Cooking with Anime by Emily Bushman
First big thing we need to address: Erina's father somehow thinks it's a good idea to shut down one of the dormitories that houses students at his own academy. His justification is that the house is set apart from the school and therefore hard to control, which is all well and good, but let's be real...WHERE WILL THE STUDENTS LIVE INSTEAD? Seriously, you don't just shut down a dorm because you don't like that you can't control the kids there. Logistically, you then have to find housing for these students and seriously, how easy is that? The school can't just build a new dorm for these kids, so where will they go? It just doesn't make sense to close down a dorm to get kids to conform.
However, this is anime, and rational things don't always win at the end of the day. Which brings us to Soma's shokugeki with Eizan. Soma makes Wing Gyoza, or Wingtip Gyoza, or Cheese-Feathered Hanetsuki Gyoza. There are a few different names out there... The main ingredient is Jidori Satsuma chicken, which has been described to me as the kobe beef of chicken in Japan. So, basically, very delicious, carefully breaded chickens full of flavor. Apparently it is available in SOME restaurants in the States, and is provided by a select supplier directly from Japan. However, as you can imagine, that makes it difficult for the average home-cook to obtain. Luckily, it IS quite easy to obtain a pack of chicken wings from your local grocery store, so I decided to settle for that. Hopefully my plebeian tastebuds won't know the difference between the two.
The most challenging thing about this dish, in my opinion, is deboning the chicken wing. It takes time and a little bit of patience, but it's totally possible to do if you don't mind wrestling with a dead chicken, somewhat literally. Beyond that, putting the filling of the gyoza together is a snap (again, as long as you don't mind the extensive amount of chopping involved), stuffing the chicken wings is easy, and then it just comes down to cooking them up and dousing them in sauce (yum).
For the home cook, this dish is remarkably easy to recreate. I mean, easier than other Food Wars! recipes, that is. As long as you don't mind chopping and stuffing and frying, you're good to go. Of course, if you want to make the recipe as authentically as possible, you have to factor in making the stock, which involves boiling the carcass of a chicken for a couple of hours. It's not hard to do, just tedious and a bit messy. I decided to forgo this step and use homemade stock, mostly because it's easier and less time consuming for a result that is pretty similar. If you want to be authentic, by all means, go for it. Here is a recipe you can follow to make your own stock. Don't yell at me for not following the anime exactly! I've made stock from scratch before. It's good, but let's be real: I'm a hardworking woman who does not have time after work to boil some bones for a slightly superior result. There is a reason store-bought chicken stock was invented. And because I want as many people to try this as possible, it would be silly of me to insist you make your own stock when I know you can easily cut corners.
With that said, I really hope you can try this! It is a really unique dish that is SO GOOD, and really impressive! This would be a great party food. To start making your own, watch the video below for more instructions!
Ingredients for the Wing Gyoza:
- 12 Chicken Wings, deboned
- ~1/ 4 cup grated Parmesan
- 3/4 pound ground pork
- 1/4 pound fatty pork, minced
- 3/4 cup Garlic chives, finely chopped
- 2 cups Napa Cabbage, finely chopped, about 4 leaves
- about 6 oz Shiitake Mushrooms, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp Ginger, minced
- 1 tbsp Garlic, minced
- 1 tbsps Soy Sauce
- salt and pepper
- 2 tbsps Oyster Sauce
- 2 tbsp Arrowroot/ Potato Starch
- 2 cups unseasoned Chicken stock (homemade or store bought)
- 1/3 cup Soy Sauce
- 3 tbsp Sake
- 1 tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
- Sugar (to taste)
- 2 tbsp Ketchup
To Make the Wing Gyoza:
1. If you're making your stock from scratch, begin boiling your chicken bones at least 3 hours prior to use in the dish.
2. De-bone chicken wings. Pat dry with a paper towel and set aside.
3. Combine pork filling ingredients and mix well, until fat is evenly incorporated throughout the mixture and it is sticky. Carefully stuff chicken wings with pork filling mixture.
4. Heat pan to medium high heat. Heat cooking oil. Sear chicken wings, skin side down, flip, and lower heat. Cover with a lid and allow to cook through, about 10 minutes.
5. While cooking, combine the chicken stock with the sauce ingredients in a pot over medium heat. Stir together and set aside to let thicken.
6. Ladle about 1/4 cup of water over the wings. Sprinkle cheese generously over cooked wings. Cover with lid again and wait until you hear it "sizzle." Then, take the lid off and dress wings with the sauce. Allow the sauce and cheese to caramelize together before serving.
7. Eat hot and enjoy!