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Soba-Gyoza Dumplings

Posted on by MK Carroll

Last year during a round of recipe testing, I made a batch of buckwheat crêpes (Breton galettes). It was the first time I'd eaten one, and to me, it tasted like soba noodles, not a surprise since soba noodles are made with buckwheat.

Fried and steamed in the same pan, ready to eat

Fried and steamed in the same pan, ready to eat

More recently, I've been trying out different gyoza dumpling recipes, including making the wrappers from scratch. I still had some buckwheat flour to use up, so I made a batch of wrappers using both buckwheat and wheat flour, and making a filling of shiitake mushrooms, carrots, green onions, and ginger.

Filled, pleated, and ready to freeze or cook immediately

Filled, pleated, and ready to freeze or cook immediately

While I think this needs more experimentation (perhaps an 80/20 mix of buckwheat to wheat flour, working out filling proportions), I'm recording it here so other people can try it out and experiment with it. Think of this as a rough draft and not a final recipe! I'm including a list of links at the bottom for help with how to roll, fill, and wrap the dumplings.

FILLING
This takes some extra prep time with rehydrating the mushrooms and then cooking the filling and letting it cool. Can be done a day or two ahead of time. This is heavy on the ginger, which I like, and can be cut back to 1 tsp if you are less enthusiastic about ginger.
8 dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated (soak in hot water until soft all the way through) and then diced
1/2 cup carrot, diced
1/4 cup green onions, sliced thin (green and white portions)
1/2 cup bok choy or watercress, sliced into ribbons
1 Tbs ginger, finely minced or microplaned
1 tsp garlic, finely minced or microplaned or put through a garlic press

Combine all ingredients in a microwaveable container and cook on high for 2 minutes or until lightly cooked (carrots should still be firm). Alternately, saute with a little bland vegetable oil until lightly cooked.

Salt to taste and let cool to room temperature.

WRAPPERS
The dough needs to cool a bit before kneading and then rest for about 30 minutes before rolling. The rolling process took me at least 30 minutes, using a cookie cutter and re-rolling the scraps.
3/4 cup buckwheat flour (I used Bob's Red Mill Whole Grain Buckwheat Flour)
3/4 cup all-purpose wheat flour (I used King Arthur All-Purpose Flour)
1/2 cup hot water (I poured it from the kettle into the measuring cup)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
chopsticks for stirring (optional)

Mix flours together. Dissolve salt in water. You may not need all the water. Pour salted water into flour, a little at a time, while stirring with chopsticks or a spoon. Let the dough cool off enough so you can handle it comfortably, then knead for about 10 minutes (if you have a bread maker, you can use it to do the kneading and spare your forearms). Let it rest, covered with a clean dishtowel or plastic wrap, for about 30 minutes. Cut the ball of dough in half, and roll each half out into a log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Cut each log crosswise into 10 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, and roll each ball out into a circle about 3 inches across. For perfectly round wrappers, roll out slightly larger than 3 inches and then use a 3 inch cookie cutter to cut out a perfect round. Scraps can be gathered together, kneaded, and then cut and rolled into more wrappers. 

Use about a teaspoon of filling for each dumpling. Check out the links below for more information about how to fill and wrap! 

Pour about a tablespoon of bland vegetable oil into a frying pan (one that has a lid) and put over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, arrange the gyoza in a single layer, as many as you can fit comfortably in the pan, and let sit until lightly browned. Add a splash (about 3 tablespoons) of water to the pan and immediately cover with the lid. Let it steam until the water evaporates (about 2 minutes), take the lid off, and let it cook until the bottoms are crisp on the bottom (they should pull away from the pan easily; if they stick, give it more time). 

Serve with a dipping sauce if desired (equal parts rice vinegar and soy sauce, with a little toasted sesame oil or chili oil). 

LINKS
Serious Eats: How to Make Japanese-style Gyoza a good overview of what gyoza are and how to make a more traditional meat-filled gyoza using purchased wrappers
Kitchenbowl: Pork and Shiitake Mushroom Dumplings the short video clip showing how to roll a round wrapper is great!
Just One Cookbook: Gyoza Wrappers uses a cookie cutter to make perfectly round homemade wrappers
FOODragon YouTube: Eight Most Beautiful Chinese Dumplings (Jiaozi) Wrapping Techniques video of different ways to fold and seal is mesmerizing