Hitoshi’s last gyoza attempt was from almost scratch. Everything was done by hand except for growing the vegetables and pig and making the dough wrappers.
His dream of making wrappers has now been achieved.
At our gyoza making party, we got help from our friends and learned from our mistakes.
Take care using a food processor
We used a food processor to chop the ingredients since the knives at our friend’s home were not sharp enough.
While convenient, the processor ground the ingredients to an unrecognizable paste. I like seeing the diced bits of what I’m eating. Green gyoza innards are also plain unappetizing.
A large amount of liquid was squeezed out of the previously lush vegetables and tossed.
Cooking the gyoza made matters worse. The result was a sort of tasty but dry, hard, ultra-green blob inside a soft wrapper.
Our recommendation is to chop and mix everything by hand.
If you use a processor, be gentle and brief with the pulse button and incorporate back any liquid. Absolutely avoid putting the meat into the processor.
A scale or measuring cups?
I weighed the flour instead of measuring with a cup. Our dough was more balanced than the last attempt. We will definitely use the scale next time.
Rolling, rolling, rolling
Our friends had a narrow, light rolling pin – perfect for delicate gyoza wrappers. This was preferable to our marble rolling pin that is more for heavy pastry, cookie dough and self protection.
We also discovered that you can’t work the dough too much before it starts to tear.
Hitoshi learned to slowly and gently push the rolling pin forward instead of quickly steamrolling it back and forth over the dough. He figures that he’ll get faster with more experience.
The next step was to turn the dough one quarter after each roll to make an even circle.
Hitoshi will make gyoza again with from-scratch wrappers. Our friends gave us their rolling pin, which saves us a trip to Japan to get our own.
I’d like to try new fillings like shiso and kimchi and replacing the pork with chicken.
And we have one more goal in a slightly different direction: shumai. These are squat, cylinder shaped Chinese dumplings. We will create the most garlicky version we can.
Have you made gyoza from scratch including the wrappers? Do you have any tips to share or funny failures?