I have this obsession with freezing food–as long as it can be frozen, I will freeze it. So in my tiny freezer, it is cramped with soup stock, duck fat, ramen, meyer lemon cream and a giant bag of homemade gyoza. The possibility of me starving to death is rather low.
Among my frozen (food) stock, one of my favourites is gyoza. They are great as late night snacks, and help to pimp up lacklustre meals. I only started making my own gyoza a few months ago, and I obsessed in getting the pleat right for the dumplings (at this stage, you might detect my OCD nature). Wrapping gyoza was easier than I expected–as long as you do not mind a few deformed looking ones.
Kimchi and tofu are my favourite fillings for gyoza. My homemade kimchi is slightly spicy and tangy and its flavours are absorbed by the firm tofu. There is a certain lightness in the kimchi tofu gyoza–you do not get too filled up as compared to meat-filled gyoza. So you do not feel guilty from eating them as supper.
Kimchi tofu gyoza
If you have fears in getting the pleat right for the gyoza, you don’t have to fret about it. You can keep things simple by just folding them. As long as they are delicious, no one will care how they look. But if you are really determined to make the pleat right, go to YouTube and do a search–there are many videos demonstrating the folding of gyoza.
Makes about 24 gyoza
1 packet of dumpling skin (round shaped)
300g kimchi, drain any excess liquid and roughly chop
200g firm tofu (tau kwa) (this is about one piece of tofu)
15g corn flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sesame seed oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
- Cut the tau kwa into small pieces and place them on a cheese cloth or a clean tea towel. Take the ends of the cloth/ towel and squeeze out all the liquid in the tau kwa. Once done, put the tau kwa in a large bowl.
- In the large bowl, add in the rest of the ingredients and mix well. You can pan fried a bit of the filling to check on the seasoning. You might need more sugar as store bought kimchi tend to be on the sour side.
- Once the filling is ready, it is time to wrap (at this point, prepare a bowl of water and set aside)! Place one dumpling skin onto the palm of your hand, using a teaspoon, scoop the filling and place it in the middle. Don’t go overzealous with the filling–when you wrap, the filling might leak out. Spread the filling, leaving the edge of the skin alone. Dip one of your fingers in the bowl of water, and wet the edge of the dumpling skin. At the lower half of the dumpling, hold the middle and fold. Press the middle of the skin and hold it with your thumb (the thumb is from the hand that is holding the gyoza). Start folding one side of the gyoza. Repeat for the other side.
- To cook, place a large frying pan (make sure the pan comes with a lid) over medium heat and add one tablespoon of vegetable oil. Once the pan is heat, place the gyoza in the pan. As the gyoza began to cook, add in half a cup of water (if you are using a smaller pan, you might not need so much water) and cover. Let the gyoza cook for around 5-7 minutes and remove lid. If there is still water in the pan, just the gyoza continue to cook until the water evaporated. Once all the water is gone, check the bottom of the gyoza, it should be browned and crisp. If not, leave them in the pan for a few more minutes.
- Once the gyoza are cooked, remove and eat!
- If you intend to freeze your gyoza, flour a baking tray and place the gyoza onto the tray. Once done, stick the tray in the freezer. Once the gyoza are frozen, remove from the tray and place them into a freezer bag. They can be kept for up to 3 months.