Asian Recipes/ Entrees / Appetisers/ Japanese/ Recipes/ Side Dish/ Snack

Pork Gyoza – Japanese Dumplings Recipe

30/11/2020

Loaded with pork, cabbage, spring onion and authentic Japanese seasonings, Japanese dumplings are a PINCH to make! Steam fry these tasty pork gyoza until crispy and golden, then serve or freeze for later. Includes tasty gyoza dipping sauce ideas.

Freshly cooked gyoza on a plate with chopsticks.

Why We Love This

Making Japanese dumplings at home may seem intimidating at first, but it’s actually very easy. The filling comes together quickly, and pleating the wrappers is super fun! Why not recruit a few friends and fold the gyoza while you catch up?

Homemade gyoza taste much better than any store bought dumpling, since you can make use of fresh high quality ingredients. It’s easy to adapt the recipe to use up what you have on hand, or make your own favourite combinations. 

Gyoza are great for making in big batches so you eat some now and freeze the rest for a tasty appetiser or main meal later on. No need to defrost, just pop them straight into a pan of boiling water and finish them off in the frypan.

Whip up a homemade dipping sauce alongside them, and it doesn’t get much better than that!

Folded gyoza dumplings ready to be cooked.

What are Gyoza? 

Gyoza (ぎょうざ) are Japanese dumplings made of minced pork and vegetables wrapped in a thin dumpling dough. In Japan you’ll find them served up in restaurants and izakayas through to street food stalls, and of course, made at home. 

The traditional Japanese cooking method involves frying them first, then adding a little water to the pan to steam. This way the bottoms are crispy and golden, while the tops are translucent and tender. 

The origins of gyoza reach back to China, where these delicious dumplings are known as Jiaozi (餃子) or “potstickers”. The method of cooking can be quite similar (although Chinese dumplings are often available boiled, steamed or fried) but the biggest difference is in the wrappers. Chinese potstickers are usually larger and made with a thicker wrapper. 

Filling ingredients vary from place to place too (see below for more variation ideas), but today’s recipe is for the most common style of pan-fried pork gyoza you’ll find across Japan.

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What You’ll Need

  • Wrappers – Look for fresh Japanese gyoza wrappers in the fridge at an Asian grocery. They’re much thinner than Chinese style wonton or dumpling wrappers. If you can only find Chinese style wrappers, they’ll still work perfectly and taste delicious, but the texture just won’t be quite the same. You could substitute with wonton wrappers or any other kind of dumpling wrappers in a pinch, or try making gyoza wrappers from scratch. If you do, you’ll need to allow extra time to prepare the dough. 
  • Minced Pork – If possible, use very finely ground pork mince for the most traditional Japanese gyoza filling. If you don’t like pork, you can substitute for the same amount of minced chicken, turkey, shrimp/prawn or leave out the mince and make them veggie only. Beef is almost never used in traditional gyoza dumplings, but if you like it, feel free to use it. 
  • Cabbage – This recipe traditionally calls for napa cabbage, but you can use any kind of cabbage.  If using thicker cabbage leaves, we recommend finely dicing so they mix through the rest of the filling mixture evenly.. You might also like to blanch or steam them first to make sure they’re nice and soft, but it’s not essential. 
  • Spring Onion – We love using spring onion because it’s so readily available and the flavour is nice and mild. Traditionally, Japanese dumplings are made with garlic chives which have a much stronger flavour. You could even substitute with finely chopped leek if needed (or preferred). Totally up to you! 
  • Seasonings – You’ll need garlic, ginger, sugar, soy sauce and sesame oil.
Ingredients laid out for Japanese gyoza dumplings.

Gyoza Dipping Sauce Ideas

Your deliciously soft and crispy Japanese dumplings will be even better when served up with a few little bowls of homemade gyoza dipping sauce. 

  • Gyoza Dipping Sauce – The classic gyoza sauce you’ll find in Japan can easily be made at home.
  • Simple Dipping Sauce – Soy sauce, mirin and a sprinkling of shichimi togarashi (Japanese seven spice blend)
  • Savoury Citrus Sauce – Mirin, ponzu, sesame oil, garlic, spring onion and crushed sesame seeds. 
  • Spicy Dipping Sauce – Soy sauce, ginger, vinegar, and rayu (chili sesame oil) or garlic chili paste to taste.

