Gyoza - Japanese pork potstickers recipe

When I was 23, I spent a year in Japan teaching English to Japanese students. It was one of the best years of my life.

One of the biggest challenges for me was adapting to Japanese cuisine – or more accurately, adapting to the Japanese grocery store. 

I don’t read Japanese, which was part of the problem. And so much of what was on the grocery store shelves was unfamiliar to me.

Japanese grocery store
With the help of friends, a little trial and error – and the delicious, comforting, life-sustaining gyoza (Japanese potstickers) – I survived in fine fashion.

I ate many, many, many meals consisting only of gyoza dipped in sweet chili sauce.

Balanced meal? No.

Delicious comfort food? Absolutely.

Gyoza, or Japanese potstickers recipe

After I got back, so I started making my own gyoza at home.

They’re a little bit putzy, so I don’t make them often. But whenever I do, it totally takes me back to my little kitchen in Japan.

Food really does have a way of evoking memories, bringing us back to a time and a place.

Don’t feel like making homemade potstickers? Buy a bag of frozen gyoza from Trader Joe’s. They have chicken, pork, and vegetarian varieties.

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Gyoza (Japanese Potstickers)

Gyoza (Japanese Potstickers)

Yield: 24 potstickers
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

You can freeze extra potsticker filling for up to two months. Then you're just minutes away from a delicious homemade Japanese appetizer.

Ingredients

  • 24 wonton wrappers
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 small piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Oil, for frying

Instructions

  1. To prepare potsticker filling: Mix ground pork, ginger, garlic, salt, scallions, soy sauce (and optional sesame oil) in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. To assemble wontons: Place about one teaspoon of potsticker filling in the middle of a wonton wrapper. Rub the outer edge of the wonton wrapper with a bit of water. Fold the wrapper over and press down on the edges to seal.
  3. To cook potstickers: Heat about two tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan. Cook over medium-high heat until one side of the potsticker browns. Turn and repeat to brown the other side. Next, pour about 1/3 cup of water into the pan and immediately place a lid over the pan. Reduce heat to medium and cook for approximately 8 minutes. Check the center of the potstickers to test for doneness. If the potstickers are not fully cooked, add a bit more water and steam for a few more minutes.
  4. Serve potstickers with sweet chili sauce, a soy sauce/rice vinegar/sesame oil blend, or your favorite dipping sauce.