Gyoza Vs Dumplings: Is There a Difference? | Oriental Mart (2024)

Gyoza Vs Dumplings: Is There a Difference? | Oriental Mart (1)

Dumplings, in one form or another, are an important culinary tradition in many cuisines across the world. They are particularly prominent in China and Japan, with regional and flavour variations contributing to a diverse selection of bites perfect for adding to stews, soups and sides.

But where do Japanese gyoza fit in – are they part of the dumplings family or are they something different? Let’s break down this popular dish.

What are Gyoza in Japanese Cuisine?

Gyoza are a type of crescent-shaped Japanese dumpling consisting of thin dough wrappers with a meat (traditionally pork) and vegetable filling.

All gyoza are dumplings, but not all dumplings are gyoza, as this term refers to the specific style of dumplings enjoyed in Japan.

The dumplings are often sold in ramen shops, restaurants, izakaya and even specialty gyoza establishments, where they are usually enjoyed alongside a dipping sauce.

While gyoza are not too hard to make yourself, frozen gyoza packets are a really convenient option, giving you an instant, authentic taste without any hassle in the kitchen. Ajinomoto, Bibigo and Allgroo are all popular brands that make frozen gyozas in various flavours – perfect for cooking up at home!

Gyoza Vs Dumplings: Is There a Difference? | Oriental Mart (2)

What are Gyoza Made of?

Gyoza wrappers are made from a simple dough consisting of water, flour and salt. As with any other kind of dumpling, their fillings can vary widely, with endless options. The traditional and most common gyoza filling includes:

  • Minced pork
  • Cabbage
  • Chinese chives\ nira
  • Garlic
  • Ginger

These pork gyoza are usually the default option, although you can get all-vegetable, chicken, beef and shrimp-based fillings too.

Gyoza Dipping Sauce

You wouldn’t get the full gyoza experience if you didn’t pair them with a delicious dipping sauce. Traditional gyoza sauce is very simple and is usually made up of half soy sauce and half rice vinegar with a sprinkle of chilli. Other versions may also include sesame oil, honey, garlic, ginger and other seasonings.

Chinese Dumplings Vs Gyoza

Gyoza likely originates from China. They were introduced to Japan in the 19th century but started becoming more widely enjoyed after the Second World War when returning soldiers brought back their love for the Chinese delicacies. Gyoza closely resemble Chinese dumplings known as jiaozi, which is where the Japanese name comes from.

What is Jiaozi?

In a general sense, gyoza and jiaozi dumplings are the same thing. However, there are some slight differences between the Japanese and Chinese styles.

Gyoza Vs Dumplings: Is There a Difference? | Oriental Mart (4)

The Difference Between Jiaozi & Gyoza

Jiaozi wrappers are usually slightly thicker than gyoza wrappers because they are handmade, while their Japanese counterparts are made by machines a lot of the time. The other main difference comes from the way they are cooked.

While both dumplings can be prepared in various ways, jiaozi usually refers to dumplings that are steamed or boiled – this means they end up with a soft, delicate outer casing. On the other hand, gyoza are more commonly pan-fried, which results in a crispier exterior and juicy, succulent inside.

What are Potstickers?

You may also know Chinese jiaozi as potstickers. This is just another name for the dumplings we have been discussing.

Other Types of Chinese Dumplings

When referring to Chinese dumplings, it's likely most people’s first thought will be jiaozi. However, the world of Chinese dumplings is expansive and there’s more than just these crescent-shaped bites to consider.

There are two overarching categories for Chinese dumplings: gao and bao. Gao are dumplings shaped like crescents (i.e. like jiaozi), while bao are purse-shaped or round, with the dough gathered at the top. There are then endless dumpling varieties under these main categories, with differences in the wrappers, fillings and how they’re cooked. Popular options include:

  • Siu Mai
  • Xiao Long Bao
  • Har Gao
  • Bao Zi

Different Types of Gyoza

Along with the regional differences between Chinese and Japanese potstickers, there’s also some variation within the gyoza family itself. These different terms indicate how the gyoza are cooked.

  • Yaki-Gyoza: pan-fried before water is added and a lid placed on top, allowing the gyoza to steam at the same time.
  • Age-Gyoza: deep-fried for an even crispier dumpling.
  • Mushi-Gyoza: steamed in a bamboo steamer with no frying.
  • Sui-Gyoza: boiled in water or broth for a chewier dumpling.

Gyoza Vs Dumplings: Is There a Difference? | Oriental Mart (6)

Want to try some gyoza or other dumplings for yourself? Check out our range of Chinese, Japanese and Korean dumplings to get your fix!

Written By:

Sara Yang

Sara is based in the UK but loves nothing more than creating and sampling dishes from all around the world. Her favourite is Asian cuisine and she hopes to inspire more people in the UK to try authentic East Asian dishes.