How to make Gyoza:

Collage of images showing how to fold pork gyoza dumplings
  1. Place the pork mince, chopped cabbage, spring onion, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, sugar and garlic salt into a large mixing bowl. Add any extra seasonings to your taste, such as a spoonful of red miso paste if you’re including it. Mix with your hands until the ingredients are nicely combined. 
  2. Take a gyoza wrapper in one hand and top with a spoonful of pork filling into the centre (around 1 tbsp, but adjust to suit the size of your wrappers if needed). Using your finger, dab a small amount of water all around the edge of the wrapper. This will be your glue.
  3. For the authentic gyoza wrapper shape – begin by folding the wrapper over the filling to make a semicircle, then pinch one corner with your fingers to seal. Gather more of the wrapper and overlap your first section slightly to make a dart, then pinch gently to seal. Continue until the gyoza is fully sealed (about 4 darts), then repeat for your remaining gyoza. Alternatively you can use a dumpling press to make this process easier.
  4. To cook, heat the sesame oil in a large flat frying pan. Add the gyoza and fry on a high heat until the bottoms turn a toasty golden brown (1-2 mins).
  5. Reduce the heat to low and add around 1/4 cup water into the pan. Be careful – the oil will spit if it’s too hot. Be ready to use the frying pan lid as a shield. Cover and steam the gyoza on low heat until all the water has evaporated and the gyoza are cooked through (around 2-3 mins).

Wandercook’s Tips

  • Wrappers – If you can only find square wrappers, you can still use them – just use a round cookie cutter to cut them into circles. Cover your wrappers with a damp towel while working to keep them from drying out.
  • Filling – Always use your hands to mix the filling as this will give you the best texture and get all those ingredients evenly mixed. You can use food-prep suitable gloves if you prefer to keep your hands clean. 
  • Frying / Spitting Oil – Be extra careful when cooking the gyoza. If the oil is hot it will spit when you add the water. Use your frying pan lid as a shield!
  • Keep Fresh – Either Cook or freeze your homemade gyoza straight after preparing them. This will ensure the wrappers don’t become soggy from the moisture in the filling. 
  • Don’t Overcook – Just 3-4 mins should be enough to cook the dumplings through perfectly. 
  • Easier Folding Method – If you don’t want to do the more traditional darts / pleated folds, you can do a simple straight edge instead. Just fold the wrappers over and seal into a half moon shape. Then pick them up and then tap the straight edge on your work surface to create the flat ‘bottom’ for frying.

FAQs

How to eat gyoza?

The traditional way to eat gyoza is with chopsticks. Pick up a gyoza with chopsticks, dip the soft side into the dipping sauce then pop it in your mouth! If you’re struggling to pick up a gyoza with chopsticks, you can pierce one side with a chopstick to make it easier. This method is definitely not traditional, but does make it a lot easier.

What to serve with pork gyoza?

Gyoza are delicious on their own as a tasty snack or meal. In Japan, they’re often served with a big bowl of ramen or fried chicken (tori karaage). We love them as an appetiser with:

Tantanmen – A type of ramen with spicy pork and soy milk broth
Okonomiyaki – Savoury ‘as you like it’ pancakes
Yakisoba – Stir fried noodles with pork and veggies 
Mapo Tofu Udon Bowls – Spicy beef and tofu with udon noodles

Add them into soups and stews like udon noodle soup, shabu shabu hot pot or Korean army stew

Or serve them as part of a full meal with a main dish such as homemade udon, with a bowl of miso soup or hot simmered tofu and side of kimchi or daikon pickles.

How do I store them?

Gyoza are best stored in the freezer (uncooked). A good method is to spread them out on a lined baking tray and dust them with flour, then flash freeze for half an hour. Then you can pop them in a proper freezer-safe container and they won’t stick together. P.S. Never freeze cooked gyoza as they tend to fall apart and won’t be as deliciously crispy once reheated.

How long do they last in the freezer?

If properly stored in an airtight container they’ll last for a few months in the freezer. Freeze them as quickly as possible so the liquid from the filling doesn’t soak through and make the wrappers soggy.

How should I defrost them?

You don’t need to defrost gyoza first, just cook them straight from the freezer by popping them straight into a pot of boiling water. Once they start floating, they’ve fully defrosted and you can then transfer them to a pan with a little oil over medium-high heat to crispen up the bottoms.

How do I know when the meat inside is fully cooked?

Since there’s such a small amount of meat inside each dumpling, it cooks really fast. If you’re still concerned, you can slice one in half to check.

What should I do with any leftover filling?

Leftover gyoza filling can be frozen for later. You can either freeze it as a single whole batch, then defrost and wrap as normal. OR you can portion it out into individual ice cube trays or mini muffin trays, then wrap while still frozen and boil until cooked.
You could also simply fry any remaining filling and use it as a topping for tantanmen ramen or udon noodle bowls.

