Archives for the day Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

Vietnamese/Thai/Japanese cooking:Vietnamese style Gyoza dumplings with Sweet chili dipping sauce

 This week,I wanted to use some of ground pork that I had in the freezer, and I have decided to make Vietnamese style Gyoza dumplings (Pot stickers). It is kind of Japanese-Vietnamese fusion dish if you will.

 In Japan, you rarely have opportunity to taste Thai food or Vietnamese food,and those two cuisines’ flavor combination,cooking technique etc.. are what I learned here for the first time here in the states.

 I feel I was fortunate to get to know the lady from Thailand at work. She took time to tour me around the Ethnic stores to explain Thai ingredients,and also I was lucky to get to taste Vietnamese food such as steamed buns, spring roll etc.. through what a Vietnamese travel agent brought for us to taste them.

 As you can see by now, Japanese food is influenced by Chinese cooking, and some of the dishes we make is Japanese version of Chinese food. Gyoza dumpling is one of those dishes.

 Gyoza dumpling is Chinese dish called “Jiaozi”
originally, and we Japanese call it “Gyoza”. People here in the states recognize it
with the name “Pot stickers” or “Chinese dumplings”).

 There are some traditional fillings for those Gyoza dumplings but,my mother has taught me how you can roll over the leftover dish into delicious spring rolls or Gyoza dumplings next day and, I now tend to use her tips to make wide variety of Gyoza dumplings when I had something I wanted to used up.

 Now,I got ground pork and, making simple pork meat Gyoza dumpling seemed a little boring so,I decided to flavor up to make Vietnamese style Gyoza dumpling (Gyoza dumpling with Vietnamese dumpling filling).

 When I was working at the Airport,there was a travel agent,who brings groups of Vietnamese passengers to travel back to their home,and he helped them with check-in,boarding,and sometimes,he worked to as an interpreter between us staff and the passengers since some of them did not understand English.

 We saw him almost daily bases and, now and them,he brought Vietnamese style steamed buns that had bean thread noodle and boiled egg in them or Vietnamese style spring rolls for us staff.

 In Japan, for the traditional Gyoza dumpling, we do not put noodle in them,and I have never had dumplings or spring roll made with rice paper as well.

 Therefore, eating the dumplings or spring rolls wrapped with rice paper or filling with bean thread noodle in them was my first experience at work.

 I thought that the bean thread noodles in the filling or wrapped in rice paper sounded strange at first but now,I think that makes their version of dumplings or spring rolls unique along side their own unique flavor combination of fish sauce,lime juice,garlic,bean thread noodles etc etc…

 I have never had fresh Vietnamese style spring rolls (summer rolls) either in Japan, and whole experience of trying out wide variety of cuisines here in the states really helped me develop flavor profile from many different countries.

 This Vietnamese style Gyoza dumplings came out quite flavorful and, I am quite satisfied.

 It is time consuming at first to make the filling and wrapping filling individually,but it was worth it.

 I ended up making approximately 20 Gyoza dumplings and,I cooked some to have it for the dinner, and I froze the rest for the quick cooking for later.

 Gyoza dumpling is one of those make ahead meal you can make bunch of them on your weekends,and freeze them for later use.

 The dipping sauce I made was my made-up sauce, and more close to Thai, but it matched with Vietnamese style dumpling very well and it was tasty.

 With Vietnamese dish or Thai dish,I usually use lime juice in stead of lemon juice but,I forgot to buy a lime so,I used lemon instead.However, the flavor came out quite nice.

 You will also notice that I have used shiitake mushroom although they are Japanese ingredient.I just thought that it would add a little bit of earthy flavor to the dumplings and, I tried using them.

 I did pan fried and steamed Gyoza dumpling, but you can steam them all the way if you prefer.

 In this entry,I will share my Vietnamese style Gyoza dumpling recipe with you.

Vietnamese style Gyoza dumpling with Sweet chili dipping sauce..

Ingredients for the Vietnamese style Gyoza dumplings;

1 bundle (1.35 oz) Taiwan style bean thread noodle
                      *recommends “Asian gourmet” brand (product of Taiwan)
0.2 oz dehydrated sliced Shiitake mushroom
6 oz ground pork
shallot chopped fine
1 clove of garlic chopped fine
1/2 tbs chopped
fresh cilantro leaves
1.5 tsp white sugar
1.5 tsp fish sauce* recommend” double parrots” brand (Product of Thailand)
1.5 tsp
freshly squeezed lemon juice
1.5 tsp sweet chili sauce * recommend “Mae ploy” brand (Product of Thailand)
sesame oil
Gyoza wrapper * Recommend Wing Hing brand (Product of USA)

Ingredients for Sweet chili dipping sauce;

1 tbs    sweet chili sauce
1/2 tsp spicy brown mustard
1 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp fresh chopped cilantro leaves

<Vietnamese style Gyoza dumplings>

1. Put 1 bundle of bean thread noodle, 0.2 oz dehydrated sliced Shiitake mushroom in a bowl,and pour boiling hot water enough to cover them noodles,and let it stand for 15-20 minutes till noddle gets soften up

2. Drain them,and divide the beanthread noodle and shiitake mushroom into half the amount.

** When extra portion of noodle and Shiitake mushroom came to room temperature,you can keep them in the freezer bag and label it and freeze them so you can use it in your next batch of Gyoza making or steamed bun filling.

