Exploring the Roots of the Gyoza
Gyoza are a popular appetizer and side order in Japanese restaurants. They are a type of Japanese pot sticker or dumpling. Traditionally, gyoza are made from very thin sheets of dough wrapped around fillings of vegetables or meats. Gyoza may be pan-fried, boiled, or deep-fried. Deep-fried gyoza are called age-gyoza. If you get the chance to visit a Japanese steakhouse, don’t miss the opportunity to order gyoza for a delicious and authentic Japanese dining experience!
Chinese Origins of Gyoza
Although the gyoza is a Japanese food, it has its roots in China. It can be said to be a descendant of the jiaozi dumpling, which is a very popular snack in China. It’s thought that the jiaozi was created sometime after 150 AD by the same man who founded Chinese herbal medicine. This individual wanted to create a warm food that would help people get through the cold weather. Although the Chinese people enjoy jiaozi all year round, it’s a particularly popular menu item during the Chinese New Year.
Migration of Dumplings to Japan
It’s thought that dumplings were eaten in Japan at some point prior to 1700. However, they didn’t become popular until the 1940s. Wars have a way of exposing different cultures to each other, for better or worse, and this was the case with the second Sino-Japanese War. Japan was poor in natural resources, and northern China was very rich in natural resources. Japan invaded and occupied Manchuria in northern China with the goal of commandeering these natural resources. The Japanese ended up bringing home more than they’d bargained for, in the form of Chinese jiaozi. The humble dumpling became a favorite national food.
Modern Japanese Gyoza
Today, Japanese gyoza is a little different from Chinese jiaozi. One difference is that, in Japan, gyoza specialty shops often serve these pot stickers with white rice. Ramen shops serve them with ramen. Another difference is that dumplings in China are traditionally boiled, whereas the Japanese prefer to pan fry them.
House of Genji is famous for our delicious age-gyoza, served with soy and rice vinegar dipping sauce. If you’re in the mood for an incredible teppanyaki dining experience in San Jose, give us a call today at (408) 453-8120 to request reservations! Be sure to check out our cocktail lounge!
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