Variations & Substitutes

  • Tweak the Flavour – Get creative with fillings. Switch up the protein, add grated carrot, or add red miso paste or chopped shiitake mushroom for extra umami flavour. 
  • Veggies – To make things even easier, swap the cabbage for finely chopped coleslaw mix.
  • Add Heat – You can add Japanese rayu (aka La Yu – sesame oil blended with chilli powder) in with the filling mixture or add it to the dipping sauces for an extra burst of heat and flavour.
Gyoza being dipped into gyoza sauce.

Looking for more delicious Japanese appetisers? Try these:

★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment & star rating below!

Crispy gyoza on a plate with dipping sauce.

Easy Gyoza – Japanese Pork Dumplings

Loaded with pork, cabbage, spring onion and authentic Japanese seasonings, Japanese dumplings are a PINCH to make! Steam fry these tasty pork gyoza until crispy and golden, then serve or freeze for later. Includes tasty gyoza dipping sauce ideas.
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Course: Snack
Cuisine: Japanese
Servings: 30 dumplings
Calories: 68.76kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $10

Ingredients

  • 30-40 gyoza wrappers round
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil for frying
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup water some for sealing the dumplings, and some for steaming

For the Filling

For a quick dipping sauce

For an amped up dipping sauce

Instructions

For the Filling

  • Place the pork mince, chopped cabbage, spring onion, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, sugar and garlic salt into a large mixing bowl. Add any extra seasonings to your taste, such as a spoonful of red miso paste if you’re including it. Mix with your hands until the ingredients are nicely combined.

To Fold the Gyoza

  • Take a gyoza wrapper in one hand and top with a spoonful of filling into the centre (around 1 tbsp, but adjust to suit the size of your wrappers if needed). Using your finger, dab a small amount of water all around the edge of the wrapper. This will be your glue.
  • For the authentic gyoza wrapper shape – begin by folding the wrapper over the filling to make a semicircle, then pinch one corner with your fingers to seal. Gather more of the wrapper and overlap your first section slightly to make a dart, then pinch gently to seal. Continue until the gyoza is fully sealed (about 4 darts), then repeat for your remaining gyoza. Alternatively you can use a dumpling press to make this process easier.
  • For an easier fold – If you don’t want to do the more traditional darts / pleated folds, you can do a simple straight edge instead. Just fold the wrappers over and seal into a half moon shape. Then pick them up and then tap the straight edge on your work surface to create the flat ‘bottom’ for frying.

To Cook

  • Heat the sesame oil in a large flat frying pan. Add the gyoza and fry on a high heat until the bottoms turn a toasty golden brown (1-2 mins).
  • Reduce the heat to low and add around 1/4 cup water into the pan. Be careful – the oil will spit if it’s too hot. Be ready to use the frying pan lid as a shield. Cover and steam the gyoza on low heat until all the water has evaporated and the gyoza are cooked through (around 2-3 mins).

For the Dipping Sauce(s)

  • Choose your favourite from the above ingredients list (or why not do both?)
  • Add all ingredients for your chosen sauce into a small dipping bowl, give it a stir and serve alongside your freshly cooked gyoza dumplings.

Video

Recipe Notes

  • Wrappers – If you can only find square wrappers, you can still use them – just use a round cookie cutter to cut them into circles. Cover your wrappers with a damp towel while working to keep them from drying out.
  • Filling – Always use your hands to mix the filling as this will give you the best texture and get all those ingredients evenly mixed. You can use food-prep suitable gloves if you prefer to keep your hands clean. 
  • Frying / Spitting Oil – Be extra careful when cooking the gyoza. If the oil is hot it will spit when you add the water. Use your frying pan lid as a shield!
  • Keep Fresh – Either Cook or freeze your homemade gyoza straight after preparing them. This will ensure the wrappers don’t become soggy from the moisture in the filling. 
  • Don’t Overcook – Just 3-4 mins should be enough to cook the dumplings through perfectly.
  • Easier Folding Method – If you don’t want to do the more traditional darts / pleated folds, you can do a simple straight edge instead. Just fold the wrappers over and seal into a half moon shape. Then pick them up and then tap the straight edge on your work surface to create the flat ‘bottom’ for frying.
  • Variations:
    • Tweak the Flavour – Get creative with fillings. Switch up the protein, add grated carrot, or add red miso paste or shiitake mushroom for extra umami flavour.
    • Add Heat – You can add Japanese rayu (aka La Yu – sesame oil blended with chilli powder) in with the filling mixture or add it to the dipping sauces for an extra burst of heat and flavour.
    • Veggies – To make things even easier, swap the cabbage for finely chopped coleslaw mix.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Easy Gyoza – Japanese Pork Dumplings
Amount per Serving
Calories
68.76
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
3.86
g
6
%
Saturated Fat
 
