Japanese Cooking Course: Gyoza

Cristina Owen

Cristina Owen is someone you should know: a real polymath and a multicultural citizen of the world, with drive enough to pull out any kind of project. Be it MUST!, her own fashion label that she has already presented internationally,


or her work as a chef, specialized in Japanese cuisine.

Since there are few people who can better be the embodiment of Dragonfruit Mag spirit than her, we reserved a space in the blog for her so she can unfold her creativity. And since she and I are huge fans of the Japanese way of eating and I know you are both good eaters and good cooks, she decided to gift you a Japanese Cooking Course.

This first time around or in this first post she’s going to teach you how to prepare Gyozas, those pastries that are usually prepared steamed, but she also will be showing you and teaching you how to use most typical ingredients.

A real privilege!


gyozas recipe

Despite Gyoza coming from China, it’s a dish that has fully adapted to Japanese culture and cuisine. It consists in a small pasty filled with meat or fish and vegetables, although there are also vegetarian options.

There are many ways of cooking them: e.g. grilled, steamed or boiled, so they can be either a side dish or be eaten as a snack.

In this version we will be using ready made frozen wafers that can be bought in most Asian shops. In Chinese supermarkets you can also find them in the frozen products area. They are somewhat thicker, but you can use them as an alternative, although the look and taste will vary from the Japanese ones.


200gr. minced pork meat
3-4 tsp. salt
150gr. Chinese cabbage or Hakusai (see below in the post)
3 garlic cloves
Ginger: same amount as garlic
Half a bunch nira, nagi or chives (see below in the post)
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. sunflower oil
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 tbsp. mirin or white wine
2 tbsp. of soya sauce
30 gyoza waffers

1. Blanch/scald the cabbage and drain the excess water. Chop very finely.


2. Chop nira very finely.


3. Grate ginger and garlic. There should be the same amount of both in the end.


4. In a bowl mix the minced meat, the cabbage, nira, garlic and ginger and then add the soya sauce, mirin, sesame oil, salt and pepper.


5. For properly filling in the gyozas, it is suitable to have a bowl with water at hand. We put the gyoza waffle in one hand while we soak the rims with the other one, forming 6-8 pleats that will be visible from one side of the gyoza and not from the other. If you pay attention to the photo sequence, you will be able to see that the index finger of the right hand stays inside the waffer dough, preventing the sides to get stuck and that the mix comes out of the corners. This is a good trick, hard to pick in the beggining but after preparing a few gyozas is easy to get trained on it.







6. Toss a tablespoon of oil in a pan and fry the gyoza base until golden, then add aprox. 1-2 fingers of water and cover the pan, so they finish being cooked by steaming. When all the water has evaporated, they are ready to be eaten.

7. A very typical presentation for the dish in the Japanese cuisine is to array the gyozas diagonally with the toasted base upwards.



8. A good way of coming up with a sauce for the gyozas is mixing 70% of soya sauce with 30% rice vinegar. It is very tasty and lasts long in the fridge.
9. A good way of preserving gyozas: Once having finished them, it is advisable to freeze the gyozas because if we let them sit in the fridge, the dough will unstick (even if we dust them with flour) and it will get stuck to the dish. The scent will be slightly altered but it will hold most of its flavor.

What are nira and Chinese cabbage?

Most likely, you won’t have nira or Chinese cabbage at home, but despite you can substitute them for kale or chives, they are vegetables that you can perfectly adapt to western cooking; so it’s worth giving them a try and so get the exact flavour we are looking for in the gyozas. It’s easy to find them in Chinese food shops at very reasonable prices.



Also known as “garlic-chive” because of its flavour. It’s a mix of garlic and onion. It has dark green leaves, flat and long, although there is another variety called negi (that can be used for a very similar purpose) and has round leaves that hold air within (the one we’ve used for these pictures). Once bought, they last a couple of days in the fridge.

Hakusai (Chinese cabbage):


the difference between this cabbage and other ones is its texture and shape. The interior of the leaves it’s white and pretty thick, while the upper parts are light green, thinner and creased. To pick up a good one, it’s better going for a closed one and tender. You can try substituting your traditional cabbage dishes for this kind.

Being a cabbage, well preserved it can last quite long. If you wrap it in paper and leave it in a dark, dry place it can last 1 or 2 weeks. If it’s already chopped, it must be kept in a cold environment and lasts 4 days at most.

More recipes to come soon!


If you want to follow Cris, or get to know MUST!, her fashion brand, have a look here.

If you want to get informed about her cooking classes in Bilbao, keep an eye en Grupo Hal page, the company organizing them, or write them at contacto @ grupohal.com

3 Responses to “Japanese Cooking Course: Gyoza”

  1. Rocío says:

    Fantástico! Ya hay ganas de desarrollar estos manjares a casa :)

  2. [...] First post in our Japanese Cooking Course, our teacher, chef and fashion designer Cristina Owen, taught us how to cook Gyozas or dumplings. [...]

  3. Lucinia says:

    Excelente receta! :D
    Ya mismo consigo todo y a preparar gyozas :3

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