Sunday, August 22, 2010


Asian cuisine is probably the most challenging to me. There are so many styles and flavor profiles, my head spins. Sweet, salty, sour, oh! It's all so delicious. I'm fortunate to live near Koreatown, which gives me easy access to some awesome Asian markets. I love strolling down each aisle, drooling over the possibilities. Here's one of the easiest treats I've been able to concoct.

Vegan Gyoza

  • 1 package of gyoza or dumpling wrappers (check for veganocity, some like to sneak in eggs!)
  • 1 cup Bok Choy, Napa cabbage or kale, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Shiitake, King Oyster or Portobello mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup carrots, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup green onions, finely chopped
  • 1-2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely grated (microplanes are great for this)
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced garlic (3-4 cloves)
  • 2-4 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil, for frying
  • dash or more, red pepper flakes
  • fresh black pepper to taste
  • 2-6 tablespoon water, for steaming

Preparing the filling

Over medium-high heat, add the vegetable oil to a hot skillet or wok. Once oil is hot, drop in the carrots and garlic and cook for 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the celery and cook for another 2 minutes while stirring constantly. Next toss in the sesame oil, mushrooms, cabbage, ginger, pepper and chili flakes and coat well with oil. Cook this mixture for another 2 minutes, then add in the green onions. Stir in two tablespoons of soy sauce or tamari and taste for saltiness. Add a few more dashes if necessary and allow to evaporate. Again taste while you go and check for balance. If it needs more ginger or soy sauce, adjust to your liking. Once all the veggies are nicely sauteed and soft, transfer to a bowl and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes.

Assembling the dumplings

Take a teaspoon or slightly more depending on the size of your gyoza skins and place the veggie filling in the center of your dumpling. Avoid over-stuffing the wrappers. Moisten the edges with a little water and fold over the wrapper to form a half moon. Pinch or press down the edges and make sure they are well sealed. To make a fancy crimped edge, gather a part of the edge and folding it over on to itself by making a little "S". Repeat this folding pattern 3-4 times on each dumpling. If you need more visual aid check out this guy's video: Warning! These dumplings are not vegan. Skip to 2:00

Cooking the dumplings

In a hot pan over medium-high heat add 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Drop in your dumplings and spread them out evenly across the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes until lightly browned, then flip over and brown the other side. When both sides are lightly browned, add in 2-3 tablespoons of water and cover with a lid. Turn the heat down to just medium and allow the water to completely evaporate. Once the water evaporates, check for doneness. Gyoza are done when they are entirely translucent. If there are still some opaque parts, add another tablespoon of water, cover and cook for an additional few minutes. Don't leave them unattended. You are almost done! Flip them over if they are getting too brown on one side and turn down the heat just a touch. Depending on your make of wrappers you may have to repeat the steaming process 2-3 times. Your patience will be rewarded.

Serve these with sesame-chili soy sauce. Just add 3 parts soy sauce, 2 parts rice wine vinegar, 1 part sesame oil and a few dashes of red chili flake.



  1. Wow! I will try these today. I have everything here but the gyoza skins, but luckily I live near Korean, Chinese, and Vietnamese grocery stores. Thank you.

  2. Gauri Radha गौरी राधाNovember 28, 2010 at 8:03 AM

    That looks very appetizing!!!