Gyouza or gyoza 餃子 is a classic Sino-Japanese dish with many variations for the stuffing, skin, size, and method of cooking (boiled, fried, and steam fried). In addition, localized (i.e. specific to the locale) variations of gyouza are popular allover Japan. Although, many eateries (including national chain stores) may specialize in serving gyouza (and ramen noodles or other Chinese dishes), it is also frequently served at an Izakaya.
Some years ago, I posted pork gyouza using square wonton skins which is the only kind of gyouza skin I can get in the regular grocery store in our area. Japanese gyouza skin is a bit smaller, thinner, and round which can be bought at a Japanese grocery store frozen but I usually do not bother getting it. Some people like a more authentic (similar to original Chinese dish) thicker chewy skin (which can be home made but we never tried).
When my wife made meatloaf, we had excess ground pork (hand chopped from the butt roast). I quickly made it to gyouza stuffing using our home grown garlic chives. This is very similar to the one I made for teba gyouza 手羽餃子 except I used onion rather than scallion and I did not add cabbage.I placed the gyouza stuffing in a sealed container and kept it in the refrigerator. This mixture is very handy to have and one could make dishes other than gyouza. Since this was available, I made this mini-gyouza one weekday evening.
Stuffing: I mixed ground pork (about 12oz), garlic chives (finely chopped about 1/4 cup but whatever amount is fine), onion (half, finely chopped, scallion also works), garlic (1/4 tsp, grated from the tube), ginger (1/2 tsp, grated from the tube), soy sauce (1 tsp), dark sesame oil (2 tbs), salt and pepper.
Gyouza skin: I happened to have a “spring roll skin” 春巻きの皮 which is readily available in any regular grocery store. I used a round dough cutter (about 2 1/2 inch diameter) and made it into a round gyouza skin (I could make three from one sheet of spring roll skin). Compared to the wonton skin, this one is thinner and more delicate, more closely resembling a Japanese gyouza skin.
Assembly: I moistened the edge of the skin with water. I placed a small amount of meat mixture in the middle, folded the skin in half forming a half moon and pressed both ends while trying to remove any air pocket between the meat mixture and the skin. I then crimped the edges as you can see above on the left.
Cooking: I added vegetable oil and dark sesame oil (1 tsp each) in a non-stick frying pan on medium flame. Although the classic way is to brown on only one side, I like to brown both sides by flipping them after 1 minute or so (the above image on right). I added several tablespoonful of hot water into the pan. You must be careful, as it will boil and steam immediately. Make sure you have the lid ready, your face is out of the way and the exhaust fan is running. I then put on a tight fitting lid and let it steam for 1-2 minutes. I then removed the lid (only a thin layer of water remaining in the bottom of the pan). I let the water completely evaporate and made the bottom of the gyouza crispy again by letting them cook for 30 seconds or so after all the water evaporated. I added a splash of dark sesame oil at the end.
I served this mini gyouza with a classic dipping sauce (equal mixture of rice vinegar and soy sauce) and side of Japanese hot mustard (from the tube). As an accompaniment, I served cucumber, radish and carrot asazuke 浅漬け.
We switch to cold sake for this.