Kanako's Kitchen

Gyoza: Meaty Potstickers

Posted in main dish, Recipe by Kanako Noda on October 25, 2009

Here’s a recipe that doubles as a communal activity: Gyoza are labor-intensive little packets of flavor that you can make together with your friends and family.

You’ve probably already run into Gyoza: they’re commonly available as an appetizer in sushi places these days. Turns out you can make those at home! While they’re certainly a bit of work, you can also save a lot of money if you skip the restaurant bit.

Kids love Gyoza, and as a kid I used to love making Gyoza as well. So consider pressing your little ones into service here: their gyoza may not be the most symmetrical but they’ll love it, and gyoza-making is a skill they’ll be glad to have for the rest of their lives.

This is another dish of slightly questionable Japaneseness: Gyoza are strongly rooted in Chinese cooking. But that’s a historical footnote: Gyoza are so firmly established in the Japanese Kitchen these days, it’s absurd to think of them as “foreign” anymore.

You can find ready-made Gyoza pastry shells in most Asian stores. Buy a packet and then all you have to do is mix the filling and start folding…it’s fun!

ingredientsIngredients (for 80 gyoza – serves about 6 diners)

  • Cabbage – 1/4th of a cabbage
  • Minced Pork- 200 g.
  • Minced Beef – 200 g.
    • Mixing pork and beef mix will produce the best taste, but it’s ok with pork only.
  • Garlic -a small piece
  • Ginger-a small piece
  • Miso paste – one teaspoon
  • Sesame oil – three teaspoons
  • Optional: Chinese leek
    • I usually add Chinese leek, but this time I didn’t have any on hand, so I went without it.
  • gyoza pastryGyoza pastry shells – 80
  • Sesame oil for frying – one table spoon
  • Water to steam – half of a cup (each time you cook)

for the sauce

  • Soy sauce – 3.5 tablespoons
  • Vinegar – 3 tablespoons
  • Sugar – 1 tablespoon
  • Lime – one. Squeeze the juice.


Make the filling

  • Chop the cabbage very small
  • Grate ginger and garlic into a pulp
  • Mix together the ginger, garlic, cabbage, pork, beef, miso paste and sesame oil thoroughly,
  • Massage the filling ingredients together with your hands

chop cabbage grated ginger and garlic mix ingredients

Massage the filling ingredients gyoza filling click to enlarge

Make the sauce

  • Mix together the soy sauce, vinegar and stir in the sugar until it fully dissolves.
  • Place in a serving dish at the table (do not add it to the filling mix!!)

Prepare the Gyoza for folding

  • Set up a small bowl with water (to make the gyoza pastry sticky before you seal it)
  • Set out the pastry shells on a counter top
  • With a teaspoon, scoop a small amount of filling onto each of the gyoza pastry shells

Fold the Gyoza (a.k.a. the fun part)

  • Assuming you are right handed, to fold the gyoza you put a pastry shell on your left hand
  • With your right index finger, wet the bottom half of the pastry shell
  • Fold it over
  • With your right index finger inside the pastry and your right thumb outside the pastry, start making little folds on the side of the pastry facing you.
  • Continue making folds to the end.
  • Remember, only one side of the gyoza should have folds, the back-side should be flat!
    • Don’t worry if your first few gyoza don’t come out perfect. It takes a bit of practice to get the hang of it. 
  • Lay the gyoza on the counter top and tap it down, sealing it completely.
    • Make sure the pastry is fully closed or it will collapse when you cook it.

Set out the pastry shells on a counter top scoop filling onto gyoza pastry filling on the gyoza pastry

Put a pastry shell on your left hand Fold gyoza pastry over With your right index finger inside and your right thumb outside

folding gyoza pastry folding gyoza pastry 2 folding gyoza pastry 3

finish folding gyoza sealing gyoza completely gyoza ready to cook

click to enlarge


  1. Sprinkle a tablespoon of sesame oil on a big frying pan – you don’t need to cover it – and heat it over medium heat
  2. Fry the gyoza on one side for about 3 minutes, until it browns
  3. Turn and fry on the other side for another 3 minutes or so, until it browns
  4. Add half a cup of water to the frying pan, and cover quickly
  5. Allow to steam for about 5-7 minutes, until the water is completely evaporated
  6. Serve

Fry the gyoza on one side Turn and fry on the other side Add half a cup of water

cover finish gyoza click to enarge

At the table, each diner puts some gyoza on a small plate, pours sauce over it, and eats. Gyoza works well alongside soup and white rice.

