Rid your mind of the bland and rubbery wrappers that often encase gyoza—Japanese pork dumplings that are fried rather than steamed. In the hands of Gabe Rosen, Chef-owner of Biwa in Portland, Oregon, gyoza become delicate and complex.
Rosen features the dumplings on his izakaya menu, inspired by the tapas-style restaurants Rosen enjoyed as a student in Japan. When he returned to the United States to open Biwa, he recreated the traditional restaurant with a Portlandia slant. Rosen offers a wide variety of savory delicacies—including kimchi and other Korean dishes—but nothing sells as fast as gyoza.
Every morning cook Gustavo Garcia prepares sheets upon sheets of dough for the evening’s gyoza. Using an Italian pasta maker (and remarkable skill) he produces paper thin wrappers—thinness is key. When expertly pan-fried by Rosen before service, the wrappers achieve a crispy texture and light golden brown hue. The richness of the pork filling plays off the wrapper's satisfying crunch, and begs a dip in a pool of Sesame Oil-Soy-Rice Vinegar Dipping Sauce.
Step 1: Combine flour and salt in a large bowl.
Step 2: Add water into a well in the center of the flour, and mix to combine. Knead the dough for 5 minutes. Form the dough into a ball, cover in plastic wrap, and let it rest on the counter for 1 to 2 hours.
Step 3: Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough, lightly dust flour on the dough, and run it through a pasta machine.
Step 4: Flour the dough and repeat approximately 10 times, slightly decreasing the dial setting for thinner sheets each time.
Step 5: When the gage is set between 0-1, the dough should be approximately 1 millimeter thick, 20 feet long, ready to be cut.
Step 6: Carefully fold the sheet of dough, sprinkling flour between each fold to prevent the layers from sticking.
Step 7: Using a circular cutter, cut circles into the dough in two rows.
Step 8: Carefully remove the circle cut-outs from the sheet of dough.
Step 9: Put the circles in one layer on a sheet tray covered with plastic wrap. When the plastic is covered with circles, wrap the sheet tray with another layer of plastic wrap. Continue to lay the circles on the plastic and wrap each layer until all the dough is used. The dough can remain in the walk-in for up to two days. On the third day it will begin to discolor.
Step 10: To make the gyoza, top each circle with pork filling, fold, crimp to seal, boil, and lightly fry.