Vegan Sesame Jackfruit Gyoza Roses

I had some strange foodie experiences in Japan, but one that stood out for me was the taste of my first ever gyoza. We went to this small and cheap yet renowned restaurant in Tokyo, called Harajuku Gyozaro or Gyoza Lou. It was hot, sweaty, you typically have to wait at least 20 minutes to get in, and there are just two gyoza options on the menu: pan-fried or steamed. With that description the whole experience seems a tad uninspiring, but let me tell you, as far as food-tasting goes, this is one of the fondest memories I have. We were seated around the open kitchen, and after a few minutes spent guzzling water and watching the chefs at work, we were presented with small plates of uniform dumplings. That first bite. Crispy dumpling wrapper, juicy, steaming hot filling. Wow. Where had these little parcels of joy been all my life?!

When I got home I researched how to make gyoza and couldn’t believe how cheap and easy it was. Buying wonton wrappers saves a lot of time, but it is also fun to make your own dumpling wrappers too, and for that you just need flour and water.

The process of making these gyoza roses is for me, like therapy. Dumpling therapy.  Spoon filling onto dumpling wrapper, fold, smooth down, repeat. There is something inherently relaxing in this repetitive process. And I am yet to meet a dumpling that hasn’t made me happy. And, how beautiful are these roses? Move over avocado rose, it’s gyoza’s time to shine now.

gyoza roses 4

Credit for these ‘roses’ must go to Tasty Japan. You can see the video recipe for their pork and shrimp gyoza roses here. However, mine are vegan and made with jackfruit.
Jackfruit is the base for these dumplings; the seasonings then bring everything together and add some real flavour. I am fairly generous with the extras, like garlic, ginger, spring onions, because I love them and because jackfruit is pretty damn plain.
The great thing about dumplings is you can’t mess up the ingredients too easily either. Recipes, for me, are more fun when I add random bits in instead of following a strict set of rules (perhaps why I haven’t baked anything in a while). So, I’ve included a list of ingredients in amounts which I think taste amazing, but your taste buds might be different. Usually, the minced meat in gyoza is raw and then steam cooked, but the brilliant thing about vegan gyoza is you can taste test your mixture before you start.
gyoza roses
INGREDIENTS:
Makes around 9 gyoza roses, which is 36 small dumplings in total
1 can jackfruit (young green jackfruit in brine)
thumb of ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 spring onions, minced
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
Splash mirin/rice wine vinegar
Toasted sesame seeds to garnish
1 package circular wonton wrappers (you will end up using around 2/3)
DIPPING SAUCE:
1 tbsp soy sauce (Dipping sauce is a must. I used simple chilli infused soy sauce but you can play around with your sauces)
METHOD:
  1. Rinse your jackfruit, cut into strips lengthwise and soak in cold water. The soaking is optional but I know some people find the jackfruit too salty since it’s been in brine
  2. Boil the jackfruit for around 10 minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. You want the non-fleshy, hard part of the jackfruit pieces to be soft so you can shred it and don’t waste loads of the fruit. If it isn’t that soft after 10 minutes either go a little longer or shred it, and if some bits are too hard then you can chuck them away, that’s okay too. Don’t obliterate the jackfruit to boiled mush because you’ll be steaming it later
  3. Shred the jackfruit using two forks or a potato masher and transfer to a bowl
  4. Chop the garlic, ginger, spring onions and add these, together with the soy sauce, sesame oil, and mirin to the bowl. Because these are vegan jackfruit you can taste your mixture at this point to see if all your ingredients are getting along.
  5. Arrange four wonton wrappers next to each other. Dip your finger into a glass of water and wet the right hand side of each wrapper.  Then, overlap the left hand side of the wrapper over the bit of the previous wrapper you have just made wet (See below cause trying to explain this is hurting my head)
  6. Spoon 1 tsp of your mixture on to the centre of each wrapper, then wet all around the edges of the wrappers. Starting at one end, fold two of the wrappers over to make two half moon shapes, smoothing down as you go so there are no gaps where filling could escape. Repeat this with the other two wrappers so you have a line of half moon dumplings all joined up
  7. Then, simply roll the dumpling up from left to right. When you get to the end seal the last corner of that dumpling to the rest of the rose with a drop of water
  8. Repeat this process and you should have around 9 gyoza roses! Yay!
  9. At this point you need to really eat them straight away or freeze them. They are the perfect freezer food, cooking straight from frozen in around 5 minutes. I froze mine because I made them at 1AM and wanted to take photos of them in natural lighting to show you all. Guilty
  10. Heat up coconut oil/sesame oil/vegetable oil in a pan and add the gyoza. When the bottoms are a little crispy, add 150ml cold water, and then steam with the lid on. Keep your eye on them but mine were cooked after 5 minutes (make sure they’re heated up in the middle!)
  11. Transfer to plates or a platter, sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds then enjoy the look on your loved ones face because you just made them the cutest, and most delicious, dinner ever.

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gyoza roses 9

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gyoza roses 10

gyoza roses 3

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