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Food Gyōza 餃子

Gyōza (餃子) is the Japanese term for Chinese dumplings (jiaozi).

Gyoza is the Japanese version of jiaozi developed from recipes brought back by Japanese soldiers returning from the Japanese-backed puppet state of Manchukuo in northeastern China during World War II. The Japanese word gyōza derives from giǎoze, the Jilu Mandarin pronunciation of the standard Mandarin jiǎozi, and is often written using the same Chinese characters.

The prevalent differences between Japanese-style gyōza and Chinese-style jiaozi are the rich garlic flavour, which is less noticeable in the Chinese version, and that gyōza wrappers tend to be thinner because most Japanese restaurants use machine-made wrappers. In contrast, the rustic cuisine of poor Chinese immigrants shaped westerners' views that Chinese restaurant jiaozi uses thicker handmade wrappers. As jiaozi vary significantly across regions within China, these differences are not as evident in the country of origin. For example, visitors will easily find thin-skinned jiaozi at Shanghai restaurants and street food vendors in the Hangzhou region. Gyōza wrappers are identical to jiaozi wrappers in Chinese households using store-bought machine-made wrappers. Gyōza is usually served with soy-based tare sauce seasoned with rice vinegar and chilli oil (rāyu in Japanese, làyóu (辣油) in Mandarin Chinese). The most common recipe is a mixture of minced pork (sometimes chicken or beef), cabbage, Asian chives, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger, wrapped in thinly rolled dough skins. Gyoza share similarities with pierogi and spring rolls and are cooked in the same fashion as pierogi, either boiled or fried.

Gyōza and gyōza wrappers can be found in supermarkets and restaurants throughout Japan, frozen or ready-to-eat. Pan-fried gyōza are sold as a side dish in many ramen and Chinese restaurants. Both the wrappers and the prepared gyōza themselves are increasingly easy to find in Asian markets around the world.

The most popular preparation method is the pan-fried style called yaki-gyōza (焼き餃子), in which the dumpling is first fried on one flat side, creating a crispy skin. Then, water is added, and the pan is sealed with a lid until the upper part of the dumpling is steamed. This technique is what the Chinese call guotie or potstickers. Other popular methods include boiling sui-gyōza (水餃子) and deep frying age-gyōza (揚げ餃子). Store-bought frozen dumplings are often prepared at home by placing them in a pot of water, bringing them to a boil, and then transferring them to a pan with oil to fry the skin.

Kanji: 餃子
Kana: ぎょうざ, ギョーザ, ギョウザ, チャオズ
Romaji: gyōza

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