where i try to make gyoza, and end up working a food production line

20 Oct

So I’m having a little trouble getting back into work mode after my weekend away, and most of my day today was consumed by a desire to get home and get stuck into making gyoza. I’ve had a recipe sitting around on by usb drive for a few weeks now that I pilfered from The Kitchn: “Kenny Lao’s Rickshaw Dumplings”

Here is the recipe, copy and pasted directly from The Kitchn for easier reference (though much less by way of production photos!):

———————————-

Rickshaw Dumplings
Adapted from Kenny Lao
makes about 80 dumplings, depending on wrappers used

1/2 head of Napa cabbage
1 tablespoon salt
1 pound fresh ground turkey or other ground meat
1 bunch scallion, chopped
1 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons minced ginger
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
2 eggs, beaten
2 packets round dumpling wrappers (most brands have 30-45 wrappers per package)
vegetable oil for frying

For the dipping sauce:
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sriracha or other hot chili sauce

Cut the cabbage crosswise into thin strips. Toss in a large bowl with salt in a bowl and set aside for 5 minutes. Take handfuls and wring out the moisture. Dump out any remaining water in the bowl. Combine the cabbage with the turkey, scallion, cilantro, soy sauce, ginger, sesame oil, pepper and eggs. Mix well with a large spoon or, preferably, your clean hands.

Set yourself up in a spacious work area with the dumpling wrappers, a little bowl of water and a large cutting board or cookie sheet. Grab a helper or two. Lay out a dozen or so dumpling wrappers. Place about 1 tablespoon filling in the center of each wrapper. Dip your fingertip in the water and trace the outside edge of the wrapper with water. Fold the wrapper over to make a half circle and make a pleat at the top of the curve. Pinch in the sides then lift up the edges to meet the center, creating a pouch. Pinch the top together and bend out the sides slightly to curve.

Heat a skillet over high until very hot. Add 1 tablespoon oil (a little less if using a non-stick pan) and coat the sides. Place enough dumplings in a single layer to line the pan, then stand back and carefully pour in a 1/2 cup of water (enough to immerse the dumplings by 1/2-inch.) Cover and cook until the water is absorbed.

Holding the pan with a hot pad, place a large plate or platter as a cover on the pan and invert. Scrape the dumpling out with a spatula (careful of non-stick surfaces.)

Repeat with the remaining dumplings.

To make the dipping sauce, combine all ingredients in a small bowl.

Serve dumplings hot with the dipping sauce.

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Now, me being me, I figured the ingredients weren’t enough, so I bought extra meat, as well as tins of water chesnuts, bamboo shoots and this thin asian mushroom that resembles an earplug. I also used wombok instead of cabbage.

Kids – listen to people when they suggest amounts, otherwise you end up with too much mixture, and spend 40 minutes dashing up and down Brunswick Street at 8pm, trying to find a place that sells dumpling wrappers, and buying half the stock that Coles has, all the while praying that it’ll both be enough, and you’ll have room for them.

It turns out I don’t have enough freezer room to make them all at once, so a good half of the bowl of filling remains, covered in my fridge, awaiting tomorrow evening when once again, I can continue making gyoza. I prefer the skins I got from the Formosa Asian Grocery on Mary Street in the city, they’re whitish and round. The ones from Coles are square and yellow.

I’ve also tried eating some, they’re alright, though definately missing something (possibly the cilantro, which I don’t have… the ginger, which I don’t think I added enough of…. or the soy sauce, which I also don’t have, and tried to substitute with extra sesame oil and some teriyaki sauce). But hey, they’re food, and like my slightly burnt tasting risotto, they’re not getting thrown away for something so small (you can tell I don’t want a repeat of last month where I’m fighting with weevils in my rice to allow me one more weeks worth of food!)

So here’s my filling, in a giant metal IKEA bowl… it’s a bit of a hot mess:

And here are the first few I made:

They started to look good when I got used to it, though the visual quality took a quick downhill turn when I started using the square wrappers and had to begin developing  a new technique.

That’s all I’ve got for you photo wise here, I was far too busy making these and watching Poh’s Kitchen.

And I won’t be making the dipping sauce, I find these taste fantastic with plum sauce, and I happened to find a nice, thin, plum and chilli sauce at the shops.

Today I also rediscovered ThreadBanger on YouTube while I was trying to find instructions on making paper beads (for my christmas tree). Expect me to make some of the stuff on here soon, especially the DIY Stuffed Animals (I love indie plushies and sock monkeys, and dying to learn how to make a Sock Monkey, I’ve wanted one for ages now!)

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