冷蔵庫の食材使い切りチャレンジ! Empty Fridge Challenge: Day 2

For today’s “empty fridge challenge”, I searched through my freezer and found a small bag of minced shrimp and celery that I had made as a filling for wonton dumplings quite a long time ago. Because there was only a very small amount of filling leftover after making the wontons, I never knew what to do with it . . . until today! 

I decided to make gyoza! I really enjoy making gyoza, but whenever I try to make a special kind of gyoza called “hanetsuki gyoza (gyoza with wings)”, I can never get the timing right to produce crispy wings with a nice toasty color on the bottom. Today’s challenge was great because I was able to practice hanetsuki gyoza AND use up all the leftover wonton filling in the freezer. 

The filling is simple, but very delicious! It includes minced shrimp, celery stalk, celery leaves, Japanese leek and ginger, along with potato starch, sesame seed oil, sake, salt and white pepper for flavor. I didn’t have very much filling, so I only put a little bit in each gyoza wrapper.

My husband showed me how to fold gyoza this way. At first, it was very difficult! Whenever my husband and I made gyoza together, it was easy to tell which gyoza I had made because mine were all misshapen and falling apart. I’ve had lots of practice since then!
私の夫がこの餃子の包み方を教えてくれました。最初はとっても難しかったです!夫と一緒に餃子を作った時に、私の餃子は形が悪くて、崩れそうだったので、私が作った餃子がどれなのかはすぐに分かりました。 その頃から、いっぱい練習してきました!

I really enjoy any kind of cooking that involves carefully wrapping meat or vegetables up into little packages! Gyoza and wonton are good examples, but cabbage rolls, spring rolls, or vegetables rolled up in thin-sliced pork are also fun to make. There is a lot of love that goes into making all those tiny parcels of food!

I only had enough filling to make six gyoza, even though I bought a package of ten gyoza wrappers. Which means I’ll have to make something for lunch tomorrow using the last four wrappers!

First, I fried the gyoza in a tablespoon of sesame seed oil until the bottoms turned golden.

Next, I added a mixture of one tablespoon of cake flour and 100 milliliters of water to the pan, put on the lid, turned down the heat, and steamed-fried the gyoza for 4 minutes.

Then I took off the lid, turned up the heat a bit, and continued frying until the excess water started to disappear. When the edges began looking crispy, I poured 1 teaspoon of sesame seed oil over the gyoza, and carefully moved my spatula around the edges to loosen the “wings” from the pan. 

All done! The wings came out a little thinner than I expected, but I was really happy with the nice golden color on the bottom of the gyoza. I still need more practice, but it’s getting better little by little! 

The dipping sauce is a simple mixture of rice vinegar and a LOT of white pepper, and the side dish is the pumpkin I had made the day before. Gyoza and pumpkin may seem like a strange combination, but in the spirit of the “empty fridge challenge”, I had to use up those leftovers! Tomorrow I’ll have to figure out what to do with four gyoza wrappers . . . (sigh).


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