Asian Dumplings Differentiated
Two of the most popular Asian dumplings ever invented are the gyoza and the potstickers. You might think they are essentially the same. You are quite right. However there are some slight differences. Let’s see about them, their origins, how they were invented, and their distinction from one another.
Asian dumplings originated in Northern China, from above the Yangtze River. They are called “jiaozi” in Mandarin. Jiaozi starts with a wheat flour dough that is rolled out and stuffed with a meat or vegetable filling. These dumplings can be boiled, steamed, pan fried, or even deep fried. These dumplings somewhat started on a funny note. A Chinese chef intended to boil jiaozi in a wok, walked away and the water just boiled off. The jiaozi stuck to the wok and crisped up. That’s how we got potstickers, which in Chinese literally means “stuck to the wok.
Making potstickers uses the “fry-steam-fry” method where the dumplings are first lightly browned in some oil, water is added to the pan, covered to steam and cook the dumpling filling. The pan is uncovered to let the water cook off and the dumplings pan fry until crispy on the outside. Potstickers are medium-sized, eaten in two to three bites. They have fairly thick, often homemade wrappers that crisp up nicely on the outside while still being soft with the juicy filling inside.
The Japanese gyoza was a culinary idea borrowed from the Chinese. Japanese soldiers became familiar with jiaozi during World War II when they were in Manchuria, Northern China. Returning home, they recreated the delicious dumplings. Notice that gyoza is actually the Japanese pronunciation of jiaozi.
So how are the two dumplings different?
The Japanese gyoza are usually made from pre-fabricated wrappers – thinner, smaller, more delicate, and the filling is more finely textured. Gyoza are usually smaller than a potsticker, about one to two bites. Prepared the same way, both using the “fry-steam-fry” method, the thinner skin of the gyoza crisps up more and the filling is the focus.
Going for Gyoza in Bellevue
We offer delicious fried or steamed gyoza at Sushi In Joy, your fave Japanese sushi restaurant in Bellevue. Come see the difference between your potstickers and Japan’s dumpling version.