1.04
g
7
%
Cholesterol
 
7.88
mg
3
%
Sodium
 
230.85
mg
10
%
Potassium
 
51.46
mg
1
%
Carbohydrates
 
5.62
g
2
%
Fiber
 
0.19
g
1
%
Sugar
 
0.48
g
1
%
Protein
 
2.85
g
6
%
Vitamin A
 
39.05
IU
1
%
Vitamin C
 
0.6
mg
1
%
Calcium
 
9.44
mg
1
%
Iron
 
0.51
mg
3
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Pork Gyoza - Japanese Dumplings Recipe

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34 Comments

  • Reply
    Natalie
    13/07/2016 at 6:14 am

    These look super yummy! Would love to make some with a vegetarian filling!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      14/07/2016 at 4:13 pm

      Hey Natalie – that would be awesome! You could do hard tofu, cabbage and enoki mushroom as a replacement – paired with the same flavourings, we can already imagine those going down a treat. Enjoy 🙂

  • Reply
    Shen
    09/07/2016 at 4:55 am

    Looks lovely. But I’m pretty sure that’s Chinese not Japanese… In fact Gyoza is the Chinese pronunciation of dumplings….It goes to Japan and they keep the pronunciation and that’s it. I don’t want to start anything and your recipe looks really lovely. It’s just…. Gyoza has its very important place in Chinese culture yet so many recipes label it as Japanese… It kind of hurts….

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      09/07/2016 at 9:57 am

      Hey Shen, thanks for stopping by. We have the same feelings about Pavlova too. We learned this recipe in Japan but would love to try Chinese Gyoza. Are there other ingredient or flavour combinations that are more common in the Chinese recipe? Also, we never knew that the pronunciation of Gyoza comes from the Chinese language, thanks so much for sharing. 🙂

      • Reply
        Shen
        10/07/2016 at 4:58 am

        Hi! Actually the ingredients in your recipe is one of the most common ones in Chinese dumplings (maybe change mirin to chinese cooking wine which wouldn’t make a difference at all). It’s the most basic type of filling. And the way you fry it is one of the basic ways of cooking it (if you add a splash of water in it and cover the pan for 2 to 3 minutes and then add another splash and cover it until it’s done the bottom would be even more crispy and the wrapper softer). We even have a name for this type of fried dumplings ->GuoTie (meaning “stick on the pan (instead of boil)”). The origin of this dumpling cooking method goes back to over a thousand years. That’s why I say this is originally a Chinese cuisine. I think it’s like sushi in Japan and sushi in the US. Even though you can find sushi in the US and learn how to make them in the US, but when talking about cuisine, sushi will still be Japanese. 🙂
        Regarding the fillings, if you ever want to go to China you’ll see that there are maybe dozens or even hundreds of different flavors. Dumplings can be either sweet or salty. They can be of different shapes. I have some foreign friends and they were shocked when they found out there are tons of different flavors to order. But the one in this recipe is definitely one of the most most common ones in China. 😀

        • Reply
          Wandercooks
          11/07/2016 at 11:52 am

          We can only imagine how fun Yum Cha would be in China. We’ve done it a few times in our hometown and Taiwan, but haven’t been to China yet. Chinese potstickers do sound very similar, we’ll give them a try next. We used the same cooking method you described to cook the Gyoza. Have fun eating your dumplings too 😛 haha

  • Reply
    Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy
    07/07/2016 at 10:06 pm

    These look absolutely delicious. I LOVE dumplings but have never tried making them at home. This recipe certainly makes it look doable….I may just have to experiment in the kitchen!!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      08/07/2016 at 8:59 am

      You’d be surprised! Once you have the wrappers, it’s basically mixing it in a bowl for a minute or two and then popping a spoonful in each wrapper. You can fold them whatever way you like! As long as you ensure the ‘seams’ are glued shut with enough water, you’re set!

  • Reply
    Bintu - Recipes From A Pantry
    06/07/2016 at 11:12 pm

    5 stars
    These look full of flavour I bet they are delicious. I really want to try these.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      08/07/2016 at 8:58 am

      You should Bintu! They’re simple to pop together, and we keep them frozen in batches of 10 in the freezer which make the perfect snack or we pop them in our soups etc so versatile!

