BitterSweet

An Obsession with All Things Handmade and Home-Cooked

Little Bundles of Joy

42 Comments

For someone who is almost entirely based online, it was the worst possible situation, the nightmare that so many computer nerds fear: My laptop wouldn’t turn on. Under attack from both trojans and viruses, that feeble protection program didn’t stand a chance, and those malicious bugs ran rampant through the system. It was out like a light, and not about to simply snap out of its deep slumber. I was facing a mandatory break from the internet, without even time in advance to prepare. At times like this, it occurs to me how utterly helpless I would be without technology, and how pathetically dependent my whole life is on this one device in particular. Ah, the pain of a blogger and online student.

Desperate for a distraction, the kitchen was my only refuge in this dire situation. Combing my mind for something delicious but perhaps more time consuming than usual, I realized it was about time I finally made gyoza. Once a favorite dish, wolfed down without a care at every Japanese restuarant around, it dropped off my radar for the most part when fishy or meaty additions became a concern. Easy to make, yes, but far more tedious than is appropriate for an everyday dinner, it was a project always slated for another day, until it fell off the to-do list altogether.

Assembling a completely avant-garde filling of adzuki beans and veggies, the strangest part of the whole experience was writing everything down on a quaint little notepad, instead of punching in my directions into the waiting keyboard. The quiet chopping sounds punctuated by the faint scratch of pencil to paper seemed well suited for this recipe, though; a calm, zen environment enveloped the kitchen, despite the flurry of activity.

Gathering wonton skins into little bundles, pinching together the edges just as my home stay mother had taught me so many years ago, the repetitive motion was definitely soothing, grounding; a reminder that life doesn’t stop when the computer goes off, and perhaps even more of it can occur as a result.

I’m not going to lie and say I didn’t hop right online as soon as my laptop was back from the computer hospital, but once everything was up and running again, I was grateful to have had the opportunity to make this long suffering recipe. Not only did the act of assembling it help to sooth my nerves, but the eating of it wasn’t half bad, either.

Don’t think for a minute that it’s not a recipe for a busy day, though- The process of making the gyoza would go many times fast if you had another set of hands (or two) to help! For all those finicky folds, this is one more complex main dish that’s absolutely worth the effort.

Adzuki Bean Gyoza

1 Cup Finely Chopped Vegetables*
1 Cup Cooked Adzuki Beans
1/2 Inch Fresh Ginger, Peeled and Grated
1 Green Scallion, Thinly Sliced
1 – 2 Cloves Garlic, Finely Minced
4 – 5 Fresh Shiitake Mushrooms, Caps Only, Chopped
1/4 – 1/2 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
2 Teaspoons Soy Sauce

40 – 50 (3 1/2)-Inch Round Gyoza Skins**

*I used a combination of napa cabbage, zucchini, and carrots, but you can use just about anything you have in the fridge. Try bean sprouts, red peppers, kale, water chestnuts, broccoli, beets… Don’t be afraid to experiment!

**Be very careful to read labels, as many of those that you’ll find in a standard mega mart have eggs. I purchased mine at an Asian grocery store, and found them in the freezer section. Just make sure they’re completely thawed and at room temperature before beginning to assemble your gyoza.

The procedure for making the filling couldn’t be simpler; Just toss together all of your veggies and seasonings, adding more or less garlic and pepper to taste. For best results, let it sit and marinate for an hour or two, but you can go ahead and use it immediately if you’re in a hurry.

Keep your stack of inactive wrappers covered in a lightly moistened paper towel to keep them from drying out. Have a little container of water ready to seal the edges of the dumplings. Place about 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of filling in the center of one skin (being very careful not to over-fill! It won’t seem like much, but a little goes a long way), run a moistened finger around the whole edge, and pleat the gyoza. It’s very difficult for me to verbally describe the method for pinching together the gyoza into neat little packages, but you can find a really helpful visual guide here.

