The Ultimate Japanese Convenience Food. Gyoza.

gyoza cookedWe love gyoza. Plump little Japanese dumplings filled with meat and vegetables. Their bottoms fried to a golden hue and tops softly steamed to silky perfection. They are available everywhere in Niseko. On and off piste. Always on the menu at the local izakaya to have with a drink and the ramen and noodle houses as an appetiser before the main course.

With three hungry teenagers in tow I paid a visit to the local Japanese supermarket in Kutchan town to stock up on supplies. I now have a refrigerator full of Japanese convenience food to satisfy the hungriest and greediest of them all. Gyoza, ramen, soba, pork or chicken buns, edamame and even tempura prawns are all available in handy convenience packs. With a minimum of fuss an authentic Japanese meal can be on the table in minutes.

Here’s how its done. Buy a packet of prepared gyoza from the Japanese supermarket. Any brand will do (it has to really as I neither speak Japanese or read kanji or hiragana).  Be guided by the pictures.

gyoza packet

Heat a pan on medium with a little olive oil. Sear the bottoms of the gyoza until they are golden brown. Add 1/2 a cup of water and the contents of the seasoning sachets. Steam until the liquid has evaporated and serve.

So easy that even my teenagers can prepare these for themselves. With unrestricted access to the refrigerator they will probably eat a whole packet each. The ski lifts here open at 8.30 am and operate until 9 pm at night. Often my little darlings ski home at around 5 pm. Raid the fridge and can be back out there under lights until the last run.

I myself prefer to pay a relaxing visit to the soothing mineral waters of the onsen and then visit one of the many izakaya and restaurants for a bite to eat.  Tonight my husband and I are off to ABuCha for sukiyaki. Whilst I adore these gyoza too, when I’m on holiday my children can fend for themselves. Fortunately these gyoza are also available in Japanese supermarkets back at home. So you don’t have to wait for a trip to Japan to enjoy them.

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