Disclaimer: This post may contain Amazon affiliate links. Sudachi earns a small percentage from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. See disclaimer for more info.
“These were so so delicious, the crispy bottom was just perfect! Really easy recipe to follow and the veggie ones came out just as tasty! The homemade wrappers are a complete game changer as well, so much better than the pre-made ones! Will be making these again and again!”– Harri
What is Gyoza?
Gyoza (餃子) are dumplings most commonly filled with meat, vegetables, and seasonings, then wrapped in a thin wheat dough. Although eaten all across Japan, the dish originates from China and is originally called “Jiaozi.”
You probably know them in English as dumplings or pot stickers, although “gyoza” is becoming more commonly used to refer to Japanese-style dumplings.
How I Developed This Recipe
When crafting this gyoza recipe, my top priority was juiciness. I aimed to elevate the homemade gyoza experience, going beyond the ordinary. This required a lot of experimentation and tweaking.
After numerous trials, I discovered a method to create gyoza bursting with juices. The result is a recipe that, even as a gyoza enthusiast myself, I find immensely satisfying. It’s a juicy, flavor-packed twist on the traditional yaki gyoza.
If you’re a fan of yaki gyoza, I highly recommend giving this recipe a try!
Ingredients & Substitution Ideas
- Ground Pork: The standard choice for gyoza, but other ground meats can be used as substitutes.
- Potherbs: My mix includes green onion, ginger, garlic chives, and garlic.
- Condiments/Seasonings: Consisting of salt, pepper, sugar, soy sauce, and oyster sauce.
- Lard: Deepens the flavor of gyoza. Sesame oil is an excellent substitute if you prefer not to use lard.
- Gyoza Wrappers: Essential for making gyoza. You can buy them or make your own using a homemade gyoza wrapper recipe if they’re hard to find.
- Dipping Sauce: A combination of rice vinegar, soy sauce, chili oil, and freshly ground black pepper.
Curious about the exact brands and products that bring my recipes to life? Discover the brands and ingredients behind my recipes at the Sudachi Amazon Storefront. Explore my handpicked pantry essentials and find your next kitchen favorites!Jump to Full Recipe Measurements
Visual Walkthrough & Tips
Here are my step-by-step instructions for how to make Pork Yaki Gyoza at home. For ingredient quantities and simplified instructions, scroll down for the Printable Recipe Card below.
In this recipe, I focus on a meaty and flavourful gyoza. The vegetables are minimal! If you want a veggie gyoza, check out my vegetable and tofu gyoza recipe here.
The main vegetable is green onion. Vegetables for gyoza fillings should always be finely diced, like below. (You could use a food processor to speed things up.)
If you’re using fresh garlic and ginger, I recommend grating them. For convenience, I use S&B garlic paste and ginger paste.
First, add the pork mince, spring onion, garlic, ginger, and condiments to a large mixing bowl.
Gently knead them together until evenly distributed. Try not to knead it too much, as this will cause it to become too smooth and meatball-like, we want to keep as much texture as possible!
You might be surprised about this step, but adding warm water to the filling will make it extra juicy! Usually, you would rely on the vegetable liquid to make the filling more juicy, but not in this case!
Add the warm water one-third at a time and mix it by hand.
Finally, add the lard (and/or sesame oil) and chives. I added these last so that they don’t get over-mixed.
Give the filling a final knead, and now you’re ready to shape!
If you have time, rest the filling in the fridge for 30 minutes. This will give the flavors time to mingle and deepen. It will also make the filling firmer and easier to wrap.
Add about 1 tablespoon of filling to the center of the wrapper, leaving a thick border around the edge. This border is necessary to seal the gyoza.
It’s very important not to overfill the wrapper. If you put too much filling, the wrapper could tear or not close properly. If there are holes, the juices leak into the pan and ruin the finish.
Avoid holes or tears by filling the gyoza with the appropriate amount of filling. Don’t be tempted to overfill!
Next, dab the top half edge with water. This will act as a “glue” to seal the gyoza shut. Keep a small bowl of water nearby for convenience.
Pinch one side of the wetted edge to start shaping. If you’re right-handed, this will probably be on the right side and vice versa.
To pleat the top, make a small flap on the edge of the top half and push it toward the pinched corner. Press it down and make small pleats until the gyoza is closed. Press it firmly along the edge to seal it securely.
You can also flatten the base by tapping it on the counter or the palm of your hand a few times. This is important for crisping up the bottom when it’s frying!
Dust your plates/containers with a generous amount of flour to prevent the gyoza from sticking together. This is especially important if you don’t plan to cook them immediately!
You can cook your gyoza immediately or store them using the storage instructions in the post later.
Preheat your pan to medium and add a generous amount of oil. Spread the oil evenly over the pan to ensure the gyoza doesn’t stick or tear.