Once you have all of your gyoza folded and ready to go, heat 2 – 3 tablespoons of oil in a wide saute pan with lid, enough to generously coat the bottom. Although they’re sometimes translated as “pot stickers”, you don’t actually want them to stick in the end! With the heat at about medium, place about 10 – 12 into the pan, being sure not to crowd it, allow the bottoms to brown for about 4 – 6 minutes. Once nicely golden, pour in about 1/3 cup of water, and very quickly clamp on the lid. Turn down the heat to medium-low, and let steam for 5 – 6 minutes, until the skins look translucent. Remove the gyoza to a serving platter, and eat immediately or keep warm in a low oven while you finish the rest.

Serve with additional soy sauce or dipping sauce.

Makes 40 – 50 gyoza

Printable Recipe

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Author: Hannah (BitterSweet)

Author of My Sweet Vegan, Vegan Desserts, Vegan a la Mode, and Easy as Vegan Pie.

42 thoughts on “Little Bundles of Joy

  1. Those look great! It’s been ages since I’ve had Gyoza, back in the omnivore times.
    Definitely trying them.

  2. Oh my goodness…these look luscious. I’m by myself for ten days so it’s a perfect opportunity to try this recipe. I crimp a beautiful pie crust, if I do say so myself, so folding gyoza shouldn’t be too tricky for me. I hope.

  3. I luuuurve gyoza- I made a giant batch one day and froze them in baggies for quick meals. Your filling idea looks yummy, Perfect!

  4. I love the act of filling and creating dumplings of any sort. I made momos with my host family in Nepal and I still remember sitting on their kitchen floor creating those little labor-intensive treats with real fondness. My boyfriend and I make ravioli sometimes. It’s a similar sensation.

  5. my life is pretty pathetically dependent on technology as well…over the week that i was off because of the snow, i don’t think i did anything that didn’t involve technology with more than a 1-hour break between. crazy.

    these gyoza are adorable!! i love working with rice paper/wonton wrappers and all that jazz, but i’ve never made anything as beautiful and consistent as yours. glad you were happy with the outcome.

  6. I just love your savory posts, and this is no exception. I’ve been looking for the skins and run into the egg issue, time to get off my rear and get over to the Asian market!

  7. Those look amazing! Probably time consuming, but definitely worth it. Hope your computer is better.

  8. I know how that feels when you’re without any access to Internet. And it’s exactly at that moment you realise how much you are dependent on new technologies. At least, you were productive on something much better… Food is the best way to relax and leave your mind away from studies or work. Your Aduki Bean Gyozas are just gorgeous ! I made something quite similar a year ago, but with pumpkin and truffle oil.

  9. Well, at least one good thing came out of your laptop fiasco–gyoza! They are perfect–so uniform–amazing. I’ve never had these (the skins are wheat–sigh), but they look so delicious. And I had to smile at your description of writing down the recipe, as I still always write recipes on paper first and then transfer to the computer–just ingrained that way, I guess!

  10. WOW- I can´t believe how beautiful these are! I don´t think I could fold such perfect Gyozas even if I had all the time in the world! You´re amazing as usual : )

  11. phew, thank god your computer issues got resolved! i am completely dependent on technology, it scares me to realize how helpless i am when i don’t have access for whatever reason! wow those gyoza = impeccable. i used to order those every time i had japanese food but like yout he whole meat issue took them out of the picture. but if i could make some that looked like yours i’d be eating them all the time! i should try :)

  12. Glad you found something to do while your computer was down, and glad to hear you got it all fixed up, too. These look wonderful, and do sound like they would be relaxing to make as long as one maintains the right frame of mind. Peace, Stephanie

  13. My laptop blue-screened on me this summer and I had a fit. Screaming and yelling. It was like I was three again. It really is amazing how dependent on technology we have become. And yet there is absolutely nothing to be done about it.

    These gyoza look delicious. Well worth the effort.

