1. Let’s begin by making a really simple chilli oil, remove the seeds from approximately 60g of dried red chillis (1 big handful). When seedless add the chillies to a food blender and pulse until ground. You want to keep a bit of texture in the chilli so ground them so they look like chilli flakes. When ready place into a large bowl then add 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tbsp chilli powder then mix all together.
2. Next step the aromats, in a dry pan add 1 tbsp Szechuan peppercorns, 4 star anise, 2 garlic cloves, 1 small cinnamon stick and 3 bay leaves. Toast on a high heat until fragrant then add 200ml of rapeseed oil and bring the oil up to approximately 180°c (basically when the spices start to fry). After 5 minutes the oil should have become infused from the spices, now place a sieve over the ground chillies then pour over the hot oil through the sieve. The chilli should almost pop from the hot oil which is a good sign. Finally add 1 tbsp of black rice vinegar and watch the oil crackle (take care when doing this). Give the oil a good mix and allow too cool to one side. When cool place into a jar and store at room temperature, this chilli oil can be kept for weeks.
3. Let’s move onto making the gyoza wrappers, firstly we want to extract all that green colour and flavour from the spinach into the dough. To do this place 2 cups of water into a pan and bring to a boil. When boiling add approximately 70g of spinach and cook for 1 minute. Then place the water and spinach into a blender and pulse until the spinach has broken down. Pass the spinach water through a fine sieve then measure out 105ml and place to one side.
4. Now we can make the dough, place 200g of dumpling flour and 1/2 tbsp salt into a large mixing bowl. (If you cant find dumpling flour then use a flour which is high in protein i.e a bread flour). I will leave an image of which flour I used below. Next step is to slowly incorporate 105ml of the spinach water into the flour. Mix well with chopsticks until a dough starts to form then begin to kneed by hand until a smoothish dough is formed. When the dough is ready cover with clingfilm and allow to rest at room temperature for 1 hour.
5. Whilst we wait for the dough to rest we can put together the filling for the gyoza. Start by finely chopping 2 celery sticks, 4 spring onions, 3 garlic cloves and a 4cm piece of ginger. Now place 200g of pork mince to a large mixing bowl and add the chopped celery, spring onion, garlic, and ginger. Then add 1 whole egg, 1.5 tbsp light soy, 1 tbsp oyster sauce, 2 tbsp cooking oil, 1 tbsp water and season with a pinch of salt and white pepper. Mix the filling by stirring in one single direction with chopsticks until all ingredients are well mixed. The reason for stirring this way is to improve the fillings texture. You want the mix to be slightly wet and not too dry but so the mix is able to run off of the back of a spoon. When ready clingfilm and store in the fridge until we are ready to use.
6. Moving on swiftly back to the dough, after 1 hour the dough should have become much softer and smoother to work with. Briefly kneed the dough for 2-3 minutes to bring it back to life. Now place onto a work surface dusted lightly with flour and roll the dough into a ball. Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces then roll each piece of dough into 4 equal cigar shapes approximately 4 inches in length.
7. Cut the cylinders of dough into half then into half again to create 16 small pieces of dough. (Each small piece of dough should weigh around 12g). When cut, place the dough pieces to the side of the work surface and cover with a lightly damp towel.
8. At this point we are ready to start to build the gyoza, best way to do this is to make one at a time if you’re not comfortable at folding gyoza. Take one small piece of dough then roll into a tidy small ball first. Now lightly dust your hands with flour and flatten the piece of dough with your palm to create a flat disk. To roll, take the dough with your off hand and with your dominant hand use a small rolling pin to roll into the centre of the Dough. Continue to roll the dough into the centre whilst slightly turning the dough with your off hand to create thinner edges. The dough should end up being round and flat with a small hump in the centre. I know that is a mouthful, to be honest the best thing to do is watch a tutorial on how to roll out the gyoza wrappers first.
9. Now to fill, place the dough into the palm of your hand then add approx 1 tbsp of the filling into the centre of the dough. Fold the dough in half to make a crescant shape. Pinch the top of the dough to seal, then create small overlapping folds around the opening using your two index fingers. Again as its slightly difficult to explain this in words perhaps watch a quick ‘how to fold gyoza’ online first…If you are struggling on how to fold the gyoza then simply close the seal of the dough by pinching tightly together keeping the filling nice and packed into the centre of the dough. Repeat this process for each piece of dough then when ready keep the gyoza to one side for now.
10. Just before we cook the gyoza we can finish the chilli sauce, in a bowl add 2 or so tbsp of the chilli oil we made earlier. If you really want to get after that spice then add more chilli oil if you prefer. Now add some chopped coriander, spring onions, 1 tbsp black rice vinegar, 1 tbsp light soy and 1 tsp of white sugar. Mix well together and we now have our chilli sauce.
11. Now to finally cook the gyoza, Place a large frying pan onto a medium high heat and add a small drizzle of oil. Place the gyoza flat into the pan and wait until the gyoza starts to fry. When the bottom of the gyoza starts to get slightly golden brown add 200ml of water to the pan then place a tight lid over the top. The gyoza should take 6-8 minutes to cook and should be ready when all of the water has evaporated.
12. When the gyoza are cooked and have a nice golden brown crispy base place onto a serving plate and drizzle with our chilli sauce. If you really want to get after it then serve with some freshly cooked Japanese rice. Hope you like this recipe!
Instead of using pork for the filling then you could also use minced beef, chicken, vegetables or mushrooms. If you want to leave the spinach out then simply use 105ml of water instead to make a more traditional gyoza. If you want you could double the recipe to make a batch of gyoza and freeze it just before cooking. As for the folding technique then the best way to learn is to watch a few tutorials and then practice on a small piece of dough, paper or even play dough. I actually learnt how to fold gyoza by using my son’s play dough…anyways hope you like this recipe and have fun with it!