Asian pork dumplings have been a favourite in my family since I was a kid. Back in the day, we could only get them from one particular Chinese food restaurant in London, where I grew up. Now, you can get them at pretty much any Japanese or Chinese restaurant, and you’ll also find them up on far more mainstream menus. They’re very easy to make at home if you have a little bit of patience. And they taste awesome.

A napa cabbage from a couple of local bags back has been waiting patiently in my fridge. I’m getting tired of slaw and wanted to find another good use for it. Thankfully, cabbage keeps nicely, so by the time I thought of making gyoza, it was barely wilted. This recipe used the whole thing — yay!

I didn’t have any impending need for all these dozens of dumplings, so I froze them on cookie sheets, then put them into bags in the freezer. They’ll come in handy over the holidays or otherwise when I need a good appetizer to take to a party.

If I were feeling more patient yesterday, I would have sought out round wonton wrappers and made the cute little pleats when folding them over, as the best gyoza have. Instead I used the first wrappers I found (square) and just made them turnover style. Not as cute, but just as tasty.

There are gazillions of recipes for gyoza out there, but I used this one. It gives you instructions on how to make them, how to cook them, and also how to make a good basic dipping sauce.

dumpling filling
dumpling filling

– Dinah Murdoch lives, eats and writes in Kitchener.

napa cabbage

Napa cabbage is my favourite of the cabbages. I’m not sure why, but I like it best. We made a tasty, Asian-style slaw tonight to eat for dinner alongside butternut squash soup and some homemade biscuits.

If we were in Korea, we’d be clutching our napas tight. It’s the key ingredient for kimchi, a spicy, fermented cabbage condiment that’s eaten with everything there, and it’s in shortage this year, namely on account of too much rain. A head is now selling for upward of $14. Apparently most Koreans pride themselves on their homemade kimchi and wouldn’t be caught dead buying it. I’ve never made kimchi myself but here’s a link if you’re feeling game.

And here’s a link to the slaw recipe I used, which was quite yummy. I used half the amount of vegetable oil as I like a vinegary dressing and it still tasted just fine.


– Dinah Murdoch lives, eats and writes in Kitchener.