- What is gyoza?
- Are gyoza and dumplings the same?
- Types of gyoza
- How to make gyoza
- How to make vegan gyoza
- How to make gyoza sauce
- How to eat gyoza
- How many calories in gyoza?
- Which is the price of gyoza?
- Gyoza restaurants
- Is gyoza healthy?
- What is the origin of gyoza?
- Why is gyoza popular in Japan?
- How to pronounce gyoza vs jiaozi
- Trivia about gyoza
What is gyoza?
Gyoza is a Japanese dumpling filled with vegetables and meat. They are wrapped in a thin dough made from a mix of cake and bread flour. Although gyoza has its origin on Chinese dumplings, they have been completely reinvented by Japanese chefs.
Nowadays gyoza is considered a dish from Japanese cuisine. It can be enjoyed both in restaurants and at home. They are usually served with white rice and a special gyoza sauce made from rice vinegar, soy sauce and sesame oil.
Are gyoza and dumplings the same?
Many people get confuse with the when using the terms “dumplings”, “gyoza” and “potstickers”. In this section we are planning to solve this doubt by providing the proper definition of each term.
Dumpling is broad food classification that refers to wrapped pieces of dough that may or not contain a filling. Depending on the dought and the filling there are many types of dumplings. Gyoza and potstickers consist on a mix of ingredients wrapped in a dough, therefore both are classified as dumplings. With this concept clarified, lets focus on their differences.
Potstickers are Chinese dumplings consisting on a thick wheat flour wrapper filled with meat and vegetables. They are fried with a little of vegetable oil until the base of the dumpling is roasted (that’s why they are called potstickers).
Gyoza are Japanese dumplings (also with Chinese roots) consisting on a thinner wrapper made from cake and bread flour filled also with a mix of finely chopped meat and vegetables. The official way of cooking them require both frying and boiling. First, the base of the gyoza are fried on the pan in the same way as potstickers. After that, to boil the top, a splash of water is added to the pan and covered with a steaming lid. This make gyozas, dumplings soft at the top and crunchy at the base.
As we can see from the definitions, the main differences between gyoza and potstickers dumplings are: the thickness of the wrapper, the chop of the filling and the cooking method.
Types of gyoza
Original Japanese gyoza are crunchy-fried in the base and steamy-soft in the top. However, because human are free to do whatever they want. Depending on how much we focus of the frying or steaming part, gyoza may be divided in 3 types.
Yaki refers to a japanese cooking method that implies soft frying or roasting (sometime even without using oil). This is the most typical type of gyoza fried on the based and steamed on the top.
Age, in this context, refers to deep-fry. Age gyozas are fully immersed in oil and fried until all the dumpling is crunchy. As Japanese don’t like very much deep-fried food, this are not very common unless you are in a restaurant specialized in gyoza.
Sui in one of the words used in Japan to refers to water. If age gyoza were completely focused on frying. Sui gyoza transform the original “steaming” into boiling. This gyoza are boiled in water an served in a very light broth.
How to make gyoza
If you live in Japan, it will be very easy to buy already wrapped gyozas and just prepare them in the pan. However, the fun part about cooking gyozas is actually the wrapping. Therefore, if you wanna enjoy with you friends, we recommend to make gyoza from scratch. In the following video, you can see gyoza recipe step-by step. From the preparation of the filling, to the method to cooked them passing through the wrapping method.
How to make vegan gyoza
Although gyoza contains meat traditionally, you can find many types of filling for this dumplings. Making vegan or vegetarian gyoza is as simple as choosing the right ingredients during preparation. In the following video you can see a recipe to make delicious vegan gyoza including also the preparation of the dough for the wrappers
How to make gyoza sauce
Gyoza cannot be understood in Japan without its traditional sauce which was so specifically created for gyoza that its official name is “gyoza sauce”. This sauce is created with a combination of rice vinegar, soy sauce and sesame oil. You can buy easily this sauce in any supermarket or convenience store in Japan. However, we know that are the kind of person that prefer to avoid additives to preserve a enhance the taste of food. For that reason, we let you here a video with a recipe to prepare you own gyoza sauce so you can enjoy a healthier life style.
How to eat gyoza
Eating gyoza do not involves as much rituals as other Japanese dishes. To do it properly, we can also presents gyozas in the traditional way. Serve them arranged in a circular way in a big plate and prepare a side dish with the gyoza sauce. After that, just pick up a gyoza with your chopsticks, dip it in the sauce and eat it!
Japanese people like to take gyozas together with white rice and salad. This three elements combined are not only delicious but they also provide a nice balance of vitamins and nutrients.
How many calories in gyoza?
The calories contained in gyoza will vary depending on the ingredients used to fill the gyoza and also depending how much vegetable oil is used to cook them. Before cooking, gyoza contains, in average, 50 calories from which 2g come from Fat, 6g from carbohydrates and 3g from proteins. Moreover we are providing above a table with the nutritional values of gyoza filled with different ingredients (values are provided per ounce = 28g).
|Cal||Fat (g)||Carb (g)||Prot (g)|
Which is the price of gyoza?
Gyoza are made from minced meat, vegetables and dough, therefore they are quite affordable in Japan. The price of individual ration of gyoza (6 dumplings) oscillate between 300 yen and 600 yens ( 3 to 6 dollars). In Hamamatsu, a popular city to taste these dumplings, a dish of 20 gyoza can be purchased by 1200 yens (12 dollars) at restaurants.
