How to Eat Gyoza in The Correct Way
Yaki Gyoza (grilled or pan-fried gyoza) is the most popular kinds of gyoza we can find either in good restaurants or just in small food stores’ menu. Eating gyoza should follow a proper way, no matter you enjoy it as your main course in dinner table or as a side dish for your ramen. So let’s discover how to enjoy yaki gyoza like a pro!
Tips to enjoy Gyoza like a pro
Before you eat
Normally in restaurants, gyoza is served on plates as per-person servings. It can be for one person (ichininmae) or 2 people (nininmae). Each store decides their signature size and total portion, so you may need to ask to know their standard serving before jumping into order.
When the dumplings arrive you, they will come with a small dish which you will use to mix your sauce. Since gyoza is seasoned really light, the sauce plays an important role.
On your table, there would be little bottles of vinegar, soy sauce, and raayu (chili oil). You can make the sauce as your personal taste preferences. The ideal ratio for your dipping sauce should be 1:1 of vinegar and soy sauce. You can also add some drops of red-colored raayu for some high-note.
Now, it’s time to enjoy your gyoza. Pick one piece with your chopsticks, dip it in your customized sauce. There is one thing you need to remember, the magic of gyoza lies on its crispy skin, so try to dip the dumplings only on the soft side.
Also, it is important not to separate gyoza from the large band before eating. If doing so, you may make the delicious juice spills out onto the plate, breaking the wonderful experience. Try to eat the whole piece in one bite only, or two bites at most without lowering the dumpling. If the gyoza is too hot, let it cool down a few moments before making your first bite to avoid hurting your mouth and tongue.
Gyoza goes heavy on garlic and chives then fried to perfection, making it a satisfying food that pairs well with drinks. You can enjoy gyoza with beer, highballs, or sours. Some people also pick wine to accompany with their gyoza dish.
Lately, many restaurants introduce their new version of gyoza which they believe is healthier. Those gyoza are packed with more veggies and a type of garlic that would not leave the smell to your mouth after consuming.
Gyoza Towns in Japan
In Japan, when talking about gyoza, people will point out Utsunomiya in Tochigi Prefecture and Hamamatsu in Shizuoka Prefecture holly land of gyoza. Many people in these two cities are hard-core gyoza fans. On average, people spend over 4,000 yen every year on gyoza. Just in these prefectures, there are several hundred gyoza restaurants are on good business and compete with one another.
Beside yaki gyoza, there are many other types of gyoza, from sui gyoza (boiled gyoza) to age gyoza (fried gyoza) and so on. If you ever come to these towns, don’t miss the chance to taste their delicious gyoza!