Monday, February 28, 2011

"Pretty Delicious" Gyoza Recipe & Review

A couple months ago I had been reading through my Healthy Bi$#@ newsletter when I stumbled upon a delicious looking recipe for Potato & Herb Gnocchi. It looked amazing and I was immediately intrigued after reading about the recipe creator, Candice Kumai. Candice was one of the Chef's that competed on the first season of Bravo's Top Chef. She has an amazing blog called Stiletto Chef, which I promptly visited and poured over for a good 20 minutes. I love Candice's style of writing - she is witty, funny, and absolutely charming and most importantly .... She makes cooking healthy food fun! Shortly after I commented on Candice's blog I heard back from her and let me tell you... She is the nicest person! She was awaiting the release of her new cookbook Pretty Delicious, and after reading about it, so was I!! I pre-ordered the book off of Amazon and got it shortly after it's release. Candice's book was everything I had hoped it would be and more!!!

Let's start with the photography. Gorgeous! Seriously, this little darling is so pretty she's coffee table-worthy. All the photo's of the food are so fresh and exciting, it makes you want to try everything! I sat and read through the whole book immediately (yes, I really do read cookbooks) and was really impressed. For those of you that might not know, I am pretty much a health nut. Nutrition has been kind of a hobby of mine for quite some time and I love nothing more than reading book after book on food, how it effects your body, nutritional value, etc. Candice nails it! Her book isn't just a cookbook, it's also an introductory course on healthy food benefits and cooking. She even includes some food/beauty recipes at the end which I loved!!! As a person who is an avid cook and who has about 30 cookbooks in my pantry closet, I have to tell you... Pretty Delicious is already one of my fav's!

And I couldn't give you my thoughts without at least including a recipe! "Mom's Homemade Gyoza" was the first dish I made from the book and it was delish! Candice's recipe was already fab, but I did make a couple teensy changes to suit my own personal taste. Here is the recipe....

Mom's Homemade Gyoza
by Candice Kumai

Dipping Sauce:

~ 1/4 Cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
~ 1/4 cup rice vinegar
~ scallions sliced on the diagonal


 ~ 1 lb 96% Lean Ground Beef ( I used ground turkey breast)
~ 5 dried shitake mushrooms, soaked in boiling water for 5min, drained & chopped
(I didn't have dried, so I used fresh)
~ 5 scallions, finely chopped
~ 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
~ 3 large green cabbage leaves, finely chopped (I subbed bagged, shredded, purple cabbage)
~ 4 garlic cloves, minced
~ 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce ( I might try Bragg's Liquid Amino's next time)
~ 2 Tb Dark Sesame Oil
~ 1 tsp sugar
~ 1 tsp Fresh Grated Ginger ( I loved this! I wish I had added more!!)
~ Flour for dusting surface
~ 30 Round Wonton Skins - about 1/2 the package
~ 6 tsp Veg oil

To make the sauce: Whisk the soy sauce and vinegar together in a small dish. Add the scallions and set aside.

To make the gyoza: Mix the ground beef, mushrooms, scallions, onion, cabbage, and garlic together in a large bowl. ( I needed to use up some bell pepper before it went bad, so I added that in as well). Whisk the soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, and sugar together in a small bowl. Add the soy sauce mixture to the beef mixture and stir together until combined. 

Sprinkle a work surface with some flour. Place a small bowl of warm water next to your work area. Place a wonton wrapper on the floured area and place 2 teaspoons of the beef mixture in the center. (I had some trouble with this part. My wontons weren't fitting all the meat! So I had to use a little less. It takes practice, but it's worth it!) Dip a finger in the warm water and moisten the edges of the wrapper, then fold the wrapper over the filling as if you were making a turnover. Press the edges together. Use your index finger and thumb to pinch the edges so they have a cute ruffled look like the edge of a pie crust. Set aside and repeat with the rest of the filling and wrappers.

Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons of veg oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add about 10 gyoza to the pan and cook until the bottoms are golden brown, about 1-2 min. When peaking under the gyoza to check for browning, be gentle! They are very fragile. Add 1/4 cup of water to the skillet, reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook without turning until the wrappers are translucent, about 2 min. Uncover and cook until the water has evaporated and the filling is cooked through, about 2-3 min longer. 

Remove the pan from the heat. Pour any liquid remaining in the pan into a bowl. Place a large plate over the skillet, the plate should be larger than the skillet, and flip the pan over. The gyoza should effortlessly fall from pan to plate revealing their gorgeous, golden brown skins. Gyoza taste best when hot, so serve immediately with the dipping sauce as you cook up the next batch. Cook 2 more batches, adding a tiny bit more oil as needed and 1/4 cup water for each batch. Wipe out the skillet between batches if necessary.

Candace also posted this fab video on her blog recently! For anyone new to making gyoza (or what some might refer to as potstickers, this is great!)

PRETTY DELICIOUS Gyoza with Chef Angelo Sosa! from Candice Kumai on Vimeo.