Gyoza (pronounced go-ZAH) is a Japanese dish that originated from China over 1,000 years ago.
These crispy fried pockets of meat or vegetables are usually made with pork but can be made with other meats like chicken, beef, and seafood.
The best thing about gyoza is its versatility—you can add all sorts of ingredients into them including veggies, eggs, and even cheese.
It’s also one of those dishes where you can really get creative with it by adding different toppings and sauces.
So when I thought about trying my hand at this classic Asian food, I knew exactly what I wanted to put in mine: Gyoza Sauce!
What’s In Gyoza Sauce?
This tasty gyoza sauce has many different components which makes it so versatile.
You may have heard people say that “everything tastes better with ketchup”, but that couldn’t be more wrong than the case here.
When making this gyoza sauce, there are several things we need to keep in mind:
- Soy sauce – Soy sauce adds depth to any dish, especially Asian ones. The acidity in soy sauce helps bring out the flavor of whatever you’re frying up.
- Worcestershire sauce – Worcestershire sauce gives off an earthy taste that pairs well with everything from sweet foods to spicy ones. And since it contains vinegar as well, it balances out the sweetness pretty nicely.
- Mirin – Mirin is another ingredient that brings out the flavors of anything you’re cooking. In addition to being great on its own, it’s excellent in dips, marinades, and even desserts.
- Sake – Sake goes perfectly with just about any type of meal. There are some drinks that contain sake already, such as beer and wine, so if you don’t want to buy a bottle of sake separately, then you can always use that instead.
- Tare – Tare is basically salt added to the pan before putting something in it. It enhances the overall flavor of whatever you’re cooking. If you notice, most of these ingredients have an acidic component, except tare and mirin. That’s because they aren’t acidic per se, but their purpose is still similar to how acids work.
So now that we know what each ingredient does, let’s start cooking!
How Do You Make Gyoza Sauce?
This recipe uses fresh garlic which adds an incredible flavor to both the meat and the sauce itself.
Garlic has been used as seasoning since ancient times, so there’s nothing new here besides using good quality, high grade ingredients.
To me, this means getting organic garlic because it tastes better than regular stuff.
If you don’t have access to organic garlic, feel free to use whatever kind you can find.
You will want to chop up some onion as well.
Onion goes great with everything, especially garlic.
A little bit of sweetness balances out the strong flavors of these two ingredients.
You could try substituting the onion with shallots instead but they tend to be harder to dice down without making big chunks.
The key is to keep things small and consistent so that the texture remains intact.
As for the rest of the spices, try to stay away from anything too spicy because you won’t need much spice to complement the garlic already present in the mix.
Just enough to let the flavor shine through.
There’s not much else to say about the spices, as long as you stick with a mild variety.
Sesame seeds give the sauce just the right amount of crunch while providing a nice nutty taste.
They also help thicken the mixture a bit if necessary.
Finally, soy sauce.
Soy sauce is essential to any type of Oriental cuisine, especially Chinese ones.
The saltiness and umami flavor it provides makes it an excellent addition to almost any noodle dish.
In fact, most people who eat rice regularly will always include soy sauce in their diet.
For this reason alone, I would highly recommend giving it a shot.
To finish off the sauce, I added some sherry vinegar and sugar to balance out the tangy flavor of the soy sauce.
As mentioned above, you can substitute this ingredient with apple cider vinegar if you prefer.
However, I think the combination of the two works well together.
If you enjoy eating gyoza, then you should definitely try to make your own version of the iconic Asian snack.
Not only does it cut down on waste, but it also allows you to control how many calories you consume per serving.
Plus, you know exactly what went into it.
What’s The Best Gyoza Sauce Recipe?
If you want to try making gyoza, you have two options: either buy some already cooked ones from a grocery store or cook up your own homemade version using these basic steps.
- Step 1 – Wash and cut your cabbage leaves into strips.
- Step 2 – Put cabbage into boiling water until it softens slightly. Then drain off excess water.
- Step 3 – Mix together soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and sugar. Add salt if needed.
- Step 4 – Combine flour with cornstarch to create a smooth paste.
- Step 5 – Take out a handful of mixture and roll each piece of cabbage leaf into a ball.
- Step 6 – Press down on the center of the wrapper. Fill the wrapper with filling and then fold the sides inward to form a pouch shape.
- Step 7 – Put cooked filling on top of the top part of the wrapper.
- Step 8 – Roll the wrapper tightly around the filling. The seam should face downward.
