The first one, sweet potato gyoza, was my first try at making dumplings. I really love gyoza and could eat tons of them every time I go to a Japanese restaurant. The ones I tried in Japan were really perfect, crispy and delicious, but the ones that always stick to my mind are delicious sweet potato gyoza dumplings I ate in a Japanese restaurant in Melbourne, Australia (the area was Northcote so if anyone knows the place I mean, please share the name in the comments section). They were so wonderful and flavoursome! I realised that if I wanted to eat them again around here, I would probably just need to make my own and I did. I was really happy with how they turned out. The recipe might sound a bit long but it is not that difficult and the result is so satisfying that it is well worth it!
And if you get your hands on a bag of bonito flakes, you will probably get to have some fun like in this little video I shared on Instagram.
Stay tuned for some highlights of a few days spent in the Japanese country side soon on the blog!
Ingredients (make 40 gyoza)
150g minced cabbage (I used a variety called sweetheart cabbage)
1/2 teaspoon salt
250g mashed sweet potato (plain, unseasoned)
1/2 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 minced garlic cloves
1 tablespoon minced spring onions (use only the green part)
2 teaspoons miso paste
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon caster sugar
40 gyoza wrappers*
4 teaspoons sesame oil
120ml cold water
For the dipping sauce
6 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
A few drops of sesame or chilli oil
1. Sprinkle the salt over the minced cabbage in a small bowl. Stir and leave it for 10 minutes. Squeeze the cabbage firmly in a sieve to drain and discard the excess water. Transfer the minced cabbage into a large deep bowl.
2. Add the sweet potato puree, ginger, garlic, spring onion, miso paste, one teaspoon of sesame oil and the sugar. Mix everything together with a wooden spoon.
3. Line a large tray with baking paper. Fill a small cup with cold water.
Place a gyoza wrapper on a flat dry surface and put a heaped teaspoon of the sweet potato mixture in the centre (see picture above).
Dip one finger in the cold water and trace a line along half the edge of the gyoza wrapper (see picture above).
Fold the wrapper over to enclose the filling. Pinch the wrapper in the centre at the top to seal that spot.
Holding the filled wrapper in your left hand (or right one if you are left-handed), pleat the top of the wrapper (see pictures above). Set aside on the lined tray keeping the edge up. Repeat with the rest of the gyoza dumplings.
4. For the cooking part, use a large frying pan or skillet with a tight fitting lid.
Put the pan over a medium heat and add one teaspoon of sesame oil. When it is hot, place half the gyoza in the pan (or as many that will fit) with their edge up. Cook for about 3 minutes or until the bottom of the gyoza is golden.
Add in 60ml of the cold water and cover immediately with the lid. Steam for about 2 minutes or until most of the water has evaporated.
Uncover, let the water evaporate completely, then add one teaspoon of sesame oil. Cook until the gyoza is crispy in the bottom (when shaking the pan, the dumplings should slide; if not, set the pan aside and cover with the lid for another 2 or 3 minutes).
The gyoza dumplings should be slightly translucent and the filling should be firm.
5. Flip the gyoza dumplings on a large serving plate , browned surface up. Cover with aluminum foil while cooking the other batch (repeat the cooking actions) if you are making them all in one go.
Serve with the dipping sauce (mix the ingredients in a small bowl).
- the gyoza can be made a couple of hours ahead and kept on a tray covered with cling film, leaving a bit of space between each dumpling so they do not stick to each other. They can also be frozen just after being made and kept in the freezer for up to a month (cook straight from frozen).
- * I found gyoza wrappers in the frozen section of the Asian market on Drury Street in Dublin. I thawed them before use. They can also be replaced by wonton wrappers, or you could try and make your own gyoza wrappers.
Ingredients (make 2 okonomiyaki)
2 free range eggs
100g plain flour
100g cold vegetable stock
30g grated raw potato
2 teaspoons crispy shallots (optional - buy ready made or make your own)
1 teaspoon chopped spring onions
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
125g thinly shredded cabbage (I used sweetheart cabbage)
150g bacon bits (cooked and cooled)
100g sliced mushrooms
To serve: mayonnaise and okonomiyaki sauce (which is really easy to make: mix 3 tablespoons ketchup, 1 teaspoon soy sauce and 1 tablespoon Worcester sauce together), bonito flakes if you find some.
1. In a large bowl, mix the eggs and flour together. Stir the cold vegetable stock in (whisk if necessary and make sure there are no lumps).
2. Add the grated potato, crispy onions (optional), spring onions, ginger, cabbage, cooked bacon bits, mushrooms and stir well.
3. Pour a thin layer of vegetable oil in a small frying pan (mine is approximately 20cm diameter) over a medium heat. Spoon half of the mixture in the frying pan and spread in a round shape. Flatten the top with a spatula and cook for 5 minutes (the bottom should be nice and brown). Flip the okonomiyaki on the other side and cook for a further 5 minutes.
4. Keep warm (covered with aluminum foil or kept in a warmed oven on a plate) while cooking the second okonomiyaki (alternatively, use two small frying pans to cook them at the same time).
The okonomiyaki can be lightly brushed with okonomiyaki sauce before serving. Then garnish as you like with a drizzle of mayonnaise and/or bonito flakes.
Note: this recipe can be made gluten free if swapping the plain flour for a gluten free alternative (buckwheat would be really lovely). And remove the bacon bits for a vegetarian version.