What is Gyoza?

Chris Kohatsu

Gyoza is an Asian dumpling, originating in China before becoming a staple in Japanese cuisine. In the United States, it is commonly sold as a "potsticker," or “potstickers.” Gyoza is made from a very thin dumpling skin, and is filled with meat and vegetables. A soy based dipping sauce typically accompanies it.

Garlic, which is used in making gyoza.
Garlic, which is used in making gyoza.

The process for making gyoza can be lengthy, and it is common for Japanese families to prepare them together. The filling is typically made from sliced cabbage, chopped green onions, and minced ginger and garlic. The cabbage is blanched in hot water and sliced into thin pieces. Once the cabbage has cooled, the remaining vegetables are added. Typically, ground pork is added to the filling, but newer versions include ground shrimp or chicken. Sesame oil and soy sauce add flavor to the filling.

Gyoza is an Asian dumpling served with a sauce.
Gyoza is an Asian dumpling served with a sauce.

Circular shaped gyoza skins, similar to wonton skins, are used to house the filling. The skins are made from flour and water, and can be purchased fresh or frozen. They are moistened with water and the filing is placed in the center of the circle. The skin is folded over to resemble a half moon or half circle. To seal the dumpling, tiny crimps or pinches from the fingers create folds and flaps. At this point, the gyoza is ready to be cooked or frozen for a later date.

Circular shaped gyoza skins are generally found in the frozen section of Asian grocery stores.
Circular shaped gyoza skins are generally found in the frozen section of Asian grocery stores.

Gyoza can be cooked by boiling, steaming, pan frying, or deep frying. The most preferred method is a combination of pan frying and steaming. A small amount of oil is used to toast the dumpling, which turns the skins a golden brown color. Unfortunately, the skin tends to stick to the side of pots and pans, earning it the name potsticker. Water is then added to the pan, a lid is used to cover the gyoza, and steam finishes the cooking process. To prepare a large amount of potstickers, cooks can use stackable Asian basket steamers, which fit nicely in a wok or other shallow pot.

Minced ginger is commonly used in gyoza filling.
Minced ginger is commonly used in gyoza filling.

Once the gyoza have finished cooking, it is best to serve them immediately. They are typically served with a dipping sauce, usually a mixture of soy sauce and vinegar. To spice up the dipping sauce, cooks can add chili oil or fresh ginger and garlic pieces.

For those who don’t want to go through the process of making gyoza, they are available in supermarkets and Asian grocery stores. Sold in bags by various manufacturers, they are generally found in the frozen section. Some even come with packets of dipping sauce. They can be eaten as an appetizer or a main course.

Gyoza are typically served with a sauce that's made from fermented soy.
Gyoza are typically served with a sauce that's made from fermented soy.

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Discussion Comments


What about pizza gyoza? Has anyone tried to make it? I hear it is a party on the tip of your tastebuds.


@OeKc05 – Wow, that sounds like a very filling meal! You probably didn't have room for it, but did you know that you can also have gyoza for dessert?

My niece fills her gyoza with a chocolate hazelnut spread and a slice of banana. Then, she fries them in vegetable oil and dusts them with confectioner's sugar. They are an amazing dessert.

She also makes some dessert gyoza using raw cookie dough instead of flour and water. This is a really simple recipe. She just folds the cookie dough over some vanilla ice cream and freezes the whole thing.

It's a Japanese ice cream sandwich! It is even better when dipped in chocolate sauce.


My friend doesn't eat meat, so she made some vegan gyoza for dinner one time. I love meat, so I was a bit skeptical about how it would taste. It turned out to be surprisingly good.

She used shiitake mushrooms in place of the ground meat. She also used carrots and bok choy along with the cabbage.

The gyoza was a bit spicy. She said she used some red pepper flakes and black pepper to make things interesting. I suppose that in the absence of meat, a little spice can be helpful.


I have eaten gyoza at a restaurant before. It makes a really good appetizer.

I like to go to a Japanese restaurant for lunch and order the bento box. This comes with a spring roll, salad, soup, and two gyoza dumplings. They are usually filled with pork.

It may seem weird to eat pork and fish in the same meal, but I usually order the teriyaki salmon as the main course. It comes with fried rice, and I have no problem eating all of this after downing a couple of gyoza dumplings.


I wish that cooking gyoza wasn't so complicated! I love the taste of it, and I could probably sit and eat a whole plate full of the dumplings.

I do prefer the chicken-filled kind to the pork, though. Something about the pork just doesn't taste right, like it is spoiled or something.

I love biting into a warm gyoza dumpling. It is so satisfying, and I love the crust just as much as the filling. I guess I will have to rely on the frozen kind, though, because I'm not a good cook at all.

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