FEATURE: Cooking With Anime - Mushroom and Cheese Gyoza from "Food Wars"

Food Wars brings us a unique twist on gyoza that could only come from the mind of a child!

I am so excited about this week’s post! Besides the fact that it’s my birthday on the 30th, the new season of Food Wars is starting soon, which means that it’s a better time than ever to try out some new dishes from the anime. I started reading the manga to get a sense of what to expect food-wise from the new season, and I was charmed by a chapter where Soma teaches kids to make food.


One kid, one beautiful genius, elects to make mushroom and cheese gyoza. At first, this doesn’t sound amazing. In fact, it sounds like one of those weird things I used to make when I was little. Did you guys ever do this? I used to go into the kitchen and try to make ‘potions’ where I would basically just take a bunch of herbs, spices, and condiments and mix them together and pretend they were magic. It was a glorious time of my life, and so representative of the whimsical nature of childhood. Anyway, point is kids can come up with some weird food combinations, like this kid from Food Wars.


But then I started to think about it, and do a little research. I really like mushrooms, and I also like cheese. Could they be incorporated? Actually, yeah, it’s a pretty common combination. Stuffed mushrooms take advantage of cheese, as do a few baked mushroom dishes out there. Hit with inspiration, I decided to create a recipe to try to make really tasty mushroom and cheese gyoza.


In the manga, they use pizza cheese and king trumpet mushrooms, but those are all the ingredients given, there’s not really a recipe.


Because there’s no recipe given, I decided to create my own. It had to use pizza cheese and mushrooms, so I incorporated parmesan, mozzarella, and king trumpet mushrooms. To add to the flavor, I also used a really traditional onion, butter, and garlic sauté combo to add an easy depth of flavor. I wanted to keep the steps simple, because theoretically a kid made these, so read on to find out how to recreate this!

 

Here is what we’re recreating:


gyoza

 

The Ingredients


-9 oz of king trumpet mushrooms, or 2 cups when minced

-1 cup mozzarella

-1/4 cup shredded parmesan

-1 cup minced yellow onion, about ½ an onion

-1 clove garlic

-Gyoza wrappers (found at most any Asian supermarkets)

-Small dish of water


Make the Gyoza!

This recipe starts off with a lot of mincing. Carefully take out your mushrooms, slice off just the ends of the stalks, and mince the rest into very small pieces. This doesn’t take much skill. Just keep cutting away until the pieces are really small.

 

 

 

Next, do the same with your onion. Slice in half, peel, and set half aside. With the rest, chop it into very small pieces, the smaller the better.

 

 

Then carefully mince up one garlic clove. If you wanted, you could put it through a garlic press to save time, but finely chopping it will work too.

 


In a large pan with a flat bottom, melt down about 2 tbsp of butter over medium heat.

 


When the butter is melted and the pan is warm, dump in the minced mushrooms, onion, and garlic. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Spread out into a flat layer, and allow to cook and soften up, about 5 minutes. Scrape the bottom of the pan and re-flatten every minute or two, to avoid burning.



Near the end, test quickly to make sure there is enough salt and pepper in the mix. Add more to taste, but don’t go overboard. The parmesan we’re going to put in later will add more salt, so you don’t want to go crazy to begin with. When the onion and mushroom are soft and tender, take off the heat, and put into a big bowl. Place this bowl in the freezer for about 5 minutes to quickly cool the mixture down. It’s ready when it feels room temperature or cool to the touch. We do this step so that when we add in the cheese, it won’t melt right away. While that’s cooling, measure out the cheese. Add the cheese to the mixture when it’s ready, and stir through.



Then, get ready to wrap! Take your gyoza wrappers out, and prepare a small bowl of water for folding the dumplings. First, place a small amount of filling into the center of the wrapper. It’s tempting to go crazy and over-fill the wrapper-don’t. You want about a teaspoon of mixture there. Too much will make it harder to fold.



Souma helps a little girl learn how to fold gyoza properly, so here is a gif with a step by step method to folding the way he does it. Bear in mind, you can really fold these suckers however you want if the end goal is just to eat them. If you want to learn Souma’s technique, though, take a look at this gif to see me model how he does it:


gyozagif


And to add to that, some written instructions: First, wet one half of the wrapper edge with water. You want to make half of it sticky, so the other half has something to stick to. Then, pick up the wrapper with filling in one hand. Fold it in half, into a crescent shape, and pinch the edges of one end together. To make it easy, get your pointer finger on the back of the dumpling and have your thumb pinch the other side. Then, to start folding, take the edge of the wrapper facing you and fold it against your thumb. Move your thumb past each fold to mark the new one. Once all the folds are created, place the dumpling between both hands and pinch the top edges together while pushing it into a crescent shape. 

 

If that ordeal seemed tricky, don’t worry. Practice makes perfect, in this case. I was teaching my boyfriend how to do the folding and he got markedly better as we went along.



To start frying, take the pan you used to make the filling. Wipe down the inside of the pan with a paper towel, and pour in about 2 tbsp of vegetable oil. Heat it up over medium heat. It’s ready when you flick a bit of water in and the oil starts to fizzle.



Place your dumplings in one at a time. Allow to cook, about 3-4 minutes, while the bottoms get crispy.



If your bottoms aren’t crisping up nicely, don’t worry. Just up the temperature a bit and wait. Whatever happens, DO NOT turn the heat up as high as it can go in an attempt to rush the cooking process. This will not end well, take it from someone who knows. Your dumplings will be ready for stage two when the bottoms look like this:



At this point, you may want to tip your gyoza over to brown up on their backs as well, like the one in the picture above. The extra crunch works well against the melty interior (think mozzarella sticks), but it’s up to you, as this extra crisping isn’t apparent in the manga version of this recipe. If you tip them over, give them about a minute or two to develop a crust, and then set them upright again. If you don’t tip them over, move onto the next step.


Take the lid of your pan, turn it upside down, and fill it with water, just enough so it puddles at the bottom, about 2-3 tbsp. Quickly flip it over the top of the pan. This 1) adds water to steam the gyoza and 2) is an effective way of making sure the oil splatters stay contained.



Let it steam about 5 minutes. We don’t have to worry about cooking the filling, since we already did that, but we do want to cook the wrapper and melt the cheese.



They should be ready when the wrappers are a bit transparent and no longer totally white looking. Take them out and let them drain on some paper towels to soak up extra oil.



Then, plate them up!



I let my friends try these delicious treats, and they were all consumed within 10 minutes.



These things are SO good. Their crispy, crunchy exterior is complemented beautifully by their gooey, cheesy, mushroom and onion interior. It’s a perfect combination, kind of like an Asian mozzarella stick, but better, or maybe kind of like Asian pizza dumplings, but without tomato sauce. I inhaled a plate of these little dumplings in about three minutes. I think they make a great vegetarian meal, or would be awesome finger food for a party! They don’t need any dip, as the filling is rich and juicy enough on its own.


I was honestly so surprised at how delicious these things turned out to be! I really think I would make these again in a heartbeat. The ingredients are really simple to find and the only time consuming part was the folding of the dumplings, which was much more fun with a friend to help.


I hope you all liked this week’s episode! As always, you can check out other anime food recipes on my blog at Penguin Snacks. Feel free to leave questions and comments below, as well as suggestions of what you’d like to see me make next! Have a great day ☺


In case you missed it, check out last week's dish, also from Food Wars: chaliapin steak don! What other dishes would you like to see Emily try out on COOKING WITH ANIME?

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