Welcome to the first recipe of Tokyo Noms: A Giant Monster Cookbook. Tokyo Noms is a collection of recipes created by me, Marisa, or as you may better know me, that girl who comes on the podcast every once in a while.
The idea of Tokyo Noms has been rolling around in my head for a little while now, ever since Rob asked me what I wanted to contribute to Tokyo Lives other than glib cynicism. A cookbook filled with recipes inspired by our favorite giant monsters seemed to be the consensus, so here we are! I hope you have a giant appetite, because these dishes are sized to feed Kaiju!
For our first recipe I decided to go with a staple character from the Gamera series, Gyaos! As a purveyor of puns, I opted to make a play on Gyoza, aptly named Gyaosa!
Gyoza to Gyaosa
Let's start with a little history: what is Gyoza? Any culinary conisseur will tell you that they are absolutely DELICIOUS pan fried pockets of savory glory, but there's actually a ton of variety! There are different names for the basic dish, including gyoza (Japanese), jaozi (Traditional Chinese dumplings), and guotie (Chinese wok-fried jaozi) which have been called potstickers in North America (not to be confused with the darling cat co-host of Tokyo Lives). The idea is basically the same for all these different names, a wonton wrapper stuffed with meat and vegetables, sealed and cooked. Some are boiled, some steamed, some are only fried. All of them are beautiful and delicious.
My recipe for Gyosa will be pan-fried and steamed to finish the cooking process, a popular and delicious way that ensures for perfectly crisp bottoms and amazingly chewy tops! They will also be painstakingly shaped into Gyaos heads, a step that is completely optional for those simply looking for a delicious (and much quicker) recipe for gyoza. This recipe was concocted through trial and error, and has been approved by the most discerning of gyoza-lovers in my life, my husband and host of Tokyo Lives, Kyle Minnick!
Now, I don't want to be one of those recipe blogs that runs on forever about my deep connection to the food and every little detail of my childhood, so without further ado, let's get to the recipe!
Recipe: Giant Gyaosa
Yield: ~24 extra large dumplings or 50 normal dumplings
For the wrappers*:
4 C All-purpose flour
2 C very hot/boiling water
2 tsp salt
Cornstarch for rolling
For the filling:
1 lb ground pork or ground chicken
4 C cabbage, minced
2 stalks green onion, minced
2-3 inches ginger, grated
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp sake
2 tsp soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
For the dipping sauce:
2 Tbs rice vinegar
2 Tbs soy sauce
1/4 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp red chili flakes
1/2 tsp fresh or ground ginger (optional)
1 clove garlic (optional)
Kitchen essentials needed:
Medium/Large Star-shaped cookie cutter**
Stand mixer or a reliable hand mixer
Large frying pan with lid
Vegetable/Canola oil for frying
* Note you can you store-bought wonton wrappers. We were not able to find any in our area and as such created a recipe. If you are aiming to create Gyaos-shapes it is recommended that you follow this recipe and create your own dough.
** To create the Gyaos head shapes, we used a method that requires a star-shaped cookie cutter. This method worked for us, but if you have a better method or want to cut your wrappers by hand, feel free!
If you're not sure if you're doing it right, carefully click through the images!
Make the filling
1. Finely dice cabbage and green onions into small, equal sized pieces.
2. Add meat, cabbage and onions in a large bowl.
4. Add minced garlic and grated ginger. Mix by hand and toss out large cabbage chunks as you find them.
5. Add sesame oil, sake and soy sauce. Combine.
6. Season with salt and pepper by hand and mix until sticky.
7. Refrigerate the mixture, covered, for 30 min - 2 hrs. During this time make your dough!
Make the dough
1. Sift flour into extra large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook attachment.
2. Add salt and mix on low until fully incorporated.
3. Carefully add the water and increase mixer speed to the low end of medium and allow dough to mix for 10min undisturbed.
