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Gyoza: A Popular Japanese Staple

Gyozas are popular Japanese dumplings. Wrapped in a thin veil of dough, these dumplings are filled with ground meat and vegetables as well. Although the dish has become a staple in Japanese cuisine, it’s originally from China. 

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There are different variations of the food. However, the difference is mostly in the way they are cooked. The contents of the ingredients remain almost the same. 

Typically, fillings used for Gyoza will include a serving of ground pork, green onions, cabbage, nira chives, garlic, ginger, some soy sauce, and sesame oil. However, most Gyoza restaurants and shops in Japan are very creative in the way they prepare the dish. 

It’s therefore not uncommon to find differed fillings used to prepare it.

A Brief History

As we have already hinted, Gyoza traditionally originates from China. The Gyoza is a direct descendant of Jiaozi, a popular Chinese dumpling that has been part of Chinese cuisine for over 2,000 years. 

According to Chinese folklore, Jiaozi was invented by Zhang Zhongjing, the same person also credited with pioneering most Chinese herbal medicines. 

When Jiaozi made it to the shores of Jaapn, it wasn’t an instant hit. Since it was a foreign-based food, it took time before people could start appreciating its distinct taste. As the Japanese made changes to this dish and how it’s made to suit their taste buds, it evolved from a traditional Chinese delicacy to become more authentically Japanese. 

It was then named Gyoza and ever since it remains one of the most savored dishes in Japanese cuisine.

Types of Gyoza 

There are three main variations of Gyoza. The variations are based on how each of them is made. 

Here’s a simple breakdown of these different dishes:    

Sui Gyoza 
Sui Gyoza is a boiled version of the dish. It’s much less common compared to the other two variations but it’s mostly served with a very light broth. Sui Gyoza is also seen as relatively closer to Jiaozi than the other two.

Yaki Gyoza 
Yaki is a pan-fried version of Gyoza and perhaps the most common variation of the dish. This version is fried on a hot skillet. Once the dumplings are crisp, a mixture of cornstarch and water is poured upon them. 

The Gyoza is then covered for a few minutes before it’s served. Yaki Gyoza is often juicier and softer. However, you will also notice that they have a crisp bottom, one not touched by the cornstarch and water mixture. 

Age Gyoza 
Age Gyoza is a deep-fried version. It’s often crisp and light brown. Age Gyoza is not nearly as popular as Yaki but you will still find it served in most Chinese and Japanese restaurants in Japan.

Other Tidbit

A typical serving of Gyoza normally contains about six pieces. A dipping source will also be provided with the meal. Normally, the sauce is made using normal soy sauce and a dash of vinegar.

Gyoza is a renowned tasty dish in Japanese cuisine but it has an even richer history. Even for a foreigner, the taste of this dish will melt your heart and your mouth.
 

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