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What Is Gyoza & How Is It Served?

What Is Gyoza & How Is It Served?


Ah, gyoza – those savory, crispy dumplings make your mouth water even when you hear the word said out loud. Gyoza is a Japanese staple, and it’s impossible to get enough of them. 


Gyozas are a classic Japanese side dish that is tough to compete with. 


This Japanese dumpling is delicious, and if you haven’t heard about it, you need to become acquainted. So today, we’re going to talk about all things gyoza. By the end of this article, you’ll be craving to get some gyoza on your plate right away. 

 

What Is Gyoza?

Gyoza is a specific type of Japanese dumpling. They are wrapped in a thin wrapper and folded to look like a crescent. Most of the time, gyoza are filled with pork and cabbage filling and then pan-fried to get a nice crispy bottom. The gyoza wrapper dough is fragile, making it nice and crispy when the dumpling is pan-fried.


Gyoza are dipped in a savory but tangy sauce made from soy sauce, rice vinegar, and some sesame oil, chili flakes, garlic, or ginger. 

 

What Is Typically in Gyoza?

Most commonly, gyoza is filled with pork filling. The rich, savory pork is flavored with various spices and sauces to make it delicious. 


In addition, the filling is very finely minced, so all the ingredients are very well incorporated, causing a nice uniform taste and a unique and soft texture. 


But gyozas can be filled with other fillings as well. For a vegetarian option, you can add finely minced cabbage, carrots, onions, and celery. You could also fill them with teriyaki tofu

 

Are There Different Types of Gyoza?

There are a few different types of gyoza. The main differences in the various types center around the cooking method. With each of these types though, you’ll still most frequently see them filled with pork and with a thin skin.

 

Yaki Gyoza

The most common type of gyoza is yaki gyoza, and by a long shot. Yaki gyoza are gyoza that are pan fried in oil in a skillet. 


To make yaki gyoza you heat some oil on medium high heat, cook your dumplings for a few minutes until the bottoms are crispy and golden brown, and then pour some water in the pan and cover. The stem will cook the gyoza the rest of the way. 


This was one of the main Japanese adaptations of the dumplings, so it’s by far the most common cooking method in Japan. 

 

Sui Gyoza

Sui gyoza are slightly different from other varieties. These dumplings are boiled instead of pan fried. This makes for a very different texture, and they are used far differently than yaki gyoza. 


Sui gyoza are most commonly used in soups. Sui gyoza soup is a popular dish in the winter. The hearty dumplings and the warm soup make for a satisfying meal that warms up your insides and keeps you going. 


In addition, sui gyoza are also commonly filled with shrimp as well as pork, so the flavors are quite different.

 

Age Gyoza

Age gyoza is not a very popular variety, but they are still used and can be found in restaurants that specialize in gyoza. Age gyoza is deep-fried in hot oil. The result is a perfectly cooked filling surrounded by a beautifully crispy wrapper. 

 

How Is Gyoza Served?

Most of the time, gyoza operates as a side dish to the main course, or perhaps an appetizer. Again, gyoza is commonly served with a delicious, savory, and tangy sauce, but every restaurant does their sauce differently. 


Gyoza can be eaten with chopsticks and can be eaten in one bite. As far as dumplings go, they are on the small side of dimsum.


With Rice

One popular way to eat gyoza is in gyoza fried rice. This dish is exactly what it sounds like. Cook up some fried rice with some vegetables like garlic, cabbage, and carrots. Then add in your gyoza, finish cooking and serve it up. 


This meal is quite filling and incredibly delicious. It’s a simple combination of two amazing foods!

 

As a Side

But more commonly than gyoza fried rice, gyoza can be served on its own as a side dish. These dumplings can be eaten in a few bites, and they cover broad strokes of flavor. They go with so many different Japanese meals, which is part of what makes them such a commonly eaten food.

 

When Should You Eat Gyoza?

One of the best times to eat gyoza is when you’re about to eat some ramen. Gyoza is often also served as the main course at family meals, or “okazu,” a dish that accompanies rice.


Another great time to eat gyoza is at family gatherings. There’s something very familiar and sentimental about gyoza, so reunions are a great place to eat your favorite Japanese dumplings.

 

Is Gyoza Served With Sauce?

Your gyoza wouldn’t be complete without a delicious dipping sauce. Again, gyoza sauce is commonly made with a mixture of soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar for sweetness, and chili paste or chili flakes for some spice. 


You can also add garlic for extra flavor or even a little fish sauce if you want. 


You could also make a delicious chili oil by pouring hot oil over garlic and chili paste for a sweet, spicy, oily dip that is great with dumplings. 


Or, if you don’t want to make your own sauce, ponzu is a great alternative. Additionally, the fermented soy sauce and citrus work great with the pork! 

 

Is Gyoza the Same Thing As Potstickers and Dumplings?

Gyoza and potstickers or jiaozi are definitely related and have a lot of similarities. But there are some key differences that set the two apart. 


Chinese potstickers came first. These steamed dumplings were a delicious Chinese food that was introduced to the Japanese. But the Japanese put their own spin on things and adapted the dumplings. This is why you see the same crescent shape and carefully folded pleats with potstickers and gyoza.

 

How Do They Differ?

There are a few main differences. First, the size varies between the two. Gyoza is a little bit smaller than potstickers. You can probably eat gyoza in one bite, but potstickers will probably take you a few bites to get through. 


Japanese gyoza is almost always pan-fried, where Chinese dumplings are more commonly steamed. As we mentioned earlier, the Japanese like fried food. And this worked well for gyoza because gyoza also has a thinner wrapper than potstickers. The thin gyoza wrappers get nice and crispy, making for a great texture variance. 

 

The Bottom Line

Gyozas are one of those foods that everybody loves. They’re warm, crispy, and full of great flavors. And now you know everything you need to know about gyoza. 


Go ahead and buy some premade gyoza, order them at a restaurant, or pan-fry up your own – It’s time to enjoy this delicious Japanese dumpling. 


If you need a place to buy gyoza or other Asian foods and ingredients, check out Umamicart. We are an online grocery store that delivers right to your doorstep so you can get fantastic Asian foods without leaving your home!


Sources

Gyoza: A Dumpling Innovation | Champlain College 

Pan-Fried Vegan Gyoza | Catskill Animal Sanctuary 

Vegetable Gyoza | Kitchen Garden Foundation 

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