Gyoza Quesadilla


I apologize for the rather dodgy photos - this was not a preplanned shoot, just some hasty snapshots before the subject was devoured. And I know that I promised you a new recipe using tsubu-an, but I’m still not happy with how the formulas are working. Time has run out for now, because we are finally moving tomorrow from the apartment we have been renting in Z├╝rich for a while, to well, another apartment in Provence - but one that is right across the river from Our House, the one that we had been trying to buy for the past few months. After a lot of tears shed and sleepless nights and all kinds of angst, it’s finally ours. It’s still not in a livable state, which is why we have to move to yet another short-term rental apartment, but soon we hope to be able to move in. I’ll post some photos of the new/old place next week…provided the phone/DSL is working. Yes, I’m having bouts of panic and buyer’s remorse and all that…hopefully that will pass.

In the meantime, here’s a quickie recipe for something that I came up with the other day for dinner. This is a deconstructed version of gyoza dumplings (uh, I really need to replace that photo from 2004…). I love gyoza dumplings, but at the moment, surrounded by partially packed boxes and piles of laundry and general chaos, I am in no mood to be folding delicate little dumplings. This no-skill version tastes just like gyoza but is much, much quicker to make. It consists of a layer of gyoza filling sandwiched between gyoza skins, then steam-fried just like the dumplings are, so that the bottom is nice and crispy and the top is soft and slippery-noodle-y. It looks, and is constructed, just like a quesadilla, hence its name.

I’v also replaced the cooked cabbage with lettuce - the pale leftover parts in the middle of a head of lettuce will do fine - to eliminate the blanching, cooling and squeezing out steps, shaving off even more minutes and bother.

Recipe: Gyoza Quesadilla


Makes one 9 inch (22cm) quesadilla, which serves 1-2 people

For the filling:

  • 100g / 3.5 oz ground pork
  • 4-5 iceberg, romaine or cos lettuce leaves, finely chopped, to make 3/4 cup chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions chopped, to make 1/2 cup chopped
  • 1/2 garlic clove, grated (about 1/2 tsp.)
  • 1 piece fresh ginger, grated (about 1 tsp.)
  • 1 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 Tbs. cornstarch or potato starch


  • 1 packet of gyoza skins containing 24 to 30 pieces
  • Vegetable oil for cooking

Mix the filling ingredients together very well with your hands. If it is a little watery, add a bit more cornstarch.

Divide the packet of gyoza skins into two. Spread some vegetable oil in a non-stick frying pan. Line the pan with half of the gyoza skins in an overlapping pattern. Press down so that they stick together. Put the filling in the middle and spread evenly. Cover with the rest of the gyoza skins, also in an overlapping pattern. Press down lightly.

Put the frying pan on high heat, and cook until the bottom is lightly browned. Turn down the heat to low. Hold a lid over the frying pan with one hand, and a cup containing 1/2 cup water in the other. Add the water to the pan while shielding yourself from the spatters with the lid. Close the lid quickly. Steam-cook until the top is semi-transparent and no longer looks like uncooked dough, and the water has evaporated, about 10 minutes. For the last 1-2 minutes, take the lid off, pour off any remaining water, and raise the heat up to high to crisp the bottom.

Take the quesadilla out of the pan and slice into wedges. Serve with a dipping sauce of soy sauce and chili oil or vinegar.

Note: This should work with wonton skins/wrappers, though you will have to be more careful since wonton skins are thinner and more delicate than gyoza skins.

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Re: Gyoza Quesadilla

Don't apologize for the photos, they look fine. The Gyoza Quesadilla looks beautiful and delicious, I can't wait to try it out. Thanks for sharing the recipe amid the chaos at home. I hope the moves go smoothly! Good luck!

van | 27 May, 2010 - 15:31

Re: Gyoza Quesadilla

Hooray! To be honest, I never was able to fold, crimp, and fry up my own gyoza without it turning into a complete mess in the pan! Now I don't need to! I hope my husband is open-minded enough to let me cook this this weekend!

Kristin | 27 May, 2010 - 15:57

Re: Gyoza Quesadilla

What a great and unique idea!!!!

shannon abdollmohammadi | 27 May, 2010 - 16:11

Re: Gyoza Quesadilla

HI Good luck with the move.
The Gyoza quesadila looks great.
Im actually planning to make Gyoza this weekend to replenish my stash.

MissB | 28 May, 2010 - 04:00

Re: Gyoza Quesadilla

Looks good to me. I'll have to try making them. My freezer stash has almost run out.

Mike Goldberg | 29 May, 2010 - 02:45

Re: Gyoza Quesadilla

Those look great. I always shy away from making gyouza because it turns into an all-afternoon affair cooking, mixing, and painstakingly making each individual piece. While pretty, it takes so long. However, this I could do for dinner one night! I'm glad you shared this.

Laura | 29 May, 2010 - 03:42

Re: Gyoza Quesadilla

Maki, I JUST made this! I had great fun making it for a gloomy Saturday in Japan :D Thank you for the recipe - what a brilliant idea! I never make gyoza for myself. Plus, I know that this recipe is 100% MSG free which makes it all the more appealing:)

Helen | 29 May, 2010 - 08:13

Re: Gyoza Quesadilla

This looks delicious! I love gyozas, but I never want to fold them, and the store bought ones just aren't the same (I was recently spoiled by a very delicious local Japanese restaurant).

CS | 29 May, 2010 - 20:37

Re: Gyoza Quesadilla

Wow, I wish I'd thought of that! I always put off making dumplings because it takes a couple of hours to work through a pack of gyoza wrappers, as much as I love them! Thank you for posting your discovery.