- Step 9 – Heat a frying pan or wok on high heat. When hot place the wrapper in the pan and let it sit for 30 seconds before turning it over.
- Step 10 – Cook both side of the wrapper for 2 minutes, remove from pan and set aside.
- Step 11 – Repeat step 9 until all wrappers are done cooking.
- Step 12 – Serve immediately with gyoza sauce.
How Do You Store Gyoza Sauce?
Because of the oil used in making gyoza, they will not keep well after frying.
Instead of storing them in an airtight container, I recommend putting them in a resealable plastic bag so they don’t dry out and lose their crispiness.
You can then transfer them straight into the fridge right away.
If you want to keep them longer, just reheat them until warm before serving.
If you decide to freeze them instead, place each piece on a paper towel lined plate.
Once frozen, place these pieces back inside a large zip lock bag.
Then seal the bag tightly and pop it in the freezer.
The freezing process helps prevent moisture loss which keeps the gyoza more crunchy as they thaw later.
To use them up faster, simply defrost them in the refrigerator overnight, or microwave them for 10 seconds to make sure they are heated through.
How Long Does Gyoza Sauce Last?
It depends on how much you make, but homemade gyoza sauce will keep for up to five days if stored properly in the refrigerator.
Once opened, however, it should only be used within two weeks because once exposed to air, the flavor begins to deteriorate quickly.
I recommend making enough so you have some left over after opening at least three times.
You can freeze extra portions as well which will ensure there’ll always be some around to dip into whenever you crave gyoza.
How Do You Thicken Gyoza Sauce?
Thickening a liquid is an essential step in making any type of soup, stew, gravy, or sauce.
Whether the main ingredient is something like tofu, seitan, or tempeh, thickening it up will help it blend better with the rest of the ingredients.
You want to make sure everything sticks together so there aren’t any chunks of tofu floating around in your bowl of hot, creamy goodness.
In fact, if anything doesn’t stick well enough to the broth, you’ll end up having a lot of lumps in your finished product.
For gyoza, the key to creating the right consistency is using cornstarch.
Cornstarch is a great starch because it’s readily available in most grocery stores as well as online.
It’s inexpensive as well and works very well for thickening liquids.
In addition to being able to use cornstarch, another option would be arrowroot flour.
Arrowroot is gluten free and has a high protein content which makes it useful for thickening soups, stews, gravies, and sauces.
The downside is that arrowroot flour isn’t widely available and requires some preparation before cooking.
Another way you could choose to thicken your sauce is by using tapioca flour.
Tapioca flour is made from dried cassava root and has been used in Asia for many centuries.
Like cornstarch, tapioca flour is versatile and comes in several varieties.
Some brands have added flavors such as vanilla and almond extract while others contain more natural flavorings like rosemary or sage.
If you’re looking to create a thicker sauce that won’t taste too artificial, then tapioca flour may work well for you.
How Do You Thin Gyoza Sauce?
Thinning out the sauce will help make sure there aren’t any clumps of fat floating around.
And since we want our sauce to have as little grease as possible, a good way to avoid fat buildup is to reduce the amount of oil used while cooking.
- Step One: Heat up some oil in a pan on medium heat.
- Step Two: Add garlic to the hot oil and let it sizzle until fragrant.
- Step Three: Turn off the burner and allow the garlic to cool down completely before putting it into the blender.
- Step Four: Once cooled, blend the garlic into the remaining liquid in the pan. The goal here is to create an emulsion so don’t worry if the mixture turns brown a bit. If it does, just keep blending until smooth.
- Step Five: Pour the blended mixture back into the same pot and turn on the stove again. Let the mixture come to a simmer, then remove it from the heat and set aside to cool.
- Step Six: When the liquid has cooled enough, pour it through a mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth. You can either strain the sauce right away or transfer it to another container to refrigerate.
What Can You Use Gyoza Sauce For?
There are so many things you can use this versatile sauce on.
You could dip them in the sauce to make a tasty appetizer, use it as an ingredient to create a new flavor profile, or just pour some onto rice to eat like traditional Japanese comfort food.
- Dip them in the sauce to make a tasty appetizer
- Use it as an ingredient to create a new flavor profile
- Just pour some onto rice to eat like traditional Japanese comfort food
I chose dipping because it was easiest for me to prepare.
If you want something more involved than just dipping, then using a flavored oil would be ideal.
To make flavored oils, you simply take vegetable oil (like olive oil), place it in a pan until hot, throw in whatever herbs/spices you desire, and let simmer until reduced by half.
