Those ravioli left me with extra gow gee wrappers, and I felt a little uncomfortable with them lurking 'round the house. I love dumplings (love! dumplings!) but they're the kind of fiddly thing I'm not so good at making. I tried once, a couple of years ago, and they turned out a little weird. Ultimately, this week, the dumpling love and wastage hate won out and I gave Lucy's gorgeous gyoza recipe another shot. Michael pitched in with some stellar chopping, creating the delicately textured filling that I didn't quite manage last time.
And the folding? I mimicked Lucy's simple and pretty half-moon shapes with half the wrappers. Then I watched this youtube clip, took a deep breath, and tried pleating the rest. I fumbled through a couple, but was soon pleating quite quickly (if crookedly). I tried to hold off too much pride in my handiwork until they came out of their steaming phase - I remembered that this was when all went awry last time. This batch held their shape a lot better and a fine Saturday dinner in was had by all (we ate them with bok choy in 'oyster' sauce).
The dipping sauce is worth a mention too. The lime, tamari and sesame seeds were always going to be good, echoing the lime leaves, tamari and sesame oil in the filling, but this time we had a substitute for the optional fish sauce. Vincent Vegetarian Food in Footscray sell a brilliant chilli "fish" sauce! It's a pleasant-tasting (though less pungent) alternative that you might even be able to make yourself - the ingredients are water, soya beans, sugar, chilli, salt, vinegar and a couple of weird 3-digit codes (I suspect one of them's MSG).
If you're game for grappling with gyoza, I can highly recommend Lucy's recipe - next time (and I won't leave it so long next time!) I'll try make an extra batch to pop in the freezer.
(Lucy's kaffir lime leaf gyoza, doubled in quantity to double the gobbling)
4 kaffir lime leaves, spines removed and leaves finely sliced
2 small red chillis, seeds removed and finely chopped
4cm chunk ginger, peeled and grated
4 spring onions, chopped
2 tablespoons tamari
2 teaspoons sesame oil
150g Swiss brown mushrooms, finely diced
150g tofu, finely diced
24 gow gee wrappers
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup water
juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon tamari
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons vegetarian fish sauce (optional)
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
In a food processor, whiz together the lime leaves, chilli, ginger and spring onions. (It's worth finely dicing them in spite of this step 'cause those lime leaves are otherwise tough to chew on.) Add the tamari and sesame oil and pulse until just combined. Add the mushrooms and tofu and pulse briefly again. (I prefer to retain a little texture in the mixture - I think Lucy's is probably smoother still.)
Fill the wonton wrappers with teaspoons of filling, using a finger dabbed in water to seal them. Do this step however you like or know, using simple half-moons or fancy (but not too dificult!) pleats.
Heat the olive oil in a frypan and spread out the gyoza in a single layer (you may need two frypans or two batches to cook this quantity of gyoza). Fry the gyoza for a couple of minutes, until they're golden and crispy underneath. Pour the water into the frypan but stand back and be careful! The oil will spit. Cover the frypan(s) and steam the gyoza on low heat for 3 minutes. Remove the lid and allow any excess water to cook away.
Stir together the dipping sauce ingredients in a bowl, and serve it alongside the freshly cooked gyoza.