Fill the pan with as many gyoza that will fit in one layer. It’s okay if they’re close together, but make sure the bottom of the gyoza is fully in contact with the pan’s surface (otherwise, it won’t get crispy!) If possible, try and leave a tiny bit of space between them so the wrappers don’t stick together.
Fry one layer at a time to ensure every gyoza gets a crispy golden base!
Check the underneath occasionally to see when they start to change color.
Once all the gyoza have a golden base, pour in a thin slurry made with 1/2 tsp of flour mixed with 50ml (approx 3 tbsp) of cold water.
Place a lid on top and allow them to steam for a few minutes. (Approximately 4-5 minutes from chilled, a few minutes longer from frozen.)
It’s common for pans or stoves to have heat spots (where one place gets hotter than another). To ensure the gyoza cooks evenly, I recommend rotating the pan occasionally.
Typically, you can add boiling water to the pan for steaming (about 80ml per 10 pieces); however, I love to make my gyoza extra crispy with a slurry mixture. We call this type of gyoza, “hanetsuki gyoza” (羽付き餃子) which means “gyoza with wings”. Wings of crispy deliciousness!
Be careful not to add too much flour to the slurry; otherwise, it can become gummy or sticky.
While the gyoza is steaming, mix soy sauce, rice vinegar, chili oil, and black pepper in a small bowl.
If you want to learn how to customize your dipping sauce, check out my gyoza dipping sauce post here!
Once you start to hear crackling or notice the flour at the bottom start to change color, remove the lid and allow the steam to evaporate.
Finally, add a drizzle of sesame oil over the top and flip the cooked gyoza onto a plate.
Enjoy these delicious meaty and crispy pan-fried gyoza with your homemade dipping sauce. They go perfectly with ramen, rice or serve as a party dish!Jump to Full Recipe Measurements
How to Store
We tend to make too many gyoza dumplings unless you have a big family. While you can store them in the fridge for a day or two, I recommend storing them in the freezer.
If you freeze them, they will stay longer (up to 1 month).
Here are some tips when you want to freeze them. There are 3 stages where you can freeze gyoza:
- The filling
- Before frying
- After frying
I will explain each below.
Freezing the filling
If you decide to freeze the filling, you will need to divide it into individual portions for each gyoza. This can be quite time-consuming. You will also need to store them on a tray and not touch them (otherwise, they’ll stick together), which takes up a lot of freezer space.
Once frozen, you can transfer them to a zip lock bag to free up space in your freezer, but all these steps are quite a lot of hassle.
I only recommend this if you run out of wrappers and want to save the filling for next time. Try to use the filling within 1 month.
Before frying (wrapped)
Once you’ve shaped your gyoza, you can store them in the freezer for about 1 month.
There are two ways to do this. First, place them in layers in an airtight, freezer-safe container and sprinkle them with flour or starch to prevent them from sticking together. I also put a sheet of baking paper between each layer. This is also to stop them from sticking together.
The other option is to arrange them on a tray spaced apart and freeze them. Once fully frozen, transfer to a ziplock bag to save freezer space.
Whichever way you choose, arranging the dumplings so they do not overlap is always important.
Freezing wrapped gyoza is very convenient, and you can cook small batches for a quick and easy meal or side! You don’t need to defrost them, just steam them in the pan for a few extra minutes.
If you have leftover gyoza after cooking, you can divide them into portions, wrap them in plastic, and place them in an airtight container before freezing.
However, I should mention that the flavor will deteriorate when you freeze the dumplings after being cooked, so ideally, it is best to freeze them before cooking.
If you freeze them after cooking, you can microwave them and put them under a grill or fry them again in a frying pan. Again, there’s no need to defrost. Defrosting gyoza will make them soggy.
The first emergence of gyoza dumplings in Japan is obscure, yet one theory says they came from China around the 18th century. Despite its early existence, only the higher class had access to the dish for a long time. Gyoza didn’t become a common dish with regular working-class people until after World War II.
While steamed dumplings are much more popular and common in China, Japanese gyoza are usually pan-fried. Many Japanese dishes are inspired and influenced by Chinese cuisine, and gyoza is another example of a Chinese dish adapted to Japanese tastes.
Gyoza is most often seen at ramen or Chinese restaurants. They are also widely available at supermarkets and convenience stores across Japan, either cooked (ready to eat), chilled, or frozen. Many Japanese families cook large batches of gyoza and enjoy them as a main dish with rice rather than as a side with ramen, but it’s fine to enjoy them however you like!
Gyoza is now a very common family dish all around Japan, and even different regions of Japan have their twists and their own versions of it. Such as:
Enban gyoza (円盤餃子) : Fukushima Pref
Utsunomiya gyoza (宇都宮餃子) : Tochigi Pref
Hamamatsu gyoza (浜松餃子) : Shizuoka Pref
Jumbo gyoza (ジャンボ餃子): Hyogo Pref
Yahata gyoza (八幡餃子) : Fukuoka Pref
Who’s up for a gyoza-tasting tour of Japan?!
