10 April 2008
A Dumpling By Any Other Name
Last time I was at Trader Joe's my eye happened upon a bag of frozen dumplings, labeled as Gyoza. I don't know if any of you have had this experience at TJ's but sometimes their frozen/prepared items look amazing and then you get them home and make them, they're less then impressive. Well, I love dumplings and hoped, rather than expected, that these would be good and tossed a bag of pork gyoza into my cart.
As I started writing this, I began to wonder what exactly the difference between dumplings and gyoza actually is (TJ's had both in the freezer case). With a few clicks of the mouse I have learned that gyoza is the Japanese version of the Chinese word for a type of dumpling, and that gyoza typically have a thinner wrapper and more garlicky filling than Chinese style dumplings (hmmm... I definitley like both- sometimes you're in the mood for a chewy, doughy dumpling and sometimes for a crispy, thin skinned one). Well, last night we needed a quick dinner and decided to give them a try.
In the five minutes it took to prepare the dumplings, I made a quick dipping sauce out of soy sauce, mustard, honey, a little squirt of Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce (otherwise known as cock sauce for the rooster on the label) and sprinkled some scallions on top for color. The dumplings were garlicky and quite tasty, though I think we overcooked them a bit, and the dipping sauce added some extra flavor and a bit of spice although next time I think I'll add some rice wine vinegar as the sauce could have been a bit thinner (and a little less soy sauce flavored).