • When the water evaporates and the gyoza turns into golden brown and has crispy texture, it’s the symbol that the dish is prepared!

Serving

Lastly, serve the gyoza with vinegar, soy sauce or chili oil as much as you favorite. It’s also possible to try with chilled drinks corresponding to a chilly beer for a refreshing taste!

Where to eat Gyoza?

In Japan, this dish is so famous that you could find it anywhere at restaurants, izakaya, etc. Today, we would really like to introduce you a few of the most famous gyoza shops as recommendations on your next meals!

Gyoza Bar Aoyama

Gyoza (餃子)

This restaurant could also be a bit of bit different from the conventional traditional gyoza shop. It’s a gyoza shop with French taste, suitable for wine and champagne. All of the gyozas listed here are served with French-based sauces. You’ll be able to enjoy many differing kinds of gyoza with colourful sauces identical to painters palette! Due to this fact, this place is de facto nice place for couples thus far, or should you just need to experience a chill and romantic atmosphere, just come here!

Address: 2-2-4 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo Aoyama Alcove 205
Phone number: +81 3-6427-6116
Opening hours: 16:00-23:45 (23:30 LO) (close on Sunday)

Tiger Gyoza Kaikan Udagawacho (タイガー餃子会館 四条烏丸)

Gyoza (餃子)

This place is legendary for its juicy and chewy gyoza. Other than the classic gyozas, it’s also possible to try other 14 unique forms of gyoza of this restaurant. Surprisingly, there may be even a collaboration with the favored work “Dorohedoro”, which allows you experience the dining room “Hungry Bug” and eat Caiman’s favorite food, “Ooba Gyoza”! For those who are a fan of “Dorohedoro”, or if you should have something latest to experience, don’t forget to notice this restaurant in your to-eat-list!

Address: 37-35 Udagawacho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Phone number: +81 3-6427-0427
Opening hours: [Monday – Friday] 12:00 – 15:30 (15:00 LO) (close on Sunday)
18:00 – 23:30 (23:00 LO) 
On Friday, open until 4:00 the following day (3:00 LO)
[Saturday] 11:30 – 4:00 (3:00 LO)
[Sunday] 11:30 – 22:00 (21:30 LO) 
Website: https://kiwa-group.co.jp/tiger_udagawa/

GYOZAOH! Dotonbori Store

Gyoza (餃子)

In search of a great gyoza shop in Osaka? This selection is certainly for you! Gyozaoh is a famous restaurant in Chuo, where they provide quite a bit sorts of gyoza, even vegetable gyoza for vegetarians. Although the menu is straightforward , the food here may be very delicious and nice to try. The staff on the restaurant is de facto nice and friendly too.

Address: 2-4-14, Dotombori, Chuo, Osaka
Phone number: +81 6-6210-4403
Opening hours: [Monday – Sunday] 17:00 – 1:00
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gyozaohdotonbori

Hanamaruken Namba Houzenji

Gyoza (餃子)

One other popular restaurant in Osaka. Hanamaruken Namba Houzenji is often generally known as a ramen shop with the loved dish “Shiawase Ramen”, a tonkotsu soy sauce flavor that uses pork bones which have been slowly simmered for over 12 hours. Nevertheless, the recognition of this restaurant’s gyoza cannot be denied because it is all the time handcrafted and have the crispy texture and great combination of ingredients.

Address: 1-2-1, Namba, Chuo, Osaka
Phone number: +81 6-6213-0131
Opening hours: Open 24 hours
Facebook: http://arakawa-fs.jp/

Takeaway

Gyoza is a really famous dish in Japan. You’ll be able to enjoy it as a side-dish or at the same time as a essential dish. It is de facto easy to seek out gyoza at any restaurants too, but when you should make gyoza by yourself, try our recipe at home. Nothing is best than a freshly made gyoza and don’t forget to eat them together with your favourite alternative of sauce!

If you should find more about gyoza, discover here!

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