Gyoza from scratch – the wrappers, too!

finished raw gyoza ready for cooking

This was made by Hitoshi using a pre-made wrapper. We brought some in case the handmade ones flopped.

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.

preparing to roll out gyoza dough

dividing the dough to start rolling into small circles

At our gyoza making party, we got help from our friends and learned from our mistakes.

Take care using a food processor

chopping ingredients for gyoza

chopping the Chinese onion and cabbage

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

rolling out gyoza wrappers

Our friend helped Hitoshi with his rolling technique.

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.

Next goal

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.

folding one gyoza

starting to make folds along the edge of one gyoza using a pre-made wrapper

Have you made gyoza from scratch including the wrappers? Do you have any tips to share or funny failures?

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16 thoughts on “Gyoza from scratch – the wrappers, too!

  1. Can’t believe I missed this post!

    Wow, thanks for the step by step photo’s and all the tips.

    I am still too lazy to make my own skins but it does certainly look impressive! Maybe I should invite some friends and throw a mandu making party as well….We had a sushi making party last year which was a great success, so maybe…..If I do, can you post your “secret” recipe as well…I don’t seem to be able to find it on your blog….

    • Me neither! ;D

      Good point! I have the recipe and will incorporate it into the post so I’m going to keep you in suspense a bit longer. Actually, I need to find out where hubby got it so we can credit the owner. I also think I need to clarify what I mean by “skin”. Do you mean the wrapper when you say “skin”?

  2. I love gyoza and the Korean equivalent, mandu, and I’m so impressed with what you two do in the kitchen! I’m sure you’ll get it just right next time (and when you do, please share your tips:))

    • Thanks! I hope we do. 😀 That’s the fun of cooking… we aren’t chefs so we can fiddle until we find what we’re looking for without the pressure of having it be exactly the same every single time.

      Thanks for mentioning the Korean name! Since we bought gyoza from the local Korean store before trying to make our own, I bet that’s what the label says. Is mandu pretty much the same??

  3. I’m impressed … when can I visit?
    Btw thanks for following my blog hope you have a good time like I would in yours 🙂
    Cheers!

  4. Getting better day by day, eh? Although I’m still in a probation period so I have to make more to become a master of Gyoza!

  5. Making your own dumplings? I guess the first words that comes to my mind is awesome because you guys are. It seems like a lot of work, especially the chopping. But that being said, kudos to you for attempting and making your own – they look great!

    I have never made my own before because there is a small dumpling stall where I live that make the BEST dumplings ever. They sell them cooked but they also sell them uncooked (fresh or frozen). I know I could never make them as good as they do so I have never even tried!!

    • Thanks! The first time I made them was part of a cultural experience shortly after I moved to Japan. I had no idea what was involved and showed up to the group kitchen thinking we’d be eating deliciousness in no time. The first thing I saw was mountains of veg, cutting boards and knives. Argh!!! I wasn’t much of a cook at that time and had little patience for massive quantities of chopping. 8 years later, I’m enjoying my husband’s homemade gyoza. he he he! 😀 Okay, I’ve helped my mil make them but I’m so slow with the folding and the last couple of times, I’ve been looking after baby. So there. ;D

      Yes! We bought really cheap fresh ones at the shop down the street from our Tokyo apartment and until realizing *we* could make them, the Korean shop near us was our favorite stop for the frozen version. Do you have a favorite kind?

        • Yum! Here’s a question for you. Do you see them boiled more often or fried or about the same of each??

          Working alone and being a decent chopper and folder and knowing what you’re doing with the wrappers, probably around 1.5 hours to make 35-50. It took Hitoshi an hour to make 35 alone with pre-made wrappers. At our party, it took closer to 2 hours to make 50 with fiddling, teaching and socializing but only 15 of those were homemade wrappers.

    • Thanks! We bought ours, too for ages until trying to make them. Sometimes I think we will still go buy a bag at the local Korean shop because we eat the homemade ones too quickly. 😀 Do you have a favorite kind??

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