Dinner

Better-than-Takeout Potstickers

Gyoza is one of my husband’s favorite meals of all time- and I feel much better about feeding my husband gyoza instead of freezer pizza on busy nights. (We call potstickers by their Japanese name- Gyoza.) My mother-in-law so kindly shared this recipe with me. She lived in Japan for a year and a half and brought home some wonderful recipes! During the past three years of marriage, I have slowly tweaked the recipe (Such as amounts of garlic or soy sauce) to make the gyoza exactly how we want.

Something I figured out pretty early on is that gyoza is actually an easy freezer meal! While it is time consuming to fold all of the gyoza, after that, it’s super simple to pop some of the frozen gyoza into a pan and put some rice in the rice cooker and voila! A quick and delicious dinner in under an hour for busy weeknights!

Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of green onions, chopped finely
  • 1 cup cabbage, chopped finely
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 lb ground beef or pork
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup of quality soy sauce (I like using 1/3)
  • 1-2 packages of gyoza wrappers
  • A small bowl of water for sealing the gyoza
  • A pan with a lid- I prefer to use a cast iron pan

Directions:

  • Mix everything together in a bowl.
  • Scoop about 1/2 a teaspoon of the mixture into a gyoza wrap.
  • Dip your finger into the water and brush it along half of the gyoza wrap’s edge.
  • Press to seal.
  • Crimp the edges.
  • At this point you can either put them on a baking tray to flash freeze them before placing into a container or you can cook them.
  • To cook, place 1-2 Tablespoons of oil into a heated pan and pan fry the gyoza for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add 1/4 cup of water to the pan and put the lid on.
  • Steam the gyoza until the water is gone.Serve with hot rice and steamed carrots or broccoli.

Side Notes:

  • Gyoza wrappers and wonton wrappers are not the same thing! Wonton wrapper fry up nicely, but don’t steam very well.
  • If the water is gone and you aren’t sure if the gyoza are done, cut open one of them to see if they are still pink.
  • For the frozen gyoza, you cook it the same way as the fresh gyoza. They take a little bit longer, but you don’t need to add extra water.
  • You can serve these with soy sauce, but our favorite way to eat them is with our teriyaki sauce recipe here.
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Teriyaki Sauce

Japanese food wasn’t familiar to me until I married my husband. His mom lived in Japan for a year and a half and his uncle is from Japan. My in-laws don’t have Japanese food often, but when they do, it is a delicious treat! This recipe is from his uncle, and we prefer it to any store- bought teriyaki sauce.

Asian cuisine is a great way to avoid putting dairy into your diet. There are far more people in Asia who are lactose-intolerant than there are in the United States, so it makes sense that they don’t use as much milk as we do. We have Asian meals two or three times a week. It’s a delicious way to pack in veggies and rice and avoid a grumpy stomach.

Teriyaki sauce is a very simple way to dress up a bowl of rice or some steamed vegetables. My husband and I especially enjoy gyoza with teriyaki sauce. After making a batch of the sauce, we like to keep our teriyaki sauce in a little Snapware container on the top shelf of our fridge so we always have teriyaki sauce to dress up a meal.

Side Notes:

  • The quality of the teriyaki sauce depends on the quality of the soy sauce you buy.
  • This sauce is very strong and a little goes a long way- you probably only need half of a teaspoon for a bowl of rice.
  • I have tried making it with brown sugar and white sugar. Either way, it still turns out delicious!
  • This doesn’t taste like restaurant-style or store-bought teriyaki sauce. It is simple and delicious! Part of the reason I like it so much is because it is a simple recipe of only four ingredients.

Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp minced garlic or garlic powder
  • 1 tsp grated ginger or ginger powder
  1. Place all of the ingredients into a sauce pan and boil for three to five minutes or until the sugar is dissolved. You can boil the sauce for a few more minutes if you would like a thicker sauce. Be careful to not boil it too much- it could boil down into a weird teriyaki candy or boil over onto your stove. Definitely not the easiest thing to clean off your stove. Not that I know from experience…
  2. Let the sauce cool (or not) and enjoy! This is a super simple way to incorporate some authentic Japanese flavor into meals!
  3. Place the leftovers into an air-tight container and keep in the fridge. It will stay fresh for three to six months.