Then strain out the oil and save it in a jar for later!
If you don’t have any flavored oil lying around, however, there are several ways to make gyoza dipping sauce without having to buy anything extra.
For instance, you could mix together soy sauce, mirin (sweet sake), sugar, and sesame seeds in a small bowl until smooth.
Alternatively, if you don’t mind getting messy, you could combine water, salt, garlic powder, ginger powder, and onion powder in a blender until smooth.
What’s A Good Substitute For Gyoza Sauce?
Gyoza sauce is the main ingredient in most recipes because it adds flavor and texture to these little beauties.
However, if you don’t have any on hand, there are many substitutes you could try instead. Here are some great options:
- Soy sauce – soy sauce has a similar consistency as gyoza sauce so it would work well.
- Sweet chili sauce – another option is sweet chili sauce which will give your gyoza an extra kick. You should make sure to adjust the amount depending on how spicy you want your gyoza sauce to be.
- Hoisin sauce – hoisin sauce is thicker than gyoza sauce so it may not provide enough moisture. If you choose to use this, just cook down the hoisin to create more liquid before using it.
- Miso paste – miso paste is salty and thick so it might be too strong for the delicate nature of gyoza. But if you really want to try it out, keep in mind that you need to reduce the amount of water in your miso paste.
- Rice wine vinegar – rice wine vinegar is sour, tangy, and very flavorful. The acidity in this kind of vinegar is perfect for balancing out the sweetness of the rest of the dish.
- Ponzu sauce – ponzu sauce is citrus based, thin, and has a lot of saltiness. Ponzu sauce works well with seafood and fish since they tend to taste bland without something acidic to help balance things out.
- Dashi – dashi is a traditional Japanese broth used for cooking. Dashi is a mixture of kelp, dried bonito flakes, katsuobushi, and much more. This type of broth gives your gyoza a savory depth of flavor that is hard to beat.
There are tons of ways to prepare gyoza, but here’s a quick list of some popular ones:
- Pan frying – pan fryers have been around forever, and while it takes longer, it makes for perfectly cooked gyoza every time. Just season each side of the gyoza lightly with salt, pepper, and vegetable oil then place them directly onto the hot surface until golden brown. Flip after 2 minutes and repeat on the opposite sides.
- Deep frying – deep fryers are incredibly convenient, especially if you live somewhere with high gas prices. Pour some oil into a pot and heat up over medium heat, then drop the frozen gyoza pieces from the freezer into the oil and let them soak for 10 seconds. Remove them with tongs and drain them on paper towels. Repeat this process until you’ve finished frying your batch.
- Steaming – steaming is probably the easiest way to cook gyoza. Place a bamboo basket inside a large pot filled with water and bring it to a boil. Add the frozen gyoza to the basket and cover it tightly with aluminum foil. Let it steam for 5 minutes before removing it and draining it on paper towels. Season the gyoza with salt and enjoy!
- Baking – baking is yet another method that doesn’t require special equipment. Simply toss some flour, cornstarch, and potato starch together in a bowl, then dip each piece of gyoza into the mix. Make sure to coat both sides completely. Heat up a skillet over medium heat and pour some vegetable oil into it. When the oil starts to shimmer, place the coated gyoza in the pan and bake them for 3 minutes per side. Serve warm!
What Are Some Tips For Making Gyoza Sauce?
When you make gyoza, the key is frying up the dough before filling it.
If you don’t do this properly then the inside will end up soggy and gross.
The trick is to lightly dust both sides of each piece of dough with flour so they fry evenly without sticking together.
You should have enough flour left on the surface to coat your hands as well.
Next, heat oil in a deep pan until hot, then drop in a few pieces of dough.
Cook for 3 minutes on each side, flipping once halfway through cooking time.
Remove the cooked gyoza from the pan using tongs and place on paper towels to absorb excess grease.
After removing from the pan, cut open the top part of the pocket and fill it with any type of stuffing.
Then fold over the edges and seal shut with wet fingers to form an airtight pouch.
Repeat these steps until you’ve filled every last pocket.
Next, pour gyoza sauce onto a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit for 5 minutes.
Once the sauce has cooled down a bit, carefully remove the plastic wrap and dip the gyoza pockets into the sauce.
Then use chopsticks to gently lift out the bottom half of the pocket and enjoy!
- 1 Bowl
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp chilli flakes to taste
- sugar to taste
- Combine the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, and chili flakes in a small dipping bowl.
- Add any optional extras, mix well, and serve with hot gyoza.