Gyoza (éLŽq, gyōza) are dumplings filled with ground meat and vegetables and wrapped in a thin dough. Also known as pot stickers, gyoza originated in China (where they are called jiaozi), but have become a very popular dish in Japan. The typical gyoza filling consists of ground pork, nira chives, green onion, cabbage, ginger, garlic, soy sauce and sesame oil, but some creative gyoza shops have also come up with a range of other fillings.

Types of gyoza

Yaki Gyoza (pan fried)

Sui Gyoza (boiled)

Age Gyoza (deep fried)

How to enjoy gyoza

Gyoza are found nationwide at ramen shops, Chinese restaurants, izakaya (casual dining establishments) and a small number of gyoza specialty shops. A typical serving of gyoza consists of about half a dozen dumplings and costs around 300 to 600 yen. Gyoza are usually eaten with a dipping sauce made at the table of equal amounts of soy sauce and vinegar. A bit of chili oil (rayu) is also commonly added.

Gyoza are particularly popular in the cities of Utsunomiya in Tochigi Prefecture and Hamamatsu in Shizuoka Prefecture, which battle for top gyoza consumption each year. A characteristic of Hamamatsu gyoza is the addition of bean sprouts on top of the gyoza. Both cities have large numbers of gyoza specialty shops some of which offer gyoza with less conventional fillings such as shrimp, mushroom, cheese or shiso leaf.