The History of the Gyoza - Ejji (2024)

Just about everything you eat has a story to tell. Everything originated from somewhere, was inspired by something, or in some cases – was created accidentally. Japanese food usually has a story that dates back for centuries, sometimes older than the history of Japan itself!

Allow Ejii Ramen to give you a history lesson on one of our delicious appetizers: gyozas. Gyozas are made of a thin sheet of wheat flour with a finely textured filling made of vegetables or meat that can be boiled, steamed, or fried. Their origin stems from China with the invention of Jiaozi. 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.

Jiaozi are rumored to be invented by a Zhang Zhongjing, a practitioner of Chinese medicine to treat frostbitten ears. He would boil lamb meat, peppers, and medicines in a pot and then wrap the filling in small dough wrappers. He then used them to warm poor people’s ears who did not have sufficient clothing or food in the winter. Overtime, Zhang Zhongjing’s recipe was adapted and imitated by the people of China.

Japanese soldiers became familiar with jiaozi during World War II when they were quartered in China. When the soldiers returned home to Japan they wanted to recreate jiaozi and thus the gyoza was born.

Today, gyoza is found as an appetizer in many Japanese restaurants all over the world and constantly keeps changing to make different variations.

At Ejji Ramen, we serve a vegetable gyoza, which is two bites full of rich history and rich flavor. Our savory-sweet pan-friend dumplings are full of shiitake mushrooms, crunchy jicama and cabbage. So come try one of most popular appetizers and taste a piece of history!

The History of the Gyoza - Ejji (2024)


What is the history of gyoza? ›

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 real name of gyoza? ›

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.

Are gyozas Chinese or Japanese? ›

These delicious treats are Japanese dumplings, made with a variety of different fillings. They are very similar to the Chinese 'jiaozi', commonly known as 'potstickers', however there are some differences.

What does gyoza symbolize? ›

In Chinese, the pronunciation of jiaozi is the same as the word that means having a baby, so gyoza are regarded as a good luck food and an essential dish for the Chinese New Year or other festive occasions, such as wedding ceremonies.

What does gyoza stand for? ›

First recorded in 1965–70; from Japanese gyoza, from Chinese dialect (Shandong) giǎoze ( Mandarin jiǎozi ), equivalent to giǎo “stuffed dumpling” + ze “l*ttle child” (used as a diminutive suffix)

What is a fact about gyoza? ›

Gyozas are made of a thin sheet of wheat flour with a finely textured filling made of vegetables or meat that can be boiled, steamed, or fried. Their origin stems from China with the invention of Jiaozi. In fact, gyoza is the Japanese pronunciation of jiaozi!

What does gyoza mean in English? ›

gyo·​za gē-ˈō-zə plural gyoza or gyozas. : a crescent-shaped dumpling consisting of a thin wrapper that is filled usually with meat, seafood, or vegetables. Gyoza are very versatile—you can pan-fry, steam, boil or deep-fry them, or simply add a couple to your noodle soup.

Are gyozas healthy? ›

Are gyozas healthy? Asian food is generally quite healthy, but as with any dish, nothing in excess is good. Gyozas are quite healthy, but they depend a lot on the content and the type of cooking. A gyoza stuffed with pork and fried is not the same as one with steamed vegetables.

What is Japan's number 1 gyoza? ›

Ajinomoto is ranked number one gyoza in Japan! It's hard to find more convincing proof of authenticity than the success we have had with a nation of demanding foodies and ravioli experts!

Can gyoza be eaten cold? ›

I learned this gyoza recipe while living in Japan. These pot stickers can be served hot or cold, with or without the dipping sauce.

Is gyoza made of pork? ›

The simplest recipes have you knead together pork, minced cabbage, and aromatics like garlic, ginger, and nira (Japanese garlic chives; scallions will do just fine). Without know-how, these don't produce particularly good dumplings.

Is Momo a gyoza? ›

No. Momo is a type of dumpling; there are many more types of dumplings : siu mai, gyoza, pot stickers, pierogi etc. They are both made with a mixture of flour and water, sometime with an added pinch of bicarb.

Is gyoza a fish? ›

Pork –While the original Chinese dumplings use ground beef, pork, lamb, chicken, fish, and shrimp for fillings, classic gyoza usually consists of ground pork. Cabbage –Chinese dumplings use napa cabbage, but regular cabbage is commonly used for gyoza.

What does the gyoza emoji mean? ›

Other Japanese food emojis include: 🥟 Gyoza. Small dumplings filled with meat, prawns and vegetables, sometimes known as “pot stickers” in English. 🍥 Naruto-maki.

Why are gyoza green? ›

Gyoza contains 5 vegetables that create a flavorful taste and texture : Cabbage, carrots, edamame, peas and white radish (also known as Japanese radish). Spinach is added to the pastry to add a green touch.

Why is gyoza important to Japanese culture? ›

Gyoza is typical of Japan in that Japanese cuisine has adapted the traditional Chinese dumpling recipe to the taste of the Rising Sun. This Japanese dumpling, therefore, descends directly from the jiaozi of the Middle Kingdom, which consists of an envelope of wheat-based dough sealed around pork and vegetable stuffing.

What is the meaning of gyoza gyoza? ›

/ɡiːˈoʊ.zə/ a Japanese food consisting of meat or vegetables wrapped in dough (= flour and water mixed together) and fried in oil: We had Japanese gyoza to start.

Was gyoza originally a vegetable dish? ›

Gyoza (餃子) is the name for Japanese pan-fried dumplings. They are originally from China but evolved to suit Japanese taste. The classic Gyoza is typically made with pork and cabbage filling. Compared to Chinese dumplings, gyoza usually contains a higher ratio of vegetables than meat.

What is the gyoza scandal? ›

The entire incident is eerily similar to another one from six years ago in which frozen gyoza dumplings imported from China by a Japan Tobacco affiliate were found laced with insecticide. A factory worker at the Chinese maker was arrested in connection with the incident.


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