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Gyoza Vs Dumplings: Is There a Difference? | Oriental Mart (2024)


Gyoza Vs Dumplings: Is There a Difference? | Oriental Mart? ›

While both dumplings can be prepared in various ways, jiaozi usually refers to dumplings that are steamed or boiled – this means they end up with a soft, delicate outer casing. On the other hand, gyoza are more commonly pan-fried, which results in a crispier exterior and juicy, succulent inside.

Is there a difference between gyoza and dumplings? ›

The simple answer: there is no difference; since gyoza is a dumpling. The complicated answer: there are so many differences since not all dumplings are gyoza. The most significant differences between traditional dumplings and gyoza are their shape, wrappers, and method of cooking.

Are potstickers and dumplings the same thing? ›

Potstickers at a Glance

Unlike dumplings, potstickers are made with a thin wrapper, sometimes referred to as a dumpling skin. This is because they are steam fried to get a crispy golden bottom layer and to ensure that the filling is juicy and delicious.

What is the difference between chicken potstickers and gyoza? ›

Gyoza are Japanese-style dumplings: A finely textured filling is tucked inside very thin dough to form small, delicate half-moons that are traditionally pan-fried, then steamed. Chinese-style potstickers are typically made from thicker dough and often fried, steamed, then crisped before serving.

What is the Chinese equivalent of gyoza? ›

Gyōza. Gyoza are a Japanese version of jiaozi that were developed from recipes brought back by Japanese soldiers returning from the Japanese-backed puppet state of Manchukuo in northeastern China during World War II.

What is the difference between gyoza and dumplings and potstickers? ›

Gyoza is the Japanese variation on the traditional Chinese recipe of potstickers. They are usually made with thinner, more delicate wrappers, and the filling is more finely textured. The thinner skins mean that gyoza get crispier than chewy potstickers.

Why are dumplings called gyoza? ›

In fact, gyoza is the Japanese pronunciation of jiaozi! There are a few theories of where the name “jiaozi” originated. One of the most popular theories is that jiaozi was named because of its unique horn shape since the Chinese word for “horn” is jiao.

What are dumplings actually called? ›

Sometimes, a jiaozi (the generalized term for Chinese dumplings) can first be made as a shui jiao before pan-frying it to turn it into guo tie.

Are potstickers called gyoza? ›

Gyoza are the Japanese version of jiaozi, or Chinese potstickers. This version is pan-fried but they work well deep-fried or steamed too.

What are regular dumplings called? ›

The name jiaozi refers to this type of dumpling generically, although jiaozi might be referred to as shui jiao, if boiled; zheng jiao, if steamed; and guo tie or jian jiao, if pan-fried. These last are what are commonly known as potstickers.

What are the three types of gyoza? ›

There are usually three types of gyoza that are found and enjoyed in Japan. That is yaki gyoza, age gyoza, and sui gyoza. The traditional method of steaming isn't so often seen in Japan unless dining in a Chinese food establishment.

What is the difference between gyoza and wonton and dumplings? ›

Some people have trouble knowing the difference between gyoza and other dumplings. Indeed, there will not always be much of a difference; the terms gyoza and mandu are often times used interchangeably. Compared to a wonton, however, a gyoza tends to have a thicker wrap and a distinct, crescent-style shape.

What is the real name for potstickers? ›

Potstickers, or jiaozi, are crescent-shaped Chinese dumplings that are first pan-fried and then steamed, which results in a dumpling that is crispy on one side and soft and chewy on the other. Fillings vary but are usually a combination of minced meat and/or vegetables, plus aromatics for enhanced flavor.

Are gyoza Japanese or Chinese? ›

Gyoza (餃子, gyōza) are dumplings filled with ground meat and vegetables and wrapped in a thin dough. Also known as pot stickers, gyoza originated in China (where they are called jiaozi), but have become a very popular dish in Japan.

What do Chinese people eat for breakfast? ›

Congee (rice porridge), rice noodles (mixian), and rice cakes (nian gao) are staples. Dim sum, such as steamed dumplings (xiaolongbao) and dumplings (jiaozi), are also popular. Western China: In the West, breakfast is influenced by the diverse ethnic groups in the region.

Is gyoza similar to pierogi? ›

is that gyoza is a japanese crescent-shaped dumpling filled with a minced stuffing and steamed, boiled or fried; the japanese equivalent of the chinese jiaozi while pierogi is (north america) a square- or crescent-shaped dumpling of unleavened dough, stuffed with sauerkraut, cheese, mashed potatoes, cabbage, onion, ...

What are the two types of dumplings? ›

The crescent-shaped dumplings are called gao. And the more purse-shaped and round ones are called the bao. There are millions of variations of these two depending on the kind of wrapper used, the filling added, and the way the dumplings are cooked (fried, boiled, and steamed).


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