Dumplings / Gyoza recipe

Keep in mind, this is only 1 variation, I will give instructions on how to deviate from this as we go. 
The reason we use Pork Neck, is because it has fat... lean meat is not to be used for dumplings, it makes the filling dry and boring.  With Chinese cooking, the more fat the better in meats. 

You can also add Chicken Thigh fillets into this mixture, it adds additional texture to the mince and a different type of fat.

Dry Shiitake mushrooms have a lot more flavour..... unless you live in Japan and can get fresh ones, the only good alternative is dry ones in packets. 

All ingredients (highlighted) below can be purchased from the Chinese Grocery stores in Central Market. 

1)      1 pack of dumpling skin (round white ones) get the large pack

2)      1kg or 2kg of Pork Neck (Minced – get the Chinese butcher to mince it for you)  Each 1kg of pork neck will use a full pack of dumpling skin.

3)      Filling number 1 - this is where we start to deviate to alternatives.  My family recipe uses Chives.  Each 1kg of Mince equates to 1 bunch of chives.  Finely chop Chives and place into mixing bowl along with mince.  You can always use 2 bunches of chives for 1 kg of mince... depends on whether you like the flavour.  Trial and error is the key with any cooking.

  • For each 1kg of Mince, use 1 tablespoon of Corn Flour. This makes the mince much softer. 
  • For each 1kg of mince, add 1 teaspoon of Soy Sauce and ½ teaspoon of rice wine. (You can leave out soy sauce if you want, I always prefer natural flavours from the shiitake and Chives – but its a personal thing). 
  • Add a few dashes of Sesame oil (Another personal thing, you can always leave out)
  • Add a few sprinkles of white pepper (Another personal thing...)
  • For each 1kg of mince chop up 3-4 large DRY Shiitake Mushrooms. To prepare Shiitake, place them into a bowl of hot water and soak for 1-2 hours. This makes the soft, and releases all juices. We will re-use this water and pour a little into the mince to add more flavour. Once the Shiitake is soft, finely chop them up and place into bowl. For each 1kg of mince pour about 2-3 tablespoons of that Shiitake water into the mixture, careful not to scrape the bottom, as sediments from the Shiitake usually sit there. 
Shiitake on left, chives in the middle, cornflour on the right. Pork and seasoning on the bottom
  • Go to step 5)

4)      Filling number 2, or other alternatives - If you don’t like Pork, you can always substitute with Chicken, and even Prawns.... whichever ingredient you choose, don’t forget to put corn flour into the mixture.
  • Chicken goes great with Ginger and Shiitake. I would say roughly 70% Chicken, 15% Shitake and 5% Ginger will be a good base start, and work from there. 
  • IF you prefer prawns (keep in mind, frozen prawns will make everything quite moist, so drain prawns very well before you put into mixture) garlic, ginger and spring onion go best. 
  • IF you want additional greens in dumplings, you can always use finely chopped up Bok Choy. This also adds moisture into dumplings. 
  • If you are using alternatives, just trial and error until you get to your personal tastes

5)      Mix ingredients and let it settle for about 20-30 minutes. 

6)      Prepare a tray or table top by sprinkling corn flour so skins do not stick.

7)      For each dumpling skin, place around 1 to 1½ tea spoon of filling into the centre.  Dab a bit of water on the edge of the skin
8)      Close the dumpling by folding it in half to make semi-circle joining the wet edges to the non wet edges. 

9)      Squeeze the edges to ensure dumpling is closed.  You can use a fork, or just twist the edges so they close nicely.

10)    Few ways you can cook these
  • Boil them – boiling them can be done for fresh, or frozen dumplings. Never thaw dumplings, boil them frozen.  Basically boil them until the inside is cooked, you will tell if you overboil, the skin will be like a torn wet tissue.
    • If you decide to boil them, you can use a fancy fold to the dumplings to is catches more soup, etc
  • Deep Fry - Fry them fresh - until golden brown on the outside.
  • Pan Fry - can be fried frozen or fresh.  Add a little water and oil in to pan.  Fry until golden brown, can be flipped, etc
  • Steam - not the best method - tastes the same as boiled and time is a lot longer.

11)   If you are planning to freeze them, lay them all out on a large plate dusted with corn and place it into the freezer as is..... after 1 night, take them out and remove them from the plate and place into zip lock bags for easier storage or pass them to your friends!

12)   Ok –don’t worry, if you have mince left over, you make an Omelette, or even Fried Rice with it J
There you have it, my first (badly written) attempt to pass on my secret dumpling recipe ;)

Finished product


mycatssaymeow said...

Thanks for the recipe. I will definitely make these over the Xmas break.

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