  • Reply
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
    06/07/2016 at 7:58 pm

    5 stars
    So obsessed with dumplings!! They are just too good 😉

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      08/07/2016 at 8:57 am

      I know right! Laura and I eat so many haha

  • Reply
    Evan Kristine
    06/07/2016 at 6:20 pm

    5 stars
    Oh my, I love potstickers! They are simple but so good!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      07/07/2016 at 10:16 pm

      Couldn’t agree more Evan! 🙂

  • Reply
    Alli
    06/07/2016 at 1:23 pm

    I am so excited to try this recipe! My husband lived in Japan for a couple years and LOVES when we make Japanese cuisine. We have made gyoza before and just love it, this recipe looks fantastic!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      07/07/2016 at 10:11 pm

      Oh that’s great to hear, Japan is such an awesome country to visit, we’d love to live there for an extended period of time! Hope you guys enjoy your gyoza-fest! 😛

  • Reply
    Dahn
    06/07/2016 at 12:56 pm

    Oh yes, how can you not have a dumpling addiction, these look amazingly addictive!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      07/07/2016 at 10:11 pm

      It’s a rather delicious problem to have, that’s for sure! 😛

  • Reply
    Ludmilla
    06/07/2016 at 12:12 pm

    There’s a special place in my heart for dumplings. Whether they’re fried, boiled or steamed… Your recipe looks amazing!!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      06/07/2016 at 12:57 pm

      Yes to ALL of the dumplings! Thanks Ludmilla 😀

  • Reply
    Annemarie @ justalittlebitofbacon
    06/07/2016 at 11:14 am

    5 stars
    What gorgeous pictures! I go for traditional shapes, but my daughter loves making every dumpling different. Either way these would be so tasty. 🙂 We may need to make some dumplings again soon.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      06/07/2016 at 11:39 am

      Awesome! It’s so much fun to experiment with different shapes. Some even come out way funkier than anticipated haha 😛 Hope you guys enjoy a good dumpling fest feast!

  • Reply
    Karly
    06/07/2016 at 10:39 am

    Oh wow these are beautiful! I have to imagine that they taste even better homemade, because I am only used to having them at PF Changs, ha ha ha! So delish, omg, I could eat these far more often now!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      06/07/2016 at 10:51 am

      Haha yep, they’re so easy to make, the only problem now is deciding when NOT to eat them haha 😛

  • Reply
    Regina
    06/07/2016 at 3:46 am

    5 stars
    I grew up with Eastern European/Russian dumplings but have always loved gyoza too since I first tried them!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      06/07/2016 at 10:54 am

      Dumplings are the BESSSST. Doesn’t matter what flavour or what country or origin, we’d eat them any day of the week! 🙂

  • Reply
    Razena
    06/07/2016 at 2:54 am

    5 stars
    I have never made dumplings myself but you make it look so easy! I would substitute the pork with minced chicken for a halal version but love the sound of those flavourings and dipping sauces. Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      06/07/2016 at 9:33 am

      Hey Razena, that’s a great idea re substituting the chicken and I’m sure it will taste just as delish. Hope you enjoy them, thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  • Reply
    Martin @ The Why Chef
    05/07/2016 at 10:44 pm

    Ahhhh I am totally addicted to gyozas! It is close to foodie perfection! Cannot wait to try these at the weekend! 😀 Going to order in some of the ingredients already to make sure they’re in by Saturday!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      06/07/2016 at 9:31 am

      Fantastic Martin, hope you enjoy your gyoza celebration! 😀 Curious to know, which ingredients do you need to order in? Do you get them online or order them from a local store?

      • Reply
        Martin @ The Why Chef
        06/07/2016 at 6:02 pm

        Definitely the ponzu, and possibly miso paste, gyoza wrappers and the Rayu chilli oil (although I may improvise the last two). There is a store about 25 minutes from where I work which I checking out first, then going online if that fails!

        • Reply
          Wandercooks
          08/07/2016 at 8:53 am

          I think next on our task list is to make gyoza wrappers from scratch! At least the ponzu is nice and easy to make. Can you get dashi powder near you?

          • Martin @ The Why Chef
            08/07/2016 at 5:06 pm

            I thought I could, but I’ve just checked and they only do dashi stock! :'(

          • Wandercooks
            09/07/2016 at 9:59 am

            That should work perfectly! If you try it let us know how you go! 🙂

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