#I’m so full
vol.22 Grilled gyoza
1. Grilled gyoza in an established restaurant
Enjoy a long-loved masterpiece of gyoza
The crispy browned look lures the eater. Once he bites into it, the juicy flavor bursts in his mouth. It is so delicious that you want a beer to go along with it. Everyone loves delicious dishes of grilled gyoza, so we have used this occasion to gather them here.
Gyoza (medium) ¥750. Their signature gyoza can be ordered with a plate of a minimum of 8 pieces (small for ¥500). We recommend having it with Japanese mustard or cayenne pepper powder instead of chili oil to add spiciness.
Grilled gyoza long loved since pre-war days
Nesting in a shopping street of Jinbocho is a restaurant specializing in gyoza dumplings with a nostalgic atmosphere. The origin of this place dates back to 1936, when the first owner opened a restaurant in Dalian, in former Manchuria. After his return to Japan, this restaurant, named Manchuria then, served everyday meals until the end of the Second World War, and in 1955, changed its name to the original name used in Dalian. It is a long established joint that has been loved for many years.
The simple menu has not changed since the opening: only 3 kinds of gyoza are available, including grilled gyoza, boiled gyoza, and Tianjin baozi, or steamed buns. Of course, the dough of the gyoza is made by hand from scratch in the restaurant every day, and the method of making them and the flour ratio will change depending on the menu to create a different texture. Gyoza is made by wrapping hearty stuffing in a flattened piece of dough, purposefully leaving openings on the side, then the dumpling is grilled together with the juice that seeps out of the dumpling to add a crunchy texture and indescribable juicy flavors on the soft surface of the dough. This gyoza is a unique kind that you cannot taste anywhere else.
Even the dough of gyoza is made by hand every day. Many pieces get wrapped quickly and skillfully.
Boiled gyoza ¥700. This is the main gyoza you will find in China. Flavor it with soy sauce and vinegar or anything you like.
A retro atmosphere of the old Showa era remains in the restaurant.
Tianjin baozi ¥800. Tianjin style steamed buns with exciting textures of shiitake mushrooms and bamboo shoots. This menu is only available from 1 p.m.
Address: 1-13-2 Kanda Jinbocho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Hours: 11:30-15:00 & 17:00-20:00
Closed on Sundays & Mondays
Grilled gyoza ¥540. This beautiful browning is unique to this restaurant. Inside the large gyoza wrapped in a crunchy and soft skin is hearty and juicy stuffing.
Well-known juicy grilled gyoza
This Chinese restaurant, established in 1966, has been loved for over half a century in Akasaka. It is a popular eatery among tourists and office workers in Akasaka. Many items such as noodles, rice dishes, and a la carte dishes are available on the menu, but the one that boasts overwhelming popularity is the juicy grilled gyoza that sometimes sells over 1,000 pieces a day.
The stuffing they are proud of is made by thoroughly mixing ground meat, napa cabbage, chives, and green onions with broth, and leaving it to rest overnight. By letting it sit, the flavors blend well, and the juice is retained within the meat. Gyoza made with stuffing overflowing out of the dough is grilled to a crunchy texture. Min Min suggests a unique way to eat it with vinegar with a lot of black pepper, instead of the standard choice of vinegar and soy sauce. The textural contrast between browned and softly steamed gyoza skin is enjoyable. Once you bite into it, juice drips out.
The secret to the deliciousness is using the hands to mix ground meat and vegetables well.
The working hands never rest during business hours.
An established restaurant located in the back streets of Akasaka. Its popularity shows as it is full of people from day to night.
Dragon fried rice ¥810. The most popular fried rice among the many choices has a hard-hitting flavor with garlic and roast pork.
It is best to have Min Min’s gyoza with vinegar and black pepper instead of vinegar and soy sauce.
Akasaka Min Min
Address: 8-7-4 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Hours: 11:30-13:55 (last order) & 17:30-22:15 (last order at 21:30)
Closed on Sundays & Holidays
Yamaji Rikiya is a food journalist that loves cooking where he can see the face of the chef. He is active on TV, in magazines, and on the Internet. He also produces many restaurants.
photography by MASAHIKO YOSHIDA (M-focus)
text by RIKIYA YAMAJI
illustration by CHING NAKAMURA
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