Updated: Jan 22
With Halloween just around the corner, here's a pumpkin recipe that you can prepare in advance and serve on the day at your Halloween party. Now, you might be thinking - aren't gyoza savoury? Mango dip...really? Don't you gyoza serve with a mix of soy sauce and a little vinegar? And you would be right....or, you'd me right most of the time. But I invite you to think a little bit laterally and think about what a gyoza is exactly. Basically, it's a filling in a wrapper, isn't it? So, if you change the filling to something a little sweeter...? I think you can see where I'm going with this. A gyoza doesn't have to be savoury and I hope you will agree that this recipe proves my point.
First things first. You'll need to buy some gyoza wrappers. You'll find these in the freezer section of most Asian stores. If you don't have one. near you, then you'll easily be able to find your gyoza wrappers on line. I usually buy a couple of packs of 50, use a quarter or a third and pop the rest into the freezer for another time.
So, what's going on inside a pumpkin gyoza? Instead of the more traditional Chinese pork/ garlic / spring onion filling, the main element of the filling here is some butternut pumpkin / squash. This needs some prep - peeling, chopping and then a few minutes in the microwave. (if you don't have access to a microwave, you can boil or steam the pumpkin but the microwave method is best, I find, as it stops the pumpkin becoming too moist. Either way, you want to cook the pumpkin until it's softened but still a little firm.) Along with that, there's a little fried onion, seasoned with salt & pepper, along with a finely chopped spring onion and a few ounces of cheddar cheese. I add the cheese to give the gyoza a little more richness and flavour but they work pretty well without the cheese if you want to make a lighter, vegan version. (Yes, these gyoza make a great vegan or vegetarian option.)
Once I've prepared the filling, a heaped teaspoon goes into each gyoza wrapper. (The recipe amounts you can see below are enough to make +/- 20 gyoza.) If you follow the Youtube tutorial (link below), you'll notice that I simply fold the gyoza wrapper rather than making the pretty little pleats that you would normally expect. You could be forgiven for thinking that I am just being lazy but in fact, folding the wrapper together without pleats does two things:
One, you can get a nice tight seal which you need as you want to stop any moisture from the pumpkin oozing out during cooking.
Two, you get a nice flat gyoza which makes it easy to fry these instead of steaming. That way you get a nice soft, moist filling contrasting with a crunchy fried and browned gyoza skin.
The mango dip could not be easier to prepare. Cut half a large mango into chunks. Add a teaspoon of honey and a tablespoon each of lemon juice and water. Blend everything together and it's done.
As I said above, I pan fry these gyoza without any steaming. I turn them and fry about 2 minutes on each side until they are a nice, toasty brown. Serve on a large plate with the mango dip and you've got a really tasty, "Hey, I've never thought of that!" finger food + dip dish for your Halloween party. (And every party after that too!)
Is this the sort of thing that gets your taste buds going? If it is, you can find the Youtube tutorial by clicking Pumpkin Gyoza with Mango dip. Or, if text is more your thing, you can find the recipe just below.
Happy cooking! Kurumi XXXX.
(enough for 20 pumpkin gyoza)
160g / 5.5 oz peeled & seeded butternut pumpkin / squash or Japanese kabocha
40g / 1.4 oz onion
1 spring onion
35g / 1.25 oz cheddar cheese
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
salt & pepper
1 tbsp plain flour
20 gyoza wrappers
a small bowl of water
2-3 tbsp vegetable oil for frying
for the mango dip:
150g peeled fresh mango
1 tsp honey
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp water
roughly chop the butternut pumpkin. put the chunks in a bowl and microwave at 600W for 5 mins, then set aside
finely chop the onion
halve & slice the spring onion finely
chop the cheese into small pieces so it is easily mixed
heat 1/2 tbsp of the vegetable oil in a frying pan. fry the chopped onion for about 2 minutes and season with salt & pepper, before setting aside
put the cooked pumpkin into a large bowl. mash well and then add the fried onion, cheese, spring onion & sugar. mix everything together well
sprinkle 1 tbsp of plain flour onto a large plate. pour a little water into a finger bowl
now, take a gyoza wrapper in the palm of your hand. place 1 heaped teaspoon of pumpkin filling in the middle of the wrapper. wet your index finger and dampen the edge of the wrapper with a little water. then, fold the wrapper to make your first gyoza. take care at this point to press any air out of the wrapper when you seal the edges. set the finished gyoza onto the floured plate
repeat the above until you have used up all the filling
to make the mango dip, put the mango chunks , honey, lemon juice and water into a blender and blend to create your dip. spoon into a serving bowl and set aside
to fry your gyoza, heat 2 tbsp of vegetable oil in a frying pan. fry the gyoza about 2 mins on each side. you will need to turn two or three times until the gyoza are lightly browned
if you find the pan becomes dry, add another tablespoon of vegetable oil. once you have fried all your gyoza, simply serve on a plate with the mango dip