After a Full Belly, All is Poetry

There is no sincerer love than a love of food.
– George Bernard Shaw

Spinach Tofu Gyoza 1Gyoza filling

H generally refuses to eat tofu, no matter how I prepare it. It has no taste, weird texture and doesn’t appeal to him at all. On the other hand, I grow up eating lots of tofu & tempeh. Back when I was a poor student, I ate lots of tofu and tempeh curry every day for a little over 1 sgd (under 1 usd) per meal. These days, with the growing of organic food (in France, this industry has a strong foothold), one can easily find marinated tofu in pesto sauce, olive, sun dried tomatoes etc. I don’t need to go to Chinatown or Korean markets to get my tofu, any bio stores carry several options: flavored vs natural, firm vs medium vs. soft tofu, even egg tofu.

I can’t say that he loves this spinach tofu gyoza, but he doesn’t mind eating it. For the first time, his digestion actually processes tofu. Grin.

Uncooked Gyoza

For those first timer handling Chinese wontons or Japanese gyoza, I would recommend starting with gyoza. The skin is thicker and more durable than wonton skin. It doesn’t turn limp even if you dab too much water. And I like how it doesn’t require a lot of oil to cook, that it’s not deep fried unlike Chinese wontons.

The gyoza dipping sauce is crucial in this dish. If you tend to skip the sauce, double or triple the quantity of the filling’s seasoning.

Spinach Tofu Gyoza 3

SPINACH TOFU GYOZA
(adapted from Petits Plats Asiatiques by Jodi Vassallo)
makes 26 gyozas

100 gr fresh baby spinach, washed and drained
100 gr firm tofu, diced very small
5 tbsp grated carrots (from 1 small carrot)
1 stalk of spring onion or green onion, sliced thinly
50 gr water chestnut, diced small
1 cm of ginger, minced

seasoning
1/2 tbsp sesame oil
1 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar or mirin
1/2 tbsp soya sauce

1 packet gyoza skin
cooking spray oil, to cook
water, to cook

dipping sauce
2 tbsp soya sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar or mirin

  • [Making the filling] In a wok over low medium fire, toss in the spinach. Cover and let the steam cook the spinach. Once it starts to wilt, turn off fire and stir around. Transfer to a colander to let the water seep through. Set aside to cool down.
  • In a medium bowl, mix the tofu, water chestnut, grated carrots, spring/green onions and ginger. Squeeze out excess water of the spinach, mince it and add into the bowl. Toss to mix well.
  • Make the seasoning. Pour over the filling and toss some more.
  • [Making the gyoza] Add 1 tsp of filling onto the middle part of the gyoza, dab water around the outer ring of the gyoza skin and gently pleat. Repeat. If you’re not serving immediately, cover with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge.
  • [Cooking the gyoza] In a wok over low medium fire, spray some cooking oil and wait until the smoke comes out. Gently place the gyoza down on its bottom and let it cook for 2-3 mins until the bottom has charred.
  • Depending how much gyoza in a pan (roughly 1 tbsp of water for 2 gyozas), pour in the water. Quickly cover the wok and let the steam cook the gyoza till finish (all water evaporated).
  • Transfer to a serving plate, charred bottom side shown and serve immediately with dipping sauce.

Have a great week ahead. For the first time in months, we woke up to 21 C in the morning. Yeah, finally summer is here!

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