Well, the easiest way to fold Gyoza is actually just folding over the wrapper to half.
But, I am not talking about it!
This is how I learned from my mom since I was a kid, so I can’t fold Gyoza in other ways, like making pleats one way.
However, do Gyoza dumplings really need pleats?
- Why Gyoza Dumplings Have Pleats
- Gyoza Wrapping Tips
- How To Fold Classic Japanese Gyoza Dumpling With Round Skin
- Roast Pork Leftovers Gyoza Filling
- How To Make Japanese Gyoza Filling
- How To Cook Japanese Gyoza Filling
Why Gyoza Dumplings Have Pleats
- Visually Appealing
- To keep the savory juice inside
- To prevent the gyoza burst
The most appealing point of Gyoza dumplings is their beautiful crescent-shaped with pleats.
Gyoza dumplings have been introduced from China into Japan.
By making pleats and the flat bottom resemble Chinese coins, it is often treated as a lucky charm in China.
Keep The Savory Juice Inside
Pleats can fold the top of Gyoza and prevent them from opening, which means keeping the savory juice inside.
Making pleats is much more secure to sealing the gyoza dumplings than just folding and sealing them without pleats.
To Prevent The Gyoza From Bursting
When dumplings are pan-fried, the dumpling will puff by the steam inside. The pleats also make the wrapper stretchy and prevent it from bursting.
Yet, there is no problem when you make Gyoza dumplings without making pleats. The tips that I’ll tell you today are much more important to make pleats.
Therefore, the main reason to make pleats with Gyoza at home is simply “visually appealing” to make people happy.
Gyoza Wrapping Tips
- Use a large-sized gyoza wrapper (if it’s available)
- Prepare everything you need before folding gyoza
- Avoid overfilling
- Use a butter knife
- Press the top (pleats) well to finish
- Prevent gyoza wrapper from dry
Use Large-Sized Gyoza
If you’re living in Japan, get the large-size gyoza wrapper at a grocery store.
Unfortunately, I have never seen it in Asian grocery stores in the US.
The handmade gyoza wrapper is one of the easy-to-fold gyoza options since it can be made in a large size and stretches moistly, making it easy to fold.
Prepare Everything You Need Before Folding Gyoza
Personally, I always carefully prepare everything that I’ll need for folding Gyoza.
Your fingers will be dirty and powdery, and it’ll be a pain in the neck every time you need to stop to bring something you forget.
Also, it is important to save time by folding all gyoza as quickly as you can to prevent the skins from drying and also the folded gyoza from drying or mushy.
Be sure to prepare the equipment before you start.
- 2-3 baking pans/ trays/ large plates lined with parchment paper/ sprinkled flour.
- 1 small bowl filled with water
- 3-4 wet towels
- 1 butter knife
- plastic wrap
Line parchment paper or sprinkle flour (or starch) to prevent the Gyoza dumplings from sticking to the baking pans.
Cover the gyoza with plastic wrap when the baking pans are filled.
By the way, finish your housework to concentrate on making gyoza, and play your favorite music since it’ll be a long work.
If you’re trying to fold gyoza for the first time or close to it, avoid putting too much filling.
Even if the recipe says “a tablespoon of the filling”, try to put a little less of it.
Overfilling not only makes folding the gyoza harder, but it causes the wrapper to tear.
When the filling is stuck between pleats, the gyoza will break or the savory juice will come out and the gyoza is dry and not tasty.
Keep it in your mind-you’ll need a little scoop of the filling.
Use A Butter Knife
Personally, I prefer to use a butter knife than a spoon to fill the stuffing.
It’s easy to place the filling and it can prevent overfilling.
Press The Top (pleats) Well To Finish
Press the top (pleats) well after folding to be sure the gyoza will not open while cooking to keep the savory juice inside.
Prevent The Wrappers From Drying
Prevent the wrappers from drying while the folding process.
The gyoza wrapper is easily dried from the edge, especially, when using frozen wrappers.
When you open the package, cover the wrappers with a wet towel.
*Stop using a fan while folding the gyoza.
Wet kitchen paper towel or thin towel like flour sack dish towel,
and squeeze it lightly.
Just right wet.
Since the gyoza wrapper is made of flour, too much moisture makes the wrapper mushy.
On the contrary, a too-dry towel doesn’t work to prevent them from drying.
Check the towel wet constantly.
As well as the wrappers, make sure to cover folded gyoza on a baking pan with a wet towel.
How To Fold Classic Japanese Gyoza Dumpling With Round Skin
- baking pan/ tray/ large plates
- parchment paper
- 1 small bowl
- 1 Butter knife
- kitchen paper towel/ flour sack towel
- Gyoza skin
- Gyoza filling *1)
- Make the Gyoza filling in this post.
- Prepare all equipment before you start wrapping. (Important!)
- On the baking pan, line a parchment paper or sprinkle flour/ starch.
- Wet the paper towel (or thin kitchen towel like a flour sack or cheesecloth), and squeeze moderately to remain moderate moisture. (not soaking wet, but not too dry.)
- Place the wrapper on your palm.
- Place about 1 tbsp of filling on the wrapper. Putting a small amount of the filling is better to avoid the risk of tearing the wrapper.
- Wet your finger with the bowl of water and run it around the edge of the wrapper.
- Fold the wrapper over and make three pleats on the left side. Start making a pleat from the center. Use your left thumb and left index finger, make a pleat toward the right direction on the center and hold (and seal) the pleat with your right thumb.Then, repeat making two more pleats on the left side. Pinch the edge of the wrapper to be sure for sealing well. *Push the stuffing in with your index finger if the stuffing gets squashed out from the wrapping.
- Repeat making pleats on the right side.
- I always hold the top of GYOZA gently, and press gently to make the bottom flat. (you don't need any force to press it.)
- Place the GYOZA on the baking pan. Cover it with the wet paper towel to prevent the gyoza from drying.
- Repeat wrapping the remaining Gyoza. Be sure to cover the wrapped Gyoza with a wet towel. Arrange them not to touch each other.
- Cover over the baking pan filled with wrapped gyoza with plastic and store it in the refrigerator until cooking.
- ! Cook the wrapped gyoza within 2-3 hours (no longer than 1 day) since the bottom of the Gyoza is soaking moisture from the stuffing. If you don't cook the Gyoza right away, it is better to freeze them rather than store them in the fridge.
Roast Pork Leftovers Gyoza Filling
By the way, this is my using-up leftovers idea-roast pork leftovers Gyoza filling.
Simply, chop up roast pork as small as possible.
Add chopped scallion, minced onions, and minced carrots (which were also leftovers).
Season them using the same ingredients for the gyoza filling recipe.