Amy | 30 May, 2010 - 03:02

Re: Gyoza Quesadilla

Egads, that looks like something out of a dream or potentially nightmare. Now that the gyoza are disc shaped, what's to stop them from floating out of the pan and zipping off?

Danny GB | 31 May, 2010 - 04:03

Re: Gyoza Quesadilla

Cool idea! Do you use the same filling for regular dumplings?
I hope your move will be smooth and painless!

kim | 31 May, 2010 - 11:00

Re: Gyoza Quesadilla

Don't worry about the general panic/buyers remorse, I had exactly the same thing when I bought my flat. I've now been here a year and I absolutely love it, and still wake up thinking I love this flat!

I love the gyoza quesidillas too! its such a good idea :)

Nic | 1 June, 2010 - 14:22

Re: Gyoza Quesadilla

Don't worry about the general panic/buyers remorse, I had exactly the same thing when I bought my flat. I've now been here a year and I absolutely love it, and still wake up thinking I love this flat!

I love the gyoza quesidillas too! its such a good idea :)

Nic | 1 June, 2010 - 14:22

Re: Gyoza Quesadilla

You just moved to my number one removal hero for managing to post *anything* right before you are moving! I hope it all went well.
And what you did post sounds delicious!

Caffettiera | 1 June, 2010 - 19:27

Re: Gyoza Quesadilla

Wow! So innovative!
Love your idea of cutting the prep time and am looking forward to trying it. Thanks!
Best wishes for a smooth move.

Jenny | 1 June, 2010 - 20:14

Re: Gyoza Quesadilla

This is a great creation, perfect for lazy days but craving for Gyoza at the same time. I have gotta try it too!Greetings from Basel. Good luck with the moving!

Janet @Gourmet Traveller 88 | 2 June, 2010 - 22:40

Re: Gyoza Quesadilla

Yum...this looks good! How creative!

Jen | 4 June, 2010 - 07:13

Re: Gyoza Quesadilla

omg this looks so yummy, can't wait to try it! (btw the pics look just fine)

M | 5 June, 2010 - 06:34

Re: Gyoza Quesadilla

Hiya- I used your gyoza recipe, which is super yummy, when I was living in Japan to recreate my favorite ramen-ya food, and I have to admit I've got the system down; making gyoza isn't that time-consuming for me, and I really like Andrea Nguyen's recipe for Gyoza from "Asian Dumplings" as well- great cookbook if you haven't checked it out.

I've got to say- I'm really dubious about using lettuce in this- I mean, really, really dubious!

I hope the stress of moving eases very soon.

Katie | 7 June, 2010 - 06:05

Re: Gyoza Quesadilla

Japan, Japanese and anything regarding this country makes me veeeery happy. And, what you created is a mouth watering recipe... I would hold on the pork, but I would love to try it as a vegetarian dish... lovely!!!

eleni | 7 June, 2010 - 15:06

Re: Gyoza Quesadilla

That's an awesome idea! I have slaved over making dumplings and gotten frustrated when they open up on my while cooking. This is an easy and effective solution that looks just as delicious!

Migration Mark | 16 June, 2010 - 20:14

Re: Gyoza Quesadilla

Mmm... looks delicious! I do have to say that at first, I thought "Eeeeewwwww!!! Gyoza Quesadilla?!?!". I live very close to Mexico, and everyone here knows that queso means cheese, hence the magical "quesadilla", a tortilla filled with cheese and other various fillings. I am glad to see that there is no cheese in your Gyoza, and am excited to try this out!

Mila_MM | 16 June, 2010 - 22:43

Re: Gyoza Quesadilla

I made this on Saturday and YUM! I used the wonton wrappers and they were sturdy, only problem I had was it took longer to get the top to cook...AND I can see now from the pics that you must have crimped the edges. I did not so I ended up with 3 separate layers making cutting a bit difficult. This was SO easy I am sure I will make it again. THANKS!

Amy | 22 June, 2010 - 22:46

Re: Gyoza Quesadilla

Thanks for this, I didn't use your recipe exactly but more the idea.
I used what I had on hand to make a vegetarian/vegan version: mashed chickpeas, edamame and some shiitake instead of pork, and carrot instead of lettuce. It made a quick and delicious dinner.
I think something like tempeh would work better than the chickpeas, but I've run out.

Brinn | 2 August, 2010 - 12:23
Vicki | 13 August, 2010 - 11:34

Re: Gyoza Quesadilla

I just tried this a few days ago, and have made it 3 times so far.
I think this is fast becoming my favorite recipe because it's simple and flexible - i could modify the fillings as i like.

Thanks for sharing this

Ling | 14 August, 2010 - 04:30

Re: Gyoza Quesadilla

I love gyoza/mandoo(thats what i call it) and i'm super happy theres someway to use lettuce other than salad. Great recipe.

Iggy | 17 September, 2010 - 22:16

Re: Gyoza Quesadilla

Ist't lettuce, like, salad? Instead of cabbage? (Although I agree non-Japanese cabbage is sooo different!)

I just wanted to share my cheap student-friendly recipe for Gyouza Bogus: I call it Gyouza-Furaipan or "Gyouza without the za" and it's actually just the Gyouza filling without anything around it. Eaten over rice.
It reminds me of Gyouza without all the hassle.

Eberin | 30 March, 2011 - 22:25

Re: Gyoza Quesadilla

Yep I use lettuce instead of cabbage - no need to precook lettuce, a bit of a crispy crunch too. Works! (and actually Japanese cabbage is pretty much the same as uh, Western cabbage. The type of cabbage called napa or Chinese in Japan is not called cabbage, it's called hakusai.)

maki | 31 March, 2011 - 12:59

Re: Gyoza Quesadilla

hmmm... i wonder how this would be with cheese? quesadilla is originally cheese based (queso-cheese).

Viridian | 4 April, 2012 - 23:52

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