Pretty much every culture in human history has developed their own type of dumpling; gyoza are Japan’s answer to that. You’ve probably eaten them quite often, considering they’re pretty ubiquitous as a side dish at Japanese restaurants and teriyaki establishments throughout the PNW.
Just like many foods, gyoza are a Japanese adaptation of an original Chinese version, in this case the dumplings called jiaozi. The filling is usually pork along with some aromatics, herbs, and vegetables like garlic and cabbage.
This is wrapped in an almost paper-thin dough and most commonly steamed and pan-fried simultaneously through a clever cooking trick. The end result is an outside that’s tender and soft plus satisfyingly crunchy, while the inside is flavorful and succulent — it’s especially tasty with a soy or tare dipping sauce.
While pork is the most common filling, if you’re making homemade gyoza you can naturally put whatever other meats or veggies you want in there. There are also ready-made wrappers if you want to skip the process of making that component on your own.
With homemade gyoza, you can cook and eat them right away, but you can also make them ahead of time and freeze them before cooking. Stored this way, they should easily last for a month and then you can take out however many you want at once and cook them straight out of the freezer. Store-bought gyoza, meanwhile, will often last even longer in the freezer (although we find they don’t tend to last that long because we all eat them before it gets to that point).
You can find pre-made frozen gyoza at Uwajimaya stores in our frozen sections. For anyone looking to make your own, vegetables, aromatics, and meat for the fillings can be found in our produce and meat departments.