4. The dough is finished mixing when it fully pulls away from the sides of the bowl, but sticks to the bottom.
* The dough should NOT be so sticky that it sticks to your hands in large, stringy clumps. If this happens add a spoonful of flour and mix another 2-3min. Repeat until dough is the correct consistency.
5. Shape dough into a ball and return to bowl. Cover and sit 10-15 minutes.
6. Remove dough from bowl onto a surface lightly dusted with cornstarch. Shape the dough into a log, lightly covering it with cornstarch, and cut the dough in to 6 equal sized pieces.
7. Roll the dough out, flipping and rotating to ensure an even thickness. 1/4 in - 1/8 in thickness is reccommended
8. Use the cookie cutter to cut out stars. You will need 2 stars for each Gyaosa, so stretch the dough accordningly.
Fill the wrappers*
1. Take two star-shaped wrappers. One will be the bottom and one will be the top.
2. Add filling onto one wrapper, shaping the meat filling to fill the top two points and the bottom one point.
3. Using a knife, carefully cut off two opposite points of the star on one of the wrappers. (See below)
4. Wet your finger with water and lightly wet the edges and points of the filled wrapper.
5. Place the cut wrapper on top of the filled wrapper. Taking the extra points from the bottom wrapper, wrap them across the top of the cut wrapper.
6. Using a fork, carefully seal the remaining sides of the Gyaosa, taking extra care at the space between the top two points. This method is similar to one used on pie crusts.
7. REPEAT until all wrappers and filling have been consumed.
* If you are using store-bought wrappers for normal Gyoza, fill a single circle with a spoonful of filling and close traditionally using the pinch and fold method. Continue on to cooking!
Cook and Eat
1. Add oil to a large skillet and heat on medium high. Test the heat by adding a drop of water to the pan. If it pops you're good to start cooking your Gyaosa!
2. Add Gyaosa flat-side down to the pan in an even layer.
3. Cook 3 min, uncovered.
4. Add 1/4 C water to the pan and cover with lid. Continue cooking the Gyaosa 3 min.
5. For extra crispy bottoms remove lid and drain excess water (if any). Add 1/2 tsp sesame oil to the pan continue cooking another minute.
6. Remove Gyaosa from pan. Serve immdiately with dipping sauce.
For the dipping sauce
7. In a small bowl combine all sauce ingredients. Whisk together. Perfect for dipping.
With proper cooking, your Gyaosa should have amazing crispy bottoms and super chewy tops. The filling will cook in 6 min easily, so don't worry about serving undercooked Gyaosa at your next Gamera vs Gyaos viewing party! Serve these bad boys bottoms up in order to wow the crowds.
- Shaping the Gyaos was so time consuming. I wish I had been able to find ready to use wrappers, but honestly the fresh wrappers have such a good chew to them and the dough is so easy to make I may never bother buying pre-made again. I love the way they came out, they have that good Heisei Gyaos head shape, but if I were to do it over again, I would make maybe a handful of gyaos shapes and the rest just regular shapes. I don't think it would lose it's appeal at all as long as there's some clever Gyaos thrown in there.
- I wanted MORE ginger in this recipe, but that's just me. It starts to smell amazing the moment you add the garlic and ginger. I bet they would taste great without the liquid seasonings, but I probably won't try that myself.
- You can make this recipe wonderfully vegetarian/vegan by subbing the pork for finely diced mushrooms. You may want to cook the mushrooms part way before mixing them into the filling. I hate mushrooms so I will never test this out, but if you do let me know!
- I cut my finger while cutting the cabbage and Kyle won't let me forget it! I swear I'm a good cook guys. Honestly!
If you create this recipe please take pictures and share them with us on our facebook or twitter! Do you have any suggestions for how Marisa could have made this recipe better or easier to make? Email us through the about page or send us a message through facebook or twitter.
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Tokyo Noms: A Giant Monster Cookbook is a collection of recipes created by Marisa Pickett for Tokyo Lives: A Giant Monster’s Podcast. Feel free to share, but please do not steal.