Stick-shaped “gyoza” dumplings are a boon for novice cooks. They are done in 30 minutes, thanks to the simple wrapping process. The filling that includes cabbage and okra is another key. “The stickiness of the okra keeps the meat juice together,” says Yoko Munakata of the Better Home Association. She also advises not to panic when the dumplings stick to the pan while cooking. They will come loose by pouring oil on and around them, she adds. Serves four.
120 gm ground pork
100 gm cabbage
1/4 tsp salt
5 (50 grams) okra
Seasoning A (1/6 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp sugar, 1 tsp oyster sauce, ground ginger [quarter the size of thumb], 1 Tbsp sesame oil)
1 bag (24 pieces) gyoza wrappers
3 Tbsp cooking oil
Remove core from cabbage, chop into 3-mm squares. Add 1/4 tsp salt, leave for 5 minutes. When soft, squeeze out some (about 1 Tbsp) water. Do not squeeze excessively.
Remove calyx part of okra and slice thinly.
Add Seasoning A to ground meat in above order. Mix sesame oil with other ingredient before adding in the end. Mix filling swiftly with hand until sticky. Add vegetables and mix gently. Spread in flat container, divide in 24 equal parts.
Place filling on a wrapper. Dab water on upper brim. Bring two brims together in stick shape. Both ends may remain open.
Heat 1/2 Tbsp oil in pan, turn off heat and line up 12 gyoza, the closed brim facing up. Add 1/3 cup boiling water (water should come up to a third of gyoza’s height). Turn on heat and cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes with lid. Remove lid to dry off water. Pour 1 Tbsp oil on and around gyoza, cook for about 2 minutes over low heat until bottom is golden. Cook remainder likewise.
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From the vernacular Asahi Shimbun's KashikoiOkazu column
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