Gyoza, Japanese Potstickers

Gyoza, Japanese Potstickers

Gyoza, or Japanese potstickers, are very similar to Chinese fried dumplings (jiaozi).  The only difference is that they tend to be more delicately seasoned and the wrappers are generally almost transparent.

Visiting New York City’s immense Chinatown recently was an incredible treat and I can’t wait to share some of my discoveries with you.  In fact, I enjoyed the food so much that I came home craving more and yearning to eat Japanese gyoza.

Gyoza, Japanese Potstickers |
Gyoza are both delicious and easy to prepare. They’re great for involving kids, as they enjoy wrapping and eating them!

As a child, I used to look forward to Friday, because my Japanese Auntie (whom I fondly called Second Mother) always prepared gyoza.  So, as soon as I got off the school bus, I would run to my Auntie’s house.  We children would gather around the large kitchen table and enthusiastically wrap dumplings for an hour or two, looking forward to the evening’s feast.

Needless to say, I missed these Friday feasts when I grew up and moved away.  Thus, I had to ask my Auntie for her recipe and begin making them at home.  Though I haven’t continued my Auntie’s Friday tradition, my family enjoys the very same gyoza I grew up with.

Before writing up this recipe, I did a bit of research on the internet about gyoza.  I was surprised to discover that a lot of Japanese cooks use additional ingredients my Auntie didn’t include in her recipe.  These items include:  soy sauce, ginger, and garlic.

Unfortunately, my Auntie has passed away.  So, I couldn’t ask her for an opinion about these other ingredients.  However, I have opted to leave her recipe as is because:

  • I find the addition of soy sauce completely unnecessary.  The dumpling sauce is salty enough to season the dumplings on its own.
  • Ginger and garlic would certainly taste nice.  Nonetheless, I have never missed them in the past.
Gyoza, Japanese Potstickers |
These Japanese Potstickers are both delicious and easy to make!

Tips & Tricks

Gyoza are very quick and easy to prepare.  However, there are a few minor and easily avoided pitfalls to consider before you embark on preparing them.

Sticking Together

The gyoza skins tend to get stickier as they get warmer.  So, to avoid having all your potstickers stuck together in a big lump, I suggest you take the following precautions:

  • Wrappers:  Thaw the wrappers in the fridge, rather than on the counter.  Only remove them from the fridge at the last minute prior to wrapping your dumplings.  Colder wrappers are less sticky.
  • Wax Paper:  I like to line the plate I use for the prepared dumplings with wax paper to avoid having the dumplings stuck to the plate.  Avoid stacking.  However, if you must stack your prepared dumplings, put a layer of wax paper between each stack.
  • Space:  Leave space between your dumplings, both on the plate and in the skillet.  Do not allow the dumplings to touch.
  • Relax:  Learning is all about trial and error.  If you have a couple of dumplings that stick together, don’t worry.  They will still taste delicious!
Gyoza, Japanese Potstickers |
Whatever you do, do not get tempted to overfill. A little filling goes a long way.


As with other Asian recipes, the cooking goes very quickly.  Thus it is essential to prep everything — including the sauce — before you start cooking.

In addition, it is critical that you chop both the Napa cabbage and the spring onions very finely.  My Auntie recommended doing this in a food processor, fitted with a chopping blade.  Personally, I prefer doing it by hand.  Either way, it is essential that the ingredients be finely chopped.  If not, the vegetables will not be well cooked when the gyoza are otherwise ready.


As you wrap your dumplings, be careful not to overfill them.  Overfilling results in dumplings that burst and create a mess in your pan.  A couple of teaspoons of filling per wrapper is more than adequate.


Gyoza, Japanese Potstickers

Gyoza, Japanese Potstickers |
Jeanette Marie
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Prep Time:  30 minutes - Cook Time:  30 minutes Servings:  8

These delicious pork dumplings are quick and easy to make -- particularly if you enlist the younger set to wrap the gyoza for you as my Auntie always did. A real crowd pleaser!

  • 450 g (1 lb) pork mince
  • 1 bunch green onions (approximately 6), finely chopped
  • 1/4 Napa cabbage, finely chopped (about 4 c)
  • 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 package round dumpling wrappers (about 40)
  • oil (for cooking)
  • water (for cooking and wrapping)
    For the Sauce!
  • 1/4 c light soy sauce
  • 1/4 c rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons chili oil (optional)

  1. Combine pork, spring onions, cabbage and sesame oil in a medium bowl. Using your fingers, knead the mixture to thoroughly combine all of the ingredients.
  2. Place one dumpling wrapper at a time in your dominant hand.
  3. Place approximately 2 teaspoons of filling just over the center line.
  4. IMG_0048
  5. Take a chopstick dipped in cold water and use it to moisten the edge of half the wrapper. Fold it over. Pleat each dumpling towards the center three times per side, pressing as you go to seal. (Pleating is optional. Sealing is essential.)
  6. IMG_0049
  7. Repeat until you have used all of the dumpling wrappers. Should you have extra filling, it can be frozen and saved.
  8. Heat a 12 inch non-stick skillet over medium high heat for approximately 3 minutes. Add a teaspoon of oil to the pan. Arrange dumplings in the pan in such a way as to avoid any contact between the dumplings. Allow to cook for several minutes, or until bottoms are browned.
  9. Add 1/4 cup water to the pan and cover with a lid. When the water and steam have evaporated and you hear crackling, remove the lid and drizzle a small amount of oil around the dumplings.
  10. Serve immediately with dumpling sauce.

Both toasted sesame oil and dumpling wrappers are available at Asian markets.

Dumplings may be made ahead and frozen. However, they must be frozen on a sheet prior to being put together in plastic bags. Otherwise, they stick together.

Nutrition label for Gyoza, Japanese Potstickers

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