Here, InsideJapan shares Kyoto born and London-based chef Reiko Hashimoto’s favourite recipe for vegetarian Japanese gyoza (pan-fried dumplings).
VEGETARIAN GYOZA DUMPLINGS
50–60 gyoza dumpling wrappers
3 tablespoons vegetable or sunflower oil
1–2 tablespoons chilli paste, to serve
For the filling
- 20g dried shiitake mushrooms
- 80g tinned chickpeas, drained
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 80g tinned sweetcorn, drained
- 50g tinned water chestnuts, drained
- ½ small pointed cabbage, finely chopped
- 1 bunch of spring onions, finely chopped
- 1 bunch of coriander, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
- 2 teaspoons mirin
- 1 teaspoon sake
- 1–2 teaspoons cornflour, as needed
For the dipping sauce
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons mirin
- 1 tablespoon roasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons toasted and ground white sesame seeds
- First, prepare the filling. Soak the dried shiitake mushrooms in a bowl of water for 1 hour. Drain, squeeze out excess water and finely chop the shiitake mushrooms.
- Put the chickpeas in a food processor or blender with the sesame oil and blitz to form a smooth texture. Chop the sweetcorn roughly and put in a large bowl along with the puréed chickpeas. Add the remaining filling ingredients and mix well using your hands – the consistency should be firm enough to form a ball but not too dry. If you feel the filling is too wet then add a little more cornflour.
- Place a wrapper in the palm of your left hand and dab two-thirds of the edges with water. Put a teaspoonful of the filling in the centre of the wrapper and fold over, making small pinched creases to seal the edges together. Repeat for the rest of the filling until you run out of wrappers or filling.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large pan over medium-high heat, and then carefully add the dumplings in lines. Pour 120ml water into the pan and partially cover with a lid, making sure there is a decent gap between the lip of the pan and the lid, so that some steam can escape. Cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes or until all of the water has evaporated.
- Take the lid off and turn up the heat to high, add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan, then cook for a further 1 minute or until the base of the dumplings are brown and crisp.
- Meanwhile, combine the dipping sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
- To serve, use a palette knife to scoop up a line of dumplings and quickly turn over onto the plate, crispy side up. Serve immediately with the dipping sauce and chilli paste on the side.
If a taste of Japan in your kitchen doesn’t quite cut it, how about a 13-night Gastronomic Adventure in Japan? Dine at an izakaya, take a street food tour of Osaka and roll your own sushi in Reiko’s home city of Kyoto.
Take a look at Rieko Hashimoto’s website for more ideas: www.hashicooking.co.uk or buy her new book here.
For more information about Japan, head to InsideJapan’s website.
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