November 8, 2013

Naked Gyoza

Let's agree: the filling is the best part. A couple of weeks ago I bit into an Asian dumpling from our farmer's market, and fell in love again with that little bundle of simple, seasoned vegetables that someone painstakingly (trust me, I know) crimped inside. Can't we just eat it by the bowlful? Can't we please?

This naked gyoza recipe serves up delicately cut veggies in a tangy-sweet brown sauce flavored with scallions and sesame. We don't miss the doughy dumplings at all, especially because there are so many other fresh and healthy ways to serve this stuff: stir-fried into brown rice, tossed with buckwheat or whole wheat noodles as in yaki soba, folded into your own whole wheat gyoza wrappers, or just piled high in a bowl with a side of scrambled eggs (my favorite.)

Naked gyoza is an easy sell on the kid-front, too, because the veggies are so finely minced, and they're a little sweet. Darwin calls this, simply, "filling," although he's tickled by my naked-talk at the dinner table. Enjoy it!

Naked Gyoza
Time: 20 minutes

Serves 2-4

For the stir-fry:
3 cups finely shredded cabbage
3/4 cup shredded carrots
1/4 cup frozen peas
1 green onion, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
2 Tbls. butter

For the sauce:
1 Tbls. soy sauce
1 Tbls. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbls. unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1/4 tsp. freshly grated ginger (optional)

Whisk all sauce ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.

Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat, and add shredded cabbage. Fry until mostly tender, stirring often, about five minutes.

Add carrots, and fry until softened, 3-5 minutes.

Remove pot from heat and add scallions, peas, and sauce. (The peas will defrost fully in the hot veggies.) Stir until well-combined, then serve as is, or use inside homemade goyza, fried rice, or other Asian recipes.