This month Cooking with Ma had a delicious Japanese theme. Ma showed me how to make sushi rice, sushi rolls, tofu pockets, some Japanese salads and my grandmother’s gyoza. I think my grandmother, Ma-Ma, would have been proud to see this!
Unfortunately Ma-Ma passed when I was quite young so I only have a few memories of her. My most vivid memory is of my sister and I, as toddlers, sitting at a wooden kiddies table in Ma-Ma’s kitchen, playing with the yellow play-dough she had just made for us. I also remember tall blue hydrangeas in the garden bed at the front of her home.
As an adult, I often wonder what it would be like to know her now and all the amazing things she would tell me about Japan, the culture and her life in Australia. Whenever I visit Japan I wonder what she would think of how much the country has changed since she moved away.
Gyoza are generally made with pork mince. As an alternative we added a handful of Linda McCartney’s vegemince to the filling. Ma usually makes large quantities as gyoza freezes so well.
So without any further delay, here it is, Ma-Ma’s recipe for gyoza, Japanese dumplings.
325g Chinese cabbage, finely chopped
300g shiitake mushrooms, finely chopped
Water chestnuts, finely chopped
Lotus root, finely chopped
Spring onions, finely chopped
2 Tbs shoyu (Japanese soy sauce)
1 Tbs cooking sake
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp sugar
1 egg or egg substitute
50 gyoza or gow gee wrappers (egg free also available)
To make your own, mix shoyu with the juice of half a lemon or lime & mix with a little wasabi to taste. Alternatively there are good commercial Japanese dumpling sauces available.
- Mix ingredients well in a bowl. Chill for 30mins.
- Place teaspoons of filling into centre of wrappers, moisten one edge & close together with 3 pleats OR use a plastic mould like the one pictured (these cheap gadgets can be found in Asian supermarkets).
- Line the completed gyozas on a baking tray. Cover with baking paper between layers so they don’t stick. Cover tray & refrigerate for 30mins.
- An electric frypan is best – lightly coat the base with oil & fry gyoza until golden & crisp.
- Turn gyoza over then quickly pour in about half a cup of water, cover with lid & steam for a few minutes until water has evaporated.
- Serve gyoza hot with dipping sauce.