Gyoza and Shumai are both popular Chinese-inspired dumplings in Japan, but what are the differences?
Firstly, gyoza and shumai differ in ingredients, shape, and cooking methods. In Japan, gyoza is usually made with a variety of ingredients, including ground pork, chives, cabbage, garlic, etc., while shumai is usually made with fewer elements.
The cooking method for gyoza in Japan is generally pan-frying, while shumai is always cooked by steaming.
Incidentally, although shumai’s and gyoza’s wrappers are made of wheat flour, they differ in shape and thickness. Shumai is made with thin square wrappers similar to won ton wrappers, while gyoza uses slightly thicker, round wrappers.
It is said that gyoza’s wrapper is slightly thicker to accommodate ingredients with more moisture (such as watery vegetables like cabbage, etc.) and can withstand various types of cooking methods: pan-frying, deep-frying, or boiling. But please note that this is the situation in Japan, and it might be different from the original Chinese wrappers.
If you don’t have access to gyoza wrappers (and don’t have time to make them from scratch), you might wonder if you can use other types of wrappers instead.
First, spring roll (harumaki) wrappers are large, thin, and quite different from gyoza wrappers. Because they’re so thin, they must be wrapped around a few times to make multiple layers. It’s almost possible to get a gyoza shape this way so we do not recommend substituting them. You could, however, use the gyoza filling to make spring rolls if spring roll wrappers are all you can find.
It is also possible to substitute gyoza wrappers with shumai wrappers. However, because they are thinner, it is more difficult to shape and cook them as they are more likely to break. They are also square-shaped, so your gyoza will be triangles rather than semi-circles. I don’t recommend it, but using shumai wrappers is possible.
The most likely candidate is wonton wrappers (slightly thicker than shumai wrappers but still thinner than gyoza wrappers). However, they are small, so it is quite tricky to wrap the dumpling filling. They are also square, so the gyoza won’t be round, but you can give it a try in a pinch!
If you don’t have access to premade gyoza wrappers, I highly recommend checking out my post on how to make homemade gyoza wrappers from scratch! It takes time, but it’s so worth it!
I hope you enjoy this Pork Gyoza recipe! If you try it out, I’d really appreciate it if you could spare a moment to let me know what you thought by giving a review and star rating in the comments below. It’s also helpful to share any adjustments you made to the recipe with our other readers. Thank you!
More Japanese Gyoza Recipes
Crispy Pork Gyoza (Japanese Pan Fried Dumplings)
- 50 ml warm water for slurry
- ½ tsp all-purpose flour for slurry
- ½ tbsp cooking oil
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- ½ tsp chili oil
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Take a large mixing bowl and add 300 g ground pork, 70 g green onion(s), 1 ½ tsp grated ginger, 1 ½ tsp grated garlic, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp sugar, 2 tsp soy sauce, 1 tsp oyster sauce and 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper.
- Knead the filling until the flavours are well distributed. (Be careful not to over mix.)
- Measure out 50 ml warm water and add it to the filling mixture one third at a time, kneading each time until it's well distributed.
- Finally add 1 tbsp lard and 10 g garlic chive(s).
- Knead one last time to make sure all the ingredients are evenly spread throughout the mince.
- If you have time, rest for 30 minutes in the fridge. (Optional)
- Place the gyoza wrapper flat in the centre of your palm and spread about 1 level tablespoon of filling in the middle, leaving a wide gap all the way around the edge. (Be careful not to overfill.)
- Wet the top half border of the wrapper with a small amount of water.
- Carefully fold the gyoza in half but don’t let the edges touch yet. Pinch the corner of the semi circle shape, and then using your thumbs, fold small pleats, pressing down each pleat until the gyoza is completely sealed.
- Tap the base of the on the counter or your palm to flatten the bottom.
- Place the completed gyoza onto a flour dusted plate/container and repeat until you’ve used all of your wrappers and filling.
- Heat a non-stick pan on medium and once hot, add ½ tbsp cooking oil. Spread it evenly around the pan and place the gyoza in with the flat side facing down, leaving a little space between each one. Fry until the bottom starts to brown.
- Mix 50 ml warm water and ½ tsp all-purpose flour in a bowl to make a slurry, and pour it around the gyoza.
- Place a lid on top and allow the gyoza to steam for a few minutes.
- Once the slurry has browned slightly, remove the lid and allow the excess liquid to evaporate.
- Make the dipping sauce by mixing 1 tbsp rice vinegar, 2 tsp soy sauce, ½ tsp chili oil (or sesame oil) and ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper in a small dipping bowl.
- Once all of the slurry has evaporated, drizzle the top of gyoza with 1 tbsp sesame oil.
- Flip them all onto a plate together (or divide into individual servings) and serve with the dipping sauce.