Chicken Gyoza Soup

Since moving to Japan, this has become my go-to soup for when I am feeling a little under the weather. It is chicken (as comfort soup for all sick people seems to be), warming and the dumplings add a twist on a familiar theme. Plus, these dumplings can be made ahead of time in bulk, frozen, and pulled out when one needs a quick and restorative meal.

Serves: Four (makes around 32 dumplings)
Cooking Time: Around 45 minutes – 1 hour


For the filling:
+ 140 g trimmed and finely chopped green cabbage
+ 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
+ 113 g shallots, trimmed and thinly sliced, plus two shallots trimmed on the angle to garnish the soup.
+ 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
+ 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
+ 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
+ 225 g chicken mince
+ 1 teaspoon sugar
+ 1 tablespoon katakuriko (potato starch), plus extra for dusting

For the soup:
+ 32 round gyoza skins, about 8.5-9 cm in diameter
+ 1 tablespoon katakuriko mixed with 3 tablespoons of warm water
+ 6 cups of torigara stock, or a light chicken stock
+ 4 napa (wombok) cabbage leaves, trimmed and sliced into bite-size pieces
+ pinch pepper
+ 1 teaspoon salt

For the miso dipping sauce:
+ 1/4 cup Sendai (red) miso
+ 1/4 cup torigara stock
+ 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
+ 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
+ 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
+ 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot, white parts only
+ 1 tablespoon sugar
+ 1/4 cup cooking sake
+ 1 tablespoon mirin
+ 1 teaspoon white vinegar


When chopping the ingredients for the filling, I highly recommend using a food processor if you have one on hand. To prepare the filling, add the chopped cabbage and 1 teaspoon of the salt to a large bowl and thoroughly mix together. Let the cabbage sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the dipping sauce. Whisk together the miso and torigara stock in a bowl. Set aside. Heat the sesame oil in a frypan over medium heat. Add the garlic, ginger and shallots and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the sugar, sake and mirin before bringing to a boil. Add the miso-torigara mixture and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the vinegar and stir to combine. Cook for 15 seconds more, then turn off the heat. Allow to come to room temperature before use. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge in a steriled container for up to a month.

Transfer the cabbage to a clean kitchen towel, and roll up the cloth before wringing the liquid out of the cabbage (as you would water out of a towel). Do this in batches if it is easier as it is essential not have a watery filling. Set the cabbage aside.

Add the cabbage, shallots, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, chicken mince, sugar, katakuriko, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to a large bowl. Use your hands to gently mix the ingredients together for around 3 minutes. Squeeze the mixture through your fingers, so it turns into a sticky filling that will hold together when you spoon it into a dumpling skin. 

To make the dumplings, prepare a tray by lightly dusting it with katakuriko. Place a gyoza skin in the palm of one hand with the floured side down. Dip a finger in the potato starch mixed with water and wet the entire edge of the skin. This water-starch mixture will serve as a glue to keep the dumpling closed when cooking. Add about 3/4 tablespoon of the filling to the centre of the skin. Fold the gyoza skin in half to make a semicircle and using your index finger and thumb pinch down along the edge, creating a seal. Repeat until you’ve used up all the filling.

To make the soup, add the torigara stock, wombok cabbage, pepper and salt to a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over a medium heat. Add all the gyoza to the saucepan with the soup and cook, mixing occasionally for about 3 minutes, until the gyoza are cooked through. Add the shallots you trimmed on the angle, mix into the liquid and turn off the heat. Serve immediately in a deep bowl, with a soup spoon and chopsticks. Dip the gyoza in the miso sauce to eat.

Original recipe sourced from Japanese Soul Cooking.

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