  14. I feel the same way when our computer hasn’t worked in the past. T.v.? C.D. player? etc….but not our computer!!!

    I can’t wait to make these! They looks so good! I’m hungry

  15. I think we all rely on technology these days, you’re not alone! And I can imagine this was a very relaxing thing to make, I know when I roll gnocchi, it’s fun but also very relaxing. Your gyoza look delish!

  16. Wow – these look so pretty and delicious! I know what you mean about simple yet time-consuming – pierogies are much the same for me!

  17. What an ambitious project!

    I understand how you feel…I suffer when I’m not able to get online!

  18. You poor thing – I completely understand the panic of the failed computer! My laptop completely died two-thirds through last year – when I was the middle of writing my 28,000 word thesis. I was so scared I’d lost my work (or parts of it, some was backed up), but luckily my genius dad could salvage the hard drive. The laptop never went not-black again, though!

    P.S. Is it just me, or are the adzuki beans missing from the recipe? Other than that, it look divine!

  19. I’m glad you were able to get your computer back! I always think how lost I would be without mine, but do definitely savor the moments where I avoid being in front of the screen and keyboard. The gyoza look great, what a wonderful treat!

  20. Ugh, having a computer break down is the worst feeling/most annoying thing in the world. I’m glad you’re back and running–and making awesome gyoza. They’re almost Chinesey and therefore perfect in my American mind for Chinese New Years!

  21. I’m on a total dumpling kick… Hope your computer’s ok!

  22. oh my, they certainly look like little bundles of joy.
    Its amazing how much we rely on computers isnt it! And also amazing what we can get done when we dont have them lol.
    Your little parcles look so tasty, you can cook for me anytime :)

    Rose

  23. I’ve never had those before but they definitely look good! I don’t know if I have your patience though, lol…I’d probably get halfway through and give up.

  24. i’m so glad your computer is back and working! i’m super dependent on technology too, even though i often wish i wasn’t, and i know how scary it is when you’re faced with a potential break-down. but at least you were ble to find something beautiful and delicious to distract yourself with :-)

  25. this is an awesome gyoza, why not you be my neighbour! hehehehe….

  26. Those look great. So neatly put together. Great job!
    This is my first time on your blog, and I love the knitting and crochet work you do. How nice of you to give away the patterns for free :o)

  27. glad your computer is better! I think a day in the kitchen is the perfect solution to computer woes :)

  28. Hannah, your gyoza look so perfect :-) Never had with the red beans in it…should try it sometime!

  29. Anything in dumpling form works for me. Now a mission to find those little wraps.

  30. they look yummy, i’m a dumplings fanatic im gonna try your recipe this weekend.

  31. Yum! And your gyoza look so perfectly pinched! I never seem to have enough patience to get through very many dumplings (or ravioli or pierogi etc). But they look so tasty – maybe a good thing to do with a bunch of friends and a bottle of wine!

  32. Where do you get vegan gyoza wrappers? I have been unable to find any without egg.

  33. Mmmmm, looks so tasty. I hear you about lap top skirmishes. I never realized how much time I spend on it until I locked it up in a bag. Then spent that time in the kitchen as well ;D

  34. Great looking gyoza! My pleats never come out so nice looking. :-)

  35. These gyoza look so perfect! Sounds like a lot of work but I can tell that it’s well worth it. I love that you named these yummy-looking creation = little bundles of joy! So adorable:)

  36. I was thinking, did u make sweet dumpling? But no, you surprised me! I like that use you adzuki beans in a savoury dish like this. Bring us more delicious surprise!!

  37. weeeeeeeh. I am tota;;y in love with your blog. It’s love at first sight. Gonna follow you now.

    i remember two months ago my laptop died. It was one of the most agonizing days of my life. hahahahha.

    I am Denise Katipunera

  38. Wow! Those look incredible:] My mouth is even watering:D

  39. Yum I love gyoza! Love your version of them here. It definitely is an awful feeling when your computer crashes. Hope you didn’t lose anything!

  40. I love aduki beans-what a great idea!

  41. Oh wow. I would die for these right now, and im not even a vegan!

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