Thursday, September 27, 2012

Udon (and gyoza) Girl

Homemade gyoza

Homemade udon

After watching the lovely Ramen Girl movie (Yes! I like that movie so much! If you live in Japan you can absolutely relate, and if not, I highly recommend watching it to sneak a peek at Japanese culture, in ways that Lost in Translation completely ignored- gasp!), I was inspired to learn to cook homemade Japanese meals, and having lived in the udon prefecture and all, udon seemed like the right way to start.

Well, the story is a bit different, but I was taught how to prepare some basic Japanese fare, and since then a whole new tasty world opened up to me. I was always scared to cook Japanese food at home as I didn't know what ingredients to pick up, and what cooking techniques to use. Turns out it's much easier than I thought, and I stocked my kitchen with the essentials everyone should have on hand for cooking Japanese food at home: sesame oil, dashi (fish stock), vinegar, soy sauce, miso paste, tofu, negi (green onion), nira (garlic chives), and hakusai (Chinese cabbage).

The dinner menu was composed of gyoza (dumplings) and udon, two of my favourite dishes, and pretty much everything was made from scratch. It was one of the most scrumptious meals I've had, and I felt so happy I learned how to make it so I can re-create it by myself. Nothing beats having a private cooking session with a kind local, in my own (awful) kitchen.


Here are the steps to make gyoza and udon, in one meal.

You will need: sesame oil, dashi (fish stock), vinegar, soy sauce, miso paste, negi (green onion), nira (garlic chives), hakusai (Chinese cabbage), minced pork (or tofu for veggie alternative), ready-made gyoza shells, and udon noodles.

The loot from the supermarket.

Slice the nira (garlic chives) and negi (green onion)

Don't slice your finger like this geezer.

Boil the hakusai (Chinese cabbage),
then squeeze the water out and slice it

Mix some minced pork and the vegetables,
along with a dash of sesame oil, salt and pepper
and a secret ingredient: a dab of miso paste.

Put a small spoonful of the mixture in the shell
and prepare to fold it shut,
lined with a bit of water on the edge, origami style

Gyoza can be steamed in a cover frying pan,
with a tad of sesame oil and water

Leftover filling was shaped into meatballs
and boiled in the udon broth

Udon broth: water, dashi (fish stock) and a bit of soy sauce.
Simmer and add the noodles

Udon perfection.

Cooked gyoza, on a Kitty-chan plate, what else.



Principessa said...

And here I am baking cakes. ;)

Christine loves to Travel said...

Wow, Vivian! That's awesome! Thank you for sharing.

I can only make miso soup, lol but I would love to try making gyoza but I'm so intimidated on how to fold it properly.

Yuri said...

Thanks so much for this! Will definitely try it :]

Vivian said...


Christine, you should try! The folding doesn't have to be perfect... Mine looked like a kindergarten child had done them!! As long as they're fold shut.


Christine loves to Travel said...

I will make my best attempt to make this! hopefully this week and I will report back to you :)

hoge said...


teamknox said...


teamknox said...


Françoise said...

It looks delicious. I must try it.