The Japanese word ぎょうざ comes from the Chinese word 餃子 (in that sense, I should be writing it as ギョーザ)  and it is a variation of Chinese dumpling.

The Japanese-style ぎょうざ has stronger garlic flavour than its Chinese sibling and we usually use machine made skins, rather than hand-made thick skins Chinese cousins have..
ぎょうざ is usually served with soy-based たれ sauce seasoned with rice vinegar and/or chili oil (ラー油(ゆ)). The most common recipe uses a mixture of minced pork, finely chopped cabbage, garlic chives, minced garlic and grated ginger but each family has its own recipe. In my family, coarsely chopped Chinese water chestnut is a must. These ingredients are well mixed and wrapped into thinly rolled dough skins.
Ready-to-cook or ready-to-eat ぎょうざ can be found in supermarkets and restaurants throughout Japan. Pan-fried ぎょうざ is sold as a side dish in many ramen and Chinese restaurants.
The most popular preparation method is the pan-fried style called 焼き餃子(やきぎょうざ), in which the dumpling is first fried on one flat side, creating a crispy skin. Then, water is added and the pan sealed with a lid, until the upper part of the dumpling is steamed. Other popular methods include boiled 水餃子(みずぎょうざ or すいぎょうざ) and deep fried 揚げ餃子(あげぎょうざ).

Making it is quite fiddly but ぎょうざ is one of our family favourites and we have to have it every so often! When you have a chance, try it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: