This month, Washoku Lovers is introducing featured products! Each month we’ll be highlighting different Japanese food products that you can get in Australia which will help you whip up a Japanese feast at home. Our inaugural product is Maruko Gyoza – Japanese pork dumplings made in Sydney with 98% Australian ingredients. It’s quite impressive that this is possible, and Washoku Lovers is excited to be associated with Maruko Gyoza!
To celebrate, I held a gyoza party at my apartment with my room-mates. It was the first time any of them had done anything like it, but if you’ve read my previous blog post about gyoza-pa and tako-pa, you’ll be a little bit more clued in than they were.
The idea of a gyoza “party” is to gather your friends at your house, and pretty much cook gyoza (or whatever other food you pick) en masse. You can band together to make them, cook them from frozen, and pick whatever flavours you want. It’s a bunch of fun! Making messy food is fun enough, once you add a couple friends and everyone gets their hands in, it makes for a pretty amazing day.
Maruko Gyoza are sold frozen, so it actually made organising the gyoza-pa a little bit easier because it meant we could all meet up after work and already have the food ready to go. Even better, it cooks in about 6 minutes so no one got moody while waiting for the food (an issue we’ve all experienced!).
We started off with snacks which are pretty common in Japan, and not too hard to find here if you look in Asian supermarkets.. Pocky, takenoko chocolate dipped biscuits, okonomiyaki flavoured potato chips, Ramune lemonade, and Calpis started the night while we heated up the pan for cooking gyoza. We actually ran out of all the snacks pretty quickly!
Between four of us, we cooked three batches of about 12-15 gyoza and by the end we were all very full. The cooking is really simple – especially since you never have to turn the gyoza or anything like that. Simply put 1 Tbsp of oil into a hot pan, place your gyoza around, add 100 mL of water and then cover with a lid. 4 minutes late, take the lid off, and if there’s still any water left just wait a bit longer for it to evaporate and then your gyoza are finished!
A typical Japanese dipping sauce for gyoza is equal parts mirin and soy sauce, but I had a bottle of takoyaki sauce in my fridge from the last time I did a takopa, so we used that. Takopa is harder to organise if you don’t have the special pan though.
I’d really recommend holding a gyozapa – it’s more fun than you think and it’s a great way to catch up with friends that isn’t out at a restaurant. Usually in Japan, after you’ve eaten (or while you’re waiting for it to cook), you play games. We played Settlers of Catan but of course console games, movies, card games, and any other entertainment you can think of is good too!