Friday, 11 February 2011

A perfect day to make gyozas

This morning, I woke up at 10.30, the first time I allowed myself to sleep on since... I can't remember. Those last days I had actually been craving for spring, imagining when I could finally wear a summer dress and Edvin and I could go picnicking by the river. The weather had started to get warmer, and all the snow that had piled up for the last 3 months had slowly started to melt and turn to ice, making my trips to town a bit more dangerous each time. But this morning when I woke up, the scenery was covered by a white blanket. More than 20 centimetres had fallen during the night, just like on new year's eve. And the sun was bright in the sky, one of the miracles of Uppsala. One of the things that make me think, sometimes, that I could be settle here and be actually happy. Looking at all the fresh snow, I felt that finally I was not in such a rush to let go of winter, as if he had just reminded me that I would miss him soon enough.

I made tea and enjoyed a piece of the lemon cake I made yesterday. Even better now. I started cleaning the house, thinking about what I would do today, for the first time since... I can't remember. So much time, so many options. I decided to try making gyoza for the first time. I had been thinking about it for a long time and I even had watched videos on youtube to help me manage the pleats. I also needed to clean up the Moka coffee pot I had bought yesterday in a second hand shop (for 25 sek!).

Finally the gyoza were not that hard to make. Sure it takes some time, but they are so delicious, completely worth the work. Sure, they don't look as pretty as the ones you would get in a restaurant but I am pretty proud of myself.

Japanese gyoza.
Makes about 30. Takes about one hour

30 gyoza skins (next time I will actually make the skins myself, because the ones I bought contained egg)
1 cup chopped shiitake mushrooms
2 cups shredded cabbage
1 small carrot
2 tbs chopped green onions
1 tbs grated peeled fresh ginger
2 minced garlic cloves
1 tbs mirin
some sesame oil
1 tbs soy sauce

1. Mix all the ingredients. Use a mixer if you haven't chopped them well enough, until you get a crumbly mix. Mix well with a little sesame oil and soy sauce. Put this aside to marinade for a short while to allow the flavours to infuse.

2. With a gyoza skin in the palm of one hand, spoon a small amount of the mix into the centre of the skin. No need to overfill here, simply add an amount approximate to a teaspoons worth. Add a small amount of water to moisten the edge of the skin to make it easy to seal.

3. Fold the filled gyoza skin in half and pinch at the top to seal it. Pleat and fold the gyoza. To get a better idea on how to perform, please watch this video.

4. Heat up a little sesame oil in a pan and gently place the gyoza in it with the flat side facing down. Cook on a high heat until the bottom of the gyoza become crispy and golden (it will take just a few minutes).

To finish cooking the gyoza, add some water to the pan so that the gyoza are half submerged (but this depend again of the size of your pan, in doubt add little by little). Place a lid on top of the pan and leave the heat on medium-high.

6. Allow the gyoza to steam cook until the water has evaporated, then leave them cooking on the bottom a little longer to make sure that they become crispy and delicious. Allow the gyoza to steam cook until the water has evaporated, then leave them cooking on the bottom a little longer to make sure that they become crispy and delicious.

Serve the gyoza on a plate with the crispy side facing up and use a combination of soy sauce and rice vinegar to make a dipping sauce.

You can also freeze uncooked gyoza and simply follow the same procedure as above to cook them (no thawing required or recommended). That's what I did and the gyoza were still super tasty!

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