Today we had a guest and we enjoyed gyoza, rice and a simple leek and shitake mashroom soup.

24th dinnerItadakimasu!


13 Responses

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  1. Mitchi said, on October 26, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    Thank you so much for this recipe! Especially for the sauce…a friend of mine doesn’t want to try to make Gyoza because the recipe for sauce she has uses dashi.

    My best friend and her little brother love Gyoza, and the little brother likes to go to his friend’s house because his grandmother is Japanese, and gyoza are her specialty.

    I need to make these sometime. Every december, my mom has a potluck dinner for her Filipino friends, and we Pinoys love to eat. I’m sure they would love to try these. Thanks so much!

    As someone who loved asian home cooking, you can consider me a fan.

    • caracaschronicles said, on October 26, 2009 at 7:21 pm

      Thanks Mitchi: I’m Kanako’s husband. We’re very happy to have our first blog fan!

      So do you live in the Philippines or abroad?!

      And, we wanted to ask you: doing research on Miso Soup for the blog, we read that there’s a version of it in your country that uses tamarind stock as a soup base! Is this really true?! Do you ever make it? Is it delicious?

      I’m very very curious. Do you have a recipe?

      • Mitchi said, on October 27, 2009 at 2:17 am

        I grew up in the Philippines, but currently live in the US.

        To be honest, in the area I grew up in, we never really used miso (I had never heard of it until I started learning about Japanese cuisine). We do have a soup with a tamarind base, called “Sinigang” but it’s not really similar to miso at all…and really, it’s the only thing off the top of my head I can think of that primarily uses tamarind, and I’ve heard of this soup being made with Miso, but I’ve never tried it that way.

        If you search “sinigang sa miso” you should find some recipes for it though.

  2. Kepler said, on October 27, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    I think you should provide a caption at the start of each post: “Warning, the images you are about to see may make you hungry/very hungry. You may consider how long it willl take until you can eat before continuing any further”

    • kanako said, on October 27, 2009 at 1:37 pm

      So you need the man power here. But it’s not so complicated once you learn the movement.

      • Kepler said, on October 27, 2009 at 3:36 pm

        I mean: imagine someone is in an office at 1pm and says “I am going to check the Japanese blog to check out what ingredients I will buy on my way home”. Imagine he opens the blog then and not at 6pm, he sees the picture and says: “oh, that looks so delicious”. Then he will be half a day thinking about the Meaty Potstkickers without being able to eat anything. The only solution is not to see the blog even in a pause during working hours. 🙂

  3. Greg said, on October 31, 2009 at 5:17 pm

    I just tried this recipe yesterday (and actually made two batches) and it was absolutely fantastic! I am no cook but these just tasted great. Thanks so much!

    • kanako said, on October 31, 2009 at 10:00 pm

      Hi Greg
      I’m really happy that you enjoyed this recipe. Gyoza seems a little bit complicated to make but, in fact, it’s not! Try another recipe, too. They aren’t very difficult, either.

  4. Valérie said, on February 3, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    How nice to have a new recipe to try! I learned how to make pot stickers in a cooking class last fall – and i usually make them with a peanut sauce which is also delicious! I’m looking foward to trying your gyoza recipe; my boyfriend and I could eat dumplings every week, it’s so good!!!

    • kanako said, on February 6, 2010 at 8:37 am

      Bienvenue, Valérie
      This Gyoza recipe seems complicated but no so much, so please try it!

  5. Ayako said, on April 27, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    Thanks very much for the recipe, but do you actually have the recipe for the gyoza pastry shells? Because in Mexico sometimes we do not find them and I would like to learn the recipe as well. I simply love gyoza!!! Regards,

  6. JessicaLeong said, on August 18, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    thank you, well explained. looks delicious.

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