I don't know why these simple little wrappers have intimidated me so. I have purchased packs of these numerous times only to have them get pushed to the back of my fridge and out-date before ever being used. Since we try to limit our runs to the store, my desire for gyoza and ingredients on hand rarely match up perfectly. Of course, the real shame is that I have no problem rolling out fresh pasta... I just couldn't bring myself to tackle these little beauties.
My love of gyoza began early on Since the age of 12 we hosted a Japanese exchange student every Summer. They always came with a recipe and a desire to share a favorite dish. Being in a foreign country and under the curious gaze of strangers, most of the dishes were hardly edible. Under cooked savory pancakes, crunchy rice or burned mystery stews didn't really appeal to my youthful taste buds. Having been on the opposite side of this creative experiment while living in Japan, I know it is not easy in a strange kitchen full of strange ingredients.
You can imagine my surprise then in high school when we opened our home to a college student. One day we came back to find him busy at work in the kitchen dusted with flour and filled with little dumplings - gyoza to be specific.
We were very surprised because he made it all from scratch. No easy little package, just a bunch of flour, salt, water and elbow grease. We had plateful of these perfect little pot stickers, but they didn't last long!
So, why was I, all these years later, so intimidated by a pasta? I'm not really sure, but yesterday my pregnancy cravings took over all sense and I just went for it. There is something to be said for living in a rural area where treats like this are not just a car ride away. It was either make it myself or wait to go into the city in a week or two. Okay, waiting is not my strong suit.
Anyone can do this. Yes, it really was that easy. This time around I went with my trusty rolling pin, but next time I am going to break out the pasta roller to get simple sheets to cut. And if you are in need of a good gyoza filling recipe, stay tuned for the one I will post tomorrow. In fact, I have several Asian recipes to share with you this week, so keep checking back.
You Will Need:
- 2 c. all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 c. boiling water, and more as needed
Yes, this recipe really is just that simple. If you have ever made pasta before you will know the consistency your are looking for, if not just don't add too much water too quickly. The dough should be supple but not sticky.
Sift together the flour and salt. Then slowly begin adding the hot water. Stir constantly till the dough becomes "craggy".
Remove any rings and then get down in there and bring the dough together. Add a teaspoon of water at a time if you still need more moisture.
Now let your dough rest for at least an hour under a damp, warm tea cloth. The moisture will be distributed through the flour. Just make sure it doesn't dry out.
After an hour, roll and slice into small portions. I like to only work with 1/4 of the dough at a time so it doesn't dry out. On a well floured surface begin rolling the dough. Dust the top with flour so the rolling pin doesn't stick. Now roll them as thin as you can.
I used my largest cookie cutter to get uniform large circular wrappers. It was about 3 1/2". Make sure both sides are well floured and stack on wax paper. After you are done, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until you are ready to use them. They will last a couple of days in the fridge.
Tomorrow I will show you how I stuff them. Enjoy!