Masu’s Ginger Duck Gyoza


-Written by Stephanie Meyer-
-Photography by Susan Powers-

Ginger Duck Gyoza with Ponzu Plum Sauce (Japanese Potstickers)

Susan and I shopped together for the shoot’s recipe ingredients at United Noodle in Minneapolis.  Neither of us had been to United Noodle before and oh my goodness did we have fun!  What an amazing store!  Susan’s former mother-in-law is Chinese, and a wonderful cook, so what started as a simple errand for recipe ingredients became instead a blast-through-the-past trip down memory lane, as Susan picked up treats for her daughters and reminisced about her and the girls’ favorite Chinese treats. We shrieked and laughed our way through the store as she discovered one ingredient after the other.

The ladies who helped us might have been shaking their heads after we left.

I easily snagged the Asian ingredients I needed for the recipe, including the gyoza skins, ponzu sauce, and neri ume paste I knew I wouldn’t find at the grocery store.

As for the duck…  It’s not easy to put your hands on fresh duck in Minneapolis. That’s not to say that it can’t be done; definitely check with your local specialty butcher, and ask if they’ll grind it for you, skin and fat included.  You want fresh not frozen, because grinding previously frozen meat can result in an overly wet and mushy grind.  Given a few ducky barriers, I thought that going with ground pork was a straightforward (and scrumptious!) way to approach this recipe, especially since Chef Chase had suggested that chicken or pork could be substituted for the duck.

I’ve made potstickers before, but the gyoza “Z-fold” was new to me.  I googled “folding gyoza” and found several excellent photo illustrations.  Take a look and give it a try – it’s easy to get the hang of and with another pair of hands helping you out, you’ll assemble 50 gyoza in no time

Also new to me was the technique of boiling the dumplings first, then frying them off to finish.  The result is a softer-on-top, crispier-on-the-bottom contrast which is utterly addictive.  How addictive?  My son – granted, a growing teen boy – inhaled 20 of them in one sitting.  For breakfast.  And said definitively that they were the best potstickers he’d ever had.

Happy Folding!

Stephanie starts by chopping the cabbage.

A quick turn through the food processor insures a perfect consistency, important when stuffing the wraps.

Incorporating the scallions into the meat.

Folding the Goyza. Really easy, but a little time consuming. Employ your family members.

The folded Goyza, waiting to be boiled.

A few minutes in the boiling water.

Out of the water, onto the cornstarch.

A quick fry to crisp up the bottoms.

The dipping sauce is quick to throw together.

And we are ready to go!


Ginger Duck Gyoza with Ponzu Plum Sauce (Japanese Potstickers)

Masu Executive Chef Alex Chase

Makes about 50 pieces


1 package Japanese gyoza skins (about 50 per pack)

cornstarch for dusting

high-heat oil for frying



12 oz. Napa cabbage (about 1/2 of a medium head), chopped very fine

1 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt, divided (cut in half if using table salt)

2 cloves garlic, minced or grated

2 tsp. fresh ginger, minced or grated

2 scallions, sliced into fine rings

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

3 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 Tbsp. rice wine

1 lb. ground duck (chicken or pork can be substituted)


Plum Dipping Sauce:

1 1/2 c. Japanese ponzu sauce

3 Tbsp. neri ume paste (3 Tbsp. extra plum sauce can be substituted)

6 Tbsp. Chinese plum sauce

3 Tbsp. Asian chili oil


Put chopped cabbage in a colander and toss with 1 tsp. Kosher salt.  Set aside for at least 20 minutes to allow for some of the liquid to drain off.

In a large bowl, combine 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt, garlic, ginger, scallions, ground pepper, soy sauce, and rice wine.

Squeeze as much liquid as possible from the cabbage and add it to the soy sauce mixture.  Add the duck and mix gently.  Chill until ready to fill the gyoza.

In a small bowl, whisk together the plum dipping sauce ingredients: ponzu sauce, neri ume, and plum sauce.  Add the chili oil last, mixing gently.  The oil will float on top of the sauce.

Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Line 2 baking sheets with wax or parchment paper; dust one of the sheets with cornstarch.  Lightly dampen a towel to cover the gyoza as they are prepared.  Set out a small bowl of water.

Hold one gyoza sheet in the palm of your hand.  Place a teaspoon of filling in the center of the sheet.  Dip a finger in the water and run it around the edge of the sheet to dampen the edge.  Fold sheet in half, over the filling, being careful not to get filling on the edges.  Pinch the center of the edges together, then pleat the sides making 5-7 “Z-folds” as you go.  (Stephanie’s note: I looked at a few demos online; google “folding gyoza” for tips.)

Set finished gyoza on the non-cornstarch baking sheet as you go, keeping them lightly covered with the damp towel.  After all the gyoza are filled, boil up to 6 at a time in simmering water for 4 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer to the cornstarch dusted baking sheet as you go.

When all of the gyoza have been boiled, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add oil and when it is hot, fry the bottoms of the gyoza, several at a time without crowding the pan, until the bottoms are nicely browned.  Serve with dipping sauce.



{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan May 19, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Feel so blessed to be working on this with the amazing Steph!


Susan Sencer June 6, 2011 at 11:57 pm

I stumbled upon your beautiful site while googling my way into a recipe using the bottle of “ume ponzu” I just found at United Noodle. To discover that you were right in my own backyard is amazing! Congratulations and good luck–and if you can think of things to do with ume ponzu let me know.


Susan June 7, 2011 at 12:13 am

United Noodle…one of my favorite places! Thanks so much!


emily (a nutritionist eats) August 9, 2011 at 2:08 am

I’m obsessed with dumplings and have been meaning to make my own for a few months now. 🙂
Beautiful pictures.


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