Gyoza is a food my Little Chefs know pretty well. They love talking about places they want to go visit. When I was young we would make Gyoza every so often. I remember it taking a LONG time to make. We had many hands in the kitchen helping, but it still took forever. In our old neighborhood our next door neighbor made these as a family and then sold them to help pay for their kids activities. We would buy some which they made and froze so that we could have them whenever we wanted. That is when my Little Chefs first discovered Gyoza. My Little Chefs got together at Grandma and Grandpa’s house to try making these just like I did. The question was could Little Chefs make these with assistance? They seem pretty complicated for little hands but since they are willing to help out we decided to give it a try!
The first step is to make the filling. One head of cabbage was chopped fine then added to the ground pork. The ratio of the cabbage to the ground pork is 2:1. To help my Little Chefs understand this we put both ingredients side by side.
Next add garlic and ginger – the ratio is 2:1. Add in the rest of the ingredients; oil, salt, pepper, soy sauce and green onions. Mix well.
We found clean up a lot faster and easier if each Little Chef worked on a paper plate.
Each Little Chef took one gyoza skin and placed it on their plate. They added 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of the mixture on the skin. To close it have a small bowl of water close by. Dip a finger in the water and then trace around the outside edge of the gyoza skin. Your finger is the right width.
Fold one side over to the other and seal. The water makes one side stick to the other. If it is not sealing well add a little more water. There are different ways to seal the skin. Each Little Chef closed it in the way most comfortable and easy to them.
Little Chef A was the most successful with the tucking technique (that is what we call it). She had a great time creating something “so beautiful”. Little Chef’s C was able to make two tucks. Little Chef D tried the tucks but became frustrated and liked folding one side over to the other the best. Even Little Chef H insisted on helping. She is wanting to help so much now in the kitchen it’s fun to watch her interest grow.
If you are not cooking the gyoza right away, freeze them in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Once they are fully frozen you can put them into freezer bags for later. Use the same cooking method without needing to thaw.
To cook heat a nonstick frying pan with a tight fitting lid over medium heat. Add a small amount of oil to the pan. Place the gyoza in a single layer in the pan. You want to brown the skins so flip until all sides are browned. Add 1/4-1/3 cup water to the pan. This will create a cloud of steam. Quickly add the tight fitting lid. Cook until the water is gone. Open the lid and serve immediately for best results. We prefer to dip ours in a bowl of soy sauce.
What we discovered is YES Little Chefs can make gyoza with assistance and have a good time doing it! The best part was sitting around the counter and working together. They do need help spooning out the correct amount of filling onto the skin. I also would strongly advise checking each one before freezing and/or cooking to make sure they are sealed. This was a great experience and they want to do it again! It didn’t seem as long making these with my Little Chefs as it did when I was young. I wonder why? We love to eat this with Tempura!