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japanese pan-fried dumplings

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Japanese Pan-Fried Dumplings (Vegan-Friendly Gyoza!)

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]hese Japanese pan-friend dumplings – called gyoza – are usually made with pork mince in the filling, but we’ve created a plant-based option thats healthier, and won’t weigh on your conscience! Making the filling for this recipe is pretty straightforward and quick. Wrapping the dumplings is what’ll take longest, but it’s quite relaxing and therapeutic. It also makes for a great group activity when cooking with friends (AFTER this pandemic calms down and we can stop social distancing, of course)! Not to mention, this vegan gyoza recipe is super tasty too!

What you’ll need:

  • 2 packs chopped exotic mushrooms (like shiitake, hiratake and shimeji)
  • a few dried Shiitake mushrooms
  • vegetarian oyster sauce
  • Chinese cabbage
  • garlic chives
  • a small piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 or 2 cloves of garlic
  • 3/4 cup mixed nuts (salted are fine!)
  • sesame oil
  • potato or corn starch
  • gyoza wrappers (usually found at Asian supermarkets)
  • vegan cheese (optional)

For the dipping sauce:

  • soy sauce
  • red wine vinegar
  • chopped garlic
  • chilli oil or finely chopped chilli
  • sesame oil

Combine all according to taste.

Let’s get cooking!

Start off by soaking your dried shiitake mushrooms in some hot water to hydrate them for at least an hour before you start cooking. Once they’ve expanded nicely, squeeze the excess water out of them.

Toss all your mushrooms together in a food processor, along with 1 tbsp of oyster sauce and mince them well. Transfer to a large bowl.

Then cut your chives and half a large Chinese cabbage up into manageable pieces, and put those in the food processor too. Blend until you get something that looks (and smells) like grassy guacamole. Transfer to a colander over the sink. They’ll lose a LOT of water. Then squeeze out as much water as you can. This can take a bit of time and a pair of strong hands, but you want it as dry as possible (or your gyoza will get soggy!). Add to the minced mushrooms.

Throw your nuts and 1 tbsp of sesame oil into the food processor next. mince them until they’re nice and fine, but not nut butter. Add to the mushroom-cabbage mixture.

Finally, grate your clove of garlic (or two if you’re a fan) and a piece of fresh ginger and add them to the mixture. Add one tbsp of corn starch or potato starch too. Add salt according to your preference. Mix well.

Then it’s time to get wrapping!!

vegan gyoza


You can find the gyoza skins at Asian Supermarkets. They usually come in packs of about 40 wraps. For this recipe you’ll need two.

Start by making a mixture of corn starch and water, which you’ll use as the “glue” to seal the dumplings. Place the wraps in the palm of one hand, “paint” a small amount of the corn starch liquid along the edge of the wrap. Place a small amount of filling in the middle of the wrap, and fold the edges. place the finished dumplings aside on a floured surface until they’re ready to fry.

Optional: If you want to be a little experimental and non-traditional, add a small block of vegan cheese (or whichever cheese you like) with your filling. It’s surprisingly good!

Once you’ve folded all your dumplings…

Make sure you’re using a good non-stick pan (especially if you’re doing method 2!). A pan with a lid for steaming is only needed for method 2.

Method 1: Heat up a non-stick pan with a little sesame oil. You want your oil to be nice and hot before you put your dumplings in! When the oil is hot, place your dumplings on the pan and let then do their magic! flip them onto their sides so you can get them crunchy all round. when they look crisp and golden brown, transfer them to a plate and continue with the rest of them!

Method 2: Heat up your oil the same way, and then place all your dumplings in a circle in the pan (avoid the middle, as it can get a little too hot, especially if you’re working on a gas stove). Once the dumplings have fried for a minute or two, pour a flour and water mixture into the middle of the pan. This will form a thicker, crunchier base under the dumplings. Put a lid on the pan and let them steam for a few minutes. Transfer to a plate and continue.

Once you’ve fried all your gyoza, mix up the dipping sauce to taste and serve with sides like sticky rice, pickles,  miso soup, steamed edamame, and this amazing spinach salad recipe!!

This vegan gyoza recipe really isn’t complicated, and the results are so satisfying. It also comes with the added bonus of being a whole culinary experience and a social activity!

vegan japanese dumplings

Try it out and let us know what you think! If you’re looking for more plant-based recipes, keep an eye on our Essential Kitchen section.

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