I always get really excited when I see veggie gyoza (or vegetarian-friendly egg rolls, dumplings, etc.) on a menu. More often than not, gyoza is made with ground meats. I see it most often made with sausage. Being a mostly vegetarian, this means I don't usually get to partake. So if I see a veggie gyoza on the menu, I will almost always order it.
One solution to this: make my own. This is easy enough to do, especially if you use store bought wonton wrappers. But, since I've been on a bit of a whole wheat kick lately, I wanted to see if I could substitute some of the flour for a whole wheat variety. Good news—you totally can!
I'm not a gyoza wrapper expert, so I used this awesome tutorial and tried substituting a few different amounts to see what worked best. So, what did work best? Swapping out 1/4 of the all purpose flour for whole wheat pastry flour. What is whole wheat pastry flour? It's flour that has been milled from soft white wheat, making it a bit more delicate (read: a little less grainy) than whole wheat flour, but you still get all the good stuff that you can expect from flour that is milled with the bran, germ and endosperm intact. Google it if you want to know more specifics. I am new to using whole wheat pastry flour, but I'm impressed so far!
Note: Probably pretty obvious from the paragraph above, but these are not 100% whole wheat as I've only substituted some of the flour for whole wheat. My goal was to add some more nutrition without altering the texture much—it's does a little of course. Just an FYI.
For the wrappers:
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 oz. hot water (almost boiling)
For the filling:
7 oz. veggie sausage (I used a brand called LightLife, but you can use any brand you like or can find.)
2 tablespoons chopped green onion
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
cabbage leaves for steaming
Combine all the filling ingredients (except the cabbage leaves, those are for steaming later) in a small bowl, and stir or use your clean hands to combine the ingredients. This filling recipe is SUPER simple and, with good veggie sausage, likely to be able to trick any meat-eater into thinking these are sausage dumplings. Not that you should trick your friends…I'm just saying. 🙂 Set this aside until your wrappers are ready.
Combine the flours and salt in a bowl and stir to combine. Use your spoon to create a well (or crater as I like to think of it) in the center. Pour the hot water in the center and stir until a loose dough ball forms. On a floured surface knead the dough 5-8 times until it comes together well and becomes a little bit elastic feeling.
Divide the dough into four pieces. Roll out each piece into a long cylinder and cut into 8 pieces. You can keep all these little pieces in a bowl covered with a wet paper towel as you work so they don't dry out.
Roll out the little pieces into a very thin disk. Add your filling. As you can see, I go somewhat light on my filling. If you like your gyoza filled more, go for it, but you may need to make more filling than the measurements I've provided above will make.
Use a bit of water (dip your finger in a small bowl of water and run along the edge of the wrapper) and fold up your gyoza. I think my gyoza pinching/forming skills could use a little more work, don't you think? Guess I'll just need to make more batches for the practice. Then I guess I'll have to eat them. Darn.
As you can see, these take a bit of work. This isn't a quick, weeknight meal. But you can freeze these—I froze about half, and they were pretty much just as good as the fresh batch. To freeze, simply place the prepared gyoza (uncooked) in a plastic bag, remove excess air and seal, and then freeze. Let these thaw out in the refrigerator the day you want to make them, and then cook that night. So although they are a bit of work, you can make a bunch at once, freeze, and then enjoy them as you like later.
I like to steam these in a steamer basket with cabbage leaves underneath so they don't stick. Steam over boiling water for 15-18 minutes. Serve with a simple dipping sauce made of soy sauce, sesame oil and green onions. xo. Emma
Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.