Sunday, 12 August 2012

Homemade Gyoza Nights

Gyoza - a Steadfast Family Favourite

Japanese gyoza (pan-fried dumplings)
are a family favourite,
but I only make them every now and then.
They are especially loved by kids.
This weekend was the gyoza weekend.
Please note you don't really want to attempt
making gyoza after a full day at work.
Leave it for a day when you have plenty of time.
They are actually very easy to make.
I usually make them on a weekend afternoon
and make 2 batches. One is usually eaten that night,
the other batch I freeze for another night.

The Moriyoshi Gyoza Recipe

Gow Gee Wrappers (round type) x 2 packets
(from refrigerated noodle section of most major supermarkets)
500g pork mince
Garlic x 2 cloves
Fresh Ginger x 1 small knob
Cabbage x one-quarter
Shallots x 4 lengths or so
Salt & White Pepper

How to Make
1. Roughly chop the 1/4 cabbage into manageable chunks.
Cut shallots into 4 sections.
Peel garlic and ginger.
Put cabbage, shallots, garlic and ginger into food processor.
Process until cabbage is finely shredded.
(Please note this could all be done by hand if
you have the time and patience - unlike me)

2. Next put the pork mince into a large bowl and
add the shredded cabbage mix to the mince.
Season with salt and white pepper.
(I use a delicious pink salt from the Murray River).

3. Use your hands to mix the pork and
cabbage mix together.
When it is well mixed,
you are ready to start making the

4. Lay the wrappers out on a board or table.
Spoon about half a dessert spoon full
of mixture onto each wrapper.
Dip your finger into a bowl of water and wet the
edges of the wrappers.
Fold the bottom part of the wrapper over the mixture
and seal it to the top part of the wrapper.
This should create a semi-circle 'moon' shape.

5. Next, pinch the edges together to completely
seal the dumplings.
You may want to sit down to do this!

6. Cooking - if you have a good fry-pan, these are fine
in a fry-pan. If your fry-pan tends to make
food stick, dont attempt this in a fry-pan.
We use a small electric hot plate to cook ours.
Spray the cooking surface with some cooking spray.
Make sure the cooking surface is hot then lay the
gyoza bottom-side down on the surface.
Pour some water over the dumplings
and cover with a lid or foil to thoroughly
steam the meatinside the dumplings.
Once the meat inside looks cooked,
take the cover off and cook for a few more
minutes until the bottom of the gyoza are
nice and crispy, but not burnt!

7. Serve with a dipping sauce of Japanese vinegar,
soy sauce and sesame oil or chilli oil. Enjoy!

Picnic Days

As soon as the sun pokes its head out on the
weekends, we have been heading straight outside
for impromptu picnics.
As I waited for our turn to use the BBQ,
TM and Elise went looking for 'treasure',
although without a treasure map - much
to Elise's distress!

Tired after a long treasure hunt!

Oh and there was plenty of dancing as well!

I used to have this misconception that
picnics needed to be elaborate affairs,
with baskets stuffed full of homemade
goodies prepared well in advance.
But I have discovered the joy
 of a simple picnic basket that can be
thrown together in 5 minutes (well maybe 10!)
Add a ball and some outside
games enjoyed in the afternoon sun,
and I usually have one satisfied toddler
and two relaxed parents.