Tuesday, January 24, 2012

gyoza - pan-fried bits of happy

we all have those nostalgic family foods that will forever take us back to some happy childhood place.

And if you're anything like me, said list of foods is borderline embarrassing long.

Just about every member of my family, past and present, is known to comfort loved ones with calorie packed goodness.
mom loved sugary, baked treats
grampa almost always had cashews & other things salty

but .. hands down - my favorite memories related to food come from my gramma.

march 1969
She was a strong, funny woman who met my grampa during his world war II duty in Japan. They fell in love, got married & moved back to the US; where they raised their beautiful family of 4 girls and 1 boy.

So many of the happy stories from my childhood, start out with me at their house, in Miami.

yard sales...
Sunday donuts ..
going to bloomingdales ...
my sister and I getting caught spying on grammas late night parties with the ladies ..

LOL - we just loved to listen to gramma & her friends, regardless of our bedtime. They would spend hours laughing at their own bad karaoke, playing hona fuda over sake and good food.

*sigh* I miss her, all the time.
I get carried away anytime I talk about her to my husband or my kids .. and now, apparently my blog.
I can't help it ... I hope I never can help it.
/end rant.

aunts/uncles/parents/siblings .. if I get a detail wrong *pbbbbtttt* - this is how I remember it .. 
 onto the gyoza ..

Gyoza ingredients :

1 lb. ground plain pork sausage
1 medium head napa cabbage
2 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger root
1 bunch green onions
1 pkg wonton wraps

couple eggs

You'll want to start by cleaning off all your vegetables. Not only do they come out of the dirt, but I've heard horror stories about what happens to ground vegetables at harvesting.
So, wash them.
Twice. :)

With the cabbage, we're only using the leafies leafery leafage.
I'm 94% sure that Williams-Sonoma has some fancy shmancy tool to do this for you .. but I don't.
So I take the cabbage and cut off the leafage, by slicing a giant "V" into the leaf.

Feed the hardcore middles (lol) to your hamsters/guinea pigs/goats, add it to your mulch pile, or if you must - throw it out.

Either way .. we're only using the leafage.

Rinse and repeat the "slicing V" until you have about 2 1/2 - 3 cups chopped cabbage, toss them into a large bowl.

As with any time you use green onions - you should remove that gross hairy bulbous end with one swift ninja slice of the knife ... "HIIIIYAH!"

after ignoring the crazy person glances .. chop the remaining white/green bits & toss them into the bowl :)

The ginger has always been my least favorite part; because it needs to be so small in comparison to my chubby fingers. So these days, I force ask the husband to do it.

<~~ skin the ginger root, by chopping a thin slice off of each strangely shaped side.

slice the root into thin 'chips' or 'rounds.' ~~>

<~~ julienne the 'chips'

chop the ginger very finely and toss into bowl

this damn finely chopped ginger brought to you by the amazing G.

place the pork into the bowl with the ginger, cabbage, and ninja chopped green onions.
now, you're ready to mix.
(like a boss .. )

Yes .. there are a million ways you can mix the above ingredients together.

You can fool yourself, if you'd like; but I know there's nothing like a pair of clean, chubby hands mashing it to goo'ey perfection.

Then, we line up wonton wrappers in a checkerboard pattern; across a flat surface.

I use a teaspoon to measure my scoop as well as to help shape it into a 'football.'

make a buncha little 'footballs' and place them all diagonally (corner to corner) onto the waiting wonton wrappers.

Crack your eggs into a bowl, a cup, or as I do -
a small mason jar & whip the egg, lightly.

For the 'sealing your pockets of yummy' step, you can use a fork - but I prefer a basting brush.

Lightly line 2 of the sides of the wontons with the egg, to hold our pocket of yumminess together, once we fold them.

 For example - if you placed your meat mixtures pointing at 11:00 and 5:00, line the left and bottom side of the wonton with the egg.

If your meat mixture is pointing at 1:00 and 7:00, line the left and top edges of the wonton with the egg.

fold the wontons over, into a triangle - connecting your 2 egg-laced edges with the 2 un-egged edges

place the pockets of deliciousness onto a medium to medium-high pre-heated griddle or frying pan.

I prefer the old-school griddle for our gyoza nights .. they just cook up nice and even. 

flipping every 90 seconds or so, cook the pockets until they have a yummy, crunchy brown spottedness about them.

Ok .. until they're no longer pink in the middle - and/or they've hit 165degrees, internal temperature.

In the end .. you will have a plate full of my Gramma's amazing gyoza .. aka "the best damn food I know how to make!";)

We serve our Gyoza with sticky white rice (see below) and a ramekin filled with soy sauce and a few drops of Mongolian fire oil. (also below)

you should probably definitely have these items to unlock the full awesomeliciousness of this meal

kikkoman soy sauce .. best

House of Tsang Mongolian Fire oil .. best

Calrose Rice - Botan .. best

If you don't have a rice pot to make perfect sticky rice without worry .. fear not. 
If you have a sauce pan with a lid - you can do it, just fine - I promise !

rinse 1 1/2 cups rice
place cleaned rice into a sauce pan with 2 1/4 cup water, 1/4 tsp oil, and a pinch of salt.
over med-high heat, bring the rice to a rolling boil
cover the pan & reduce to a simmer - cooking for exactly 20 minutes
remove the pan from the heat and let sit for 5 minutes

... reveal a delicious pan of sticky, wonderful Japanese style rice.

I wonder what delicious things other people's grandmas taught them to pass onto their kids ...

1 comment:

  1. found this on PINTEREST - SO DELIECIOUS !
    thank you


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