Another option will be to buy already wrapped gyozas at the supermarket and cooked then at home using a pan. In this case, the typical pack of gyoza contain between 10 and 12 dumplings and cost between 200 and 300 yens.
In Japan, gyoza are especially popular in the cities of Hamamatsu and Utsunomiya. Above we will recommend you some restaurant on this areas where you can enjoy real Japanese gyoza!
This restaurant located near the central station of Hamamatsu has one of the best offers of gyoza in the area. If you want to enjoy with friends a good amount of gyozas at a reasonable price, you should not miss this place.
Address: 430-0926, Shizuoka, Hamamatsu, Naka Ward, Sunayamacho, 356-5
Ishimatsu Honten is another popular restaurant to eat gyoza near Hamamatsu central station. They are quite famous because of its taste. Because of that if you are planning to use their takeaway service, be ready to do a long queue.
Masashi Miyajimacho Honten
This restaurant near Utsunomiya station serves nothing but gyoza. You can find from deep-fried to boiled gyozas in here. If you are in Utsunomiya and you wanna have the real gyoza experience you should try this restaurant
This place is probably the gyoza restaurant with the best quality-price ratio in the Utsunomiya station area. If you have a big appetite, this is your place.
Gyoza no Ohsho
Gyoza no Ohsho is a very popular chain of gyoza restaurants famous in all Japan which is actually specialized in Chinese food. They have many restaurants across the country. Therefore if you cannot try the traditional gyozas from Hamamatsu or Utsunomiya, you look for a Gyoza no Ohsho on any other mayor city.
Is gyoza healthy?
Gyoza contains flour, meat and vegetables. If the gyoza is served in a restaurant or you made them from scratch, they will contain just natural healthy products. As we mention in previous sections, gyozas make a very balanced meal combined with white rice and salad.
Although the ingredients are healthy, how to cook gyozas play an important role on how healthy they are. It is widely known that fried stuff it not the healthiest, mainly because fried food absorbs the fat from the oils used for frying.
From this point there are several things we can do to make our gyozas healthier:
Avoid deep-frying: less oil means less fat!
Use healthy oils: avoid oils containing saturated fats, use instead those rich in omega-3 fats
Don’t use oil: you can still roast the base of your gyoza without oil, just be careful they don’t get sticked on the pan!
Just boil them: For sure this is the healthier option. Boiled gyozas are not the full Japanese experience but still are quite tasty.
What is the origin of gyoza?
Gyoza is a Japanese modern version of a Chinese dumpling called Jiaozi which has presence in the history of China for the last 2 milleniums. The origin of the name Jiaozi (餃子) is not clear. It is composed of 2 Chinese characters meaning “dumpling” (餃 jiao) and “kid or small” (子 zi). In Chinese, there is another character that is pronounced as “Jiao” (角) meaning horn. A popular theory said that Jiaozi original meaning was “small horn”.
Some stories say that an old practitioner of Chinese medicine called Zhan Zhongjing was created the first version of Jiaozi to treat frostbitten ears. He was wrapping in a small dough medicine mixed with boiled peppers and lamb meat. The resulting dumpling was used to warm poor people’s ears and as food.
During world war II, Japanese soldier became familiar with Jiaozi and the recipe was exported and adapted to Japanese cuisine. Actually, because they use the same Chinese symbols, the word Gyoza is written also as 餃子(and therefore it has the same meaning) but with the pronunciation adapted to Japanese language.
Why is gyoza popular in Japan?
Gyoza is without a doubt, a popular dish in Japan. It is very common or organize the so call “Gyoza Party” among groups of friend and family. Gyoza are not only delicious and cheap but they are extremely fun to prepare.
Japanese people like to buy wrappers, meat and vegetables and enjoy making gyoza from scratch during social meetings. Preparing the filling and cooking the gyoza is quite simple, however, wrapping the dough properly requires some practice. During gyoza party you can teach your kids how to wrap gyoza or compete with your friends for the best gyoza maker!
In addition, doing your own gyozas allow you to choose the ingredients you prefer. Many people like to experiment with cheese gyoza or honey gyoza during these events.
How to pronounce gyoza vs jiaozi
Both Japanese gyoza and Chinese jiaozi contain “j” and “z” roman characters along with a bunch of vowels. It is normal that there is some confusion about their pronunciation.
Firstly, we have to understand that the use of roman characters to read chinese or japanese symbols is just a way for foreigners to put some kind of sound to the characters there are looking at. However, the pronunciation won’t be so accurate. Even gyoza and jiaozi might look similar, the way of pronouncing in Japan and Chinese are very different.
Above we are providing two videos with the pronunciation of gyoza (by a japanese) and jiaozi (by a chinese) so you can appreciate the difference.
How to pronounce gyoza
How to pronounce jiaozi
Trivia about gyoza
Both the city of Hamamatsu in Shizuoka Prefecture and the city of Utsunomiya in Tochigi Prefecture are recognised in Japan as the “Gyoza Towns”. These areas are highly specialized in preparing these delicious dumplings. On then, you can find hundred of restaurants competing on the preparation of the best gyoza.
If you are a gyoza lover and you pass near this areas, you should really try the restaurants in those area (you can find out recommendation on the gyoza restaurant section)
Gyoza Extreme Food
Gyoza Towns are so into gyozas that they are not satisfied just with the dumplings everyone know. They need to make a gyoza out of everything. On this cities you can find common dishes filled or flavored with gyoza. Gyoza burgers, gyoza bread, gyoza snacks and even gyoza sweets are some of the extreme gyoza products that you can find while exploring this cities.