3. Rough chop the noodle and shiitake mushroom into about 1″ chunks,and put them into a bowl

4. Add 6 oz ground pork,1 shallot chopped fine, 1 clove of garlic chopped fine, 1/2 tbs chopped fresh cilantro leaves,1.5 tsp white sugar,1.5 tsp fish sauce, 1.5 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice,1.5 tsp sweet chili sauce and mix well

5. Start wrapping the filling up.

** When you finished wrapping the filling, dust them with the flour before you will place on the new plate so the Gyoza dumplings would not stick to the plate.

My favorite Gyoza wrapper is Wing Hing brand. You can find them at
Asian stores in freezer section, or I have seen it at NY base grocery store Wegman’s at produce area right next to Asian produce section such as ginger.

 This is what the wrapper package looks like.Look for the orange package with Panda bear logo on it.

It is round,paper thin and quite pliable wrapper,and one
package comes with hundreds of wrapper. Their wrapper is great.It makes crispy,light texture and it is very much like the ones that my mother used them back home in Japan.

 If you did not use all of
them,you can keep them in your freezer for later use.I like to wrap the Gyoza dumplings with plastic wrap and then,put them in the freezer bag.

 There are some other brands that offer spring roll wrapper,wanton wrapper/pot sticker wrapper etc.. such as Melissa’s brand,but they tend to be thicker than Wing Hing brand wrapper and they are not as pliable as Wing Hing brand, and the wrapper dries out very fast and very difficult to manage.

 When they get cooked, they make chewy,doughy,heavy, thick puffed up strange textured spring rolls/Gyoza dumplings and I do not like them.

** How to wrap the filling for Gyoza dumplings**

What I normally do first is to prepare small container with some water
in it and set the small container aside.This will be the water to wet
the wrapper edge so it can stick together and seal well.

2. Take
one Gyoza wrapper out from the package and set it on medium size dry
plate with a little bit of flour dusted, and put small amount of fillings in the center of the wrapper and
wet the finger with water (dip your finger in the small container you
have prepared), and wet the edge of wrapper to seal

3. To seal,
take the bottom half of wrapper to fold over the upper half of wrapper
and pinch as if making plaits without air trapped inside.

** If the air was trapped inside the dumplings,the air in the Gyoza can expand as it cooks and can make holes when cooking.

** I
thought that watching how to wrap the Gyoza visually would help you
understand better so, I will put the youtube video below.


How to wrap Gyoza dumplings..

 If you are a blog subscriber or reading from facebook,please click here to watch the video.

6. You will have approximately 20 Gyoza dumplings

Vietnamese style Gyoza dumplings on the plate..

7. In the skillet, drizzle sesame oil and bring it to hot temperature with medium high heat

8. Place Gyoza dumplings and let it sear one side,and then flip over to sear the other side

9.When both size got brownish and crisped up, pour water to just about the half the depth of Gyoza dumplings and shake the skillet,lower the heat to medium heat,put the lid on and steam the Gyoza dumplings until almost all the water gets evaporated

** Be careful with spatter oil and water

** As soon as water hit the skillet,
it will make very loud noise and evaporate as it cooks and shake the
skillet after adding the water to the skillet

** If you put too much water in the skillet or skillet was not hot enough, it will make the dumplings soggy.

10. When all the water got evaporated,
bring the heat up to high temperature,and add a drizzle of sesame oil
and cook 1 minutes or so more to crisp up again.

 A little bit of sesame oil to cook will
make this Gyoza extra yummy.

11. Take the dumplings out, and serve it with Sweet chili dipping sauce* (recipe follows)

11. Enjoy!

<Sweet Chili dipping sauce>

1. Mix 1 tbs sweet chili sauce,1/2 tsp spicy brown mustard, 1 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1 tsp fresh chopped cilantro leaves well

Vietnamese style Gyoza dumpling drizzled with Sweet chili dipping sauce..

can serve the Vietnamese style Gyoza dumplings without the sauce and
serve the sauce as side. Or, for pretty presentation, you can drizzle
some of the Sweet Chili dipping sauce over the center of the Gyoza
dumplings and serve it along with dipping sauce as side

Makes:approximately 20 Vietnamese style Gyoza dumplings

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Mar 12, 2013 | 0 | Uncategorized