Monday, May 28, 2012

"Teba gyoza" stuffed chicken wings, baked and BBQed 手羽餃子オーブン焼きとバベキュー

Sometime ago when I posted "Teba Gyoza" 手羽餃子, which was deep fried, I promised that I would try baking or grilling it to see what happens. Finally I had a chance. Here I cooked teba gyoza two ways; the left in the image below was hot smoked/grilled using a Weber kettle and the right baked in a toaster oven.
The version which was hot smoked/grilled in the Weber kettle looked much nicer with its mahogany color, crispy skin and juicy meat stuffing inside with a good smoky flavor (below).
The oven baked one was not bad at all either, although it did not look as good and lacked the smoky flavor.
Although the preparation process is almost identical to the previous post, I added more visual aids.

Gyoza stuffing: I did not use boiled shredded cabbage this time. As usual, I made the hand chopped ground pork from the trimmings of two pork tenderloins. This time I weighed the trimmings and they were 12 and 3/8 oz (or about 300 grams). I mixed in garlic chive (from our herb garden, finely chopped, 2 tbs), scallion (finely chopped, 2tbs), ginger (1/2 tsp, grated or from the tube), garlic (1/2 tsp grated or from the tube) salt (1/2 tsp), sesame oil (1-2 tbs), black pepper (1/2 tsp) and soy sauce (1 tsp). I mixed them well by hand until the texture was elastic and holding together (#1 in the image below). Half of this amount was sufficient to stuff 6 wings (i.e. this amount would be sufficient for 12 or more wings).

Preparation of the chicken wings: This is the most tricky step. I started with cutting around the bone (humerus) to separate the meat from the bone (#2). Holding the end of the bone in vertical position, I scraped the meat from the bone until I reached the joint (elbow joint equivalent). During this process, I made sure not to poke any holes into the skin. I then grabbed the bone and, with bending and twisting motions, removed the bone from the joint (#3).  Before stuffing, I put my finger into the cavity and separated the skin and and bone as much as I could without breaking the skin and stuffed the cavity with the gyoza mixture (#4).
Using a tooth pick and a sewing motion, I closed the opening (#5). I prepared 6 wings (#6). More than half of the gyoza stuffing remained which will be used for another dish.

Baking: The first day, I baked the wings in a 450F toaster oven for 30 minutes turning them over once after 15-20 minutes.

Hot smoking and grilling: The next day, we barbecued two whole chickens in our usual way. I added teba gyoza to the area of indirect heat and cooked for 30 minutes. I used hickory wood chips soaked in water for hot smoking.

Either way, the teba gyoza were great. They were much better, in fact, than the deep fried ones. The hot smoked version is better in appearance and flavors of the two but the baked one is much easier to cook.
Here is the cross section showing the gyoza stuffing in the baked version. This is a great dish for beer and sake. Since the stuffing is well seasoned, there is no need for a sauce but I served this with a side of Sriracha hot sauce. If you like spicy flavors, this really enhances all the flavor of this dish.

P.S. The leftovers heated up very well in the toaster oven but the difference between the baked and hot smoked versions became more pronounced, i.e., the hot smoked ones were much better or even better than when they were originally cooked since reheating in the toaster oven made the skin really crispy. Now my wife is asking how many wings I can prepare and cook at one time in the barbeque.

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