With a crispy crust, a savory cabbage-based filling, and a salty soy sauce-based dipping sauce, Vegetable Gyoza will be an instant hit! Though this dumpling recipe is naturally vegan and vegetarian, even meat eaters will love their crisp exterior and umami flavor. This authentic Japanese recipe is satisfying every time.
This post is sponsored by Nature's Charm. All text and opinions are my own.
Table of contents
What Are Gyoza?
Gyoza (餃子) is a type of Japanese dumpling that is typically filled with ground meat, vegetables, and seasonings. Though many recipes do call for meat, this vegan gyoza recipe contains only vegetables (cabbage, onions, green onions, and mushrooms).
The vegan dumpling filling is wrapped in a thin dough skin, similar to a Chinese dumpling, and the gyoza is usually pan-fried until the bottom is golden and crisp, and then steamed with a bit of water until fully cooked.
Gyoza is often served as a main dish or a side dish in Japanese cuisine. They are commonly dipped in a soy sauce mixture or a spicy chili oil sauce. The vegetable dumplings are usually served with rice, a main dish, and soup in Japan. They can also be found in restaurants and supermarkets in many other countries around the world.
Why You'll Love Veggie Gyoza
Though I could wax on about why this is the best vegetable gyoza recipe, here are just a few of the top reasons why you'll love it!
- Fresh and healthy. Though frozen gyoza are delicious in their own right, the flavor of fresh cabbage, shiitake mushrooms, green onions, ginger, and garlic in this vegetarian gyoza recipe just can't be beat.
- Impressive. Serving up a platter of homemade vegan dumplings is sure to elicit "oohs" and "ahhs" from your crew. They're a great addition to dinner parties, potlucks, or cocktail party spreads!
- Enjoyable to make. Though this recipe does call for a few steps, the process is satisfying and the end result is so rewarding! If you are looking for a bit of comfort food cooking, this recipe is for you!
- Naturally vegan and vegetarian. No modifications are needed to make this recipe 100% veg-friendly.
- Cabbage - Green cabbage works best for this recipe, though minced Napa cabbage can also work if need be.
- Onion - Yellow or white onions are best.
- Shiitake mushrooms - Chop up the mushrooms finely so they combine well with the other veggies.
- Green onions - Also known as scallions, green onions contribute their classic grassy and pungent flavor to the gyoza.
- Ginger & garlic - Using fresh minced garlic and ginger will provide the best flavor.
- Soy sauce - With salty umami notes, soy sauce brings out the flavor in the vegetable filling mixture.
- Vegan fish sauce - My go-to brand is Nature's Charm. It has exceptional flavor and saltiness while still being 100% vegan.
- Vegetable stock paste - Vegetable stock cubes or bouillion also work!
- Potato starch - We need just a teaspoon to help bind the vegetarian dumpling filling together.
- Gyoza wrappers - Read on for my tips for purchasing gyoza wrappers.
- Oil - A neutral oil like avocado or grapeseed will be the best choice for this recipe. In a pinch, you can also use light olive oil.
- Sesame oil - A healthy drizzle of this oil adds a nutty finish to the steamed vegan dumplings.
- Fine sea salt - This helps to express the moisture from the cabbage before making the dumpling filling.
Purchasing Gyoza Wrappers
When choosing and purchasing gyoza wrappers, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Type of wrapper: Gyoza wrappers can come in different shapes, sizes, and textures. Some are round, while others are square or rectangular. Some are thicker and doughier, while others are thinner and more delicate. I recommend round and moderately thick wrappers for this vegan dumpling recipe.
- Freshness: Look for gyoza wrappers that are fresh and pliable, with no signs of cracking or drying out. If possible, choose a package with a later expiration date to ensure maximum freshness.
- Ingredients: Check the ingredients list for any additives or preservatives. Choose gyoza wrappers that are made with simple, wholesome ingredients, such as flour, water, and salt.
Myojo and Shirakiku are two brands I see most often in stores.
How to Make Vegetable Gyoza
Though at first glance they may appear difficult to prepare, vegan dumplings are actually pretty simple to make! Here's how:
Step 1: Add the minced cabbage to a large bowl. Sprinkle the salt on top of the cabbage and massage it in. Let it sit for 15 minutes.
Step 2: Squeeze the water out of the cabbage. Put the cabbage back in the bowl.
Step 3: Put the minced onion on a plate and microwave it for 2 minutes or until partially cooked. Add the onions to the cabbage along with the mushrooms, green onions, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, fish sauce, vegetable stock paste, and potato starch. Mix thoroughly. Taste the mixture for seasoning and add additional salt as needed.
Step 4: Place a gyoza wrapper on your hand. Add 2 teaspoons of the vegetable mixture in the center of the wrapper. Using a finger dipped in water, wet the inner edges of the wrapper. Fold the gyoza wrapper in half and press the edges together to seal it shut, or crimp the edges to create a pleated pattern.
Step 5: Repeat until you run out of wrappers or filling.
Step 5: In a large non-stick frying pan, heat oil over medium heat. Place the gyoza flat-side down on the pan and cook until the bottoms are golden.
Step 6: Pour the water on top and cover the pan with a lid to let the gyoza steam.
Step 7: Take the lid off to let the remaining water evaporate. Once the water has evaporated, drizzle the veggie gyoza with sesame oil and continue to cook until the bottoms turn crispy. Take them off the pan and onto a plate.
Step 8: Whisk the dipping sauce ingredients together in a small bowl. Serve immediately with the hot gyoza and enjoy!
Recipe Success Tips
- Sprinkle the cabbage evenly with the salt. This will allow the water to fully express from the cabbage, keeping from adding unnecessary moisture to the vegetable gyoza filling.
- Mince the vegetables to a uniform size, allowing the filling to stir up well and have the most consistent flavor.
- Season the vegetable filling to taste before assembling the gyoza. And add extra salt if needed.
- Press extra air out of the gyoza before sealing. Air bubbles can cause bursting or rupturing as the gyoza cook, so be sure to squeeze any air out of the dumplings before completely sealing them shut.
- Use a non-stick frying pan. This will prevent the gyoza from sticking to the pan as they fry.
These vegan dumplings are fantastic served as a main dish, side dish, or appetizer. They are a favorite lunch or dinner meal around our house! Gyoza should be served hot out of the skillet alongside my soy sauce dipping blend and chili oil. Garnish with sliced green onions and toasted sesame seeds, if desired.
Though the main cooking method shared on the recipe card is to pan-fry and then steam the gyoza, you can also cook them in a pot of water and serve with the dipping sauce as "sui gyoza" (literally translated to "water gyoza") or cook it in stock/broth as "soup gyoza."
- Vegetable blend: Experiment with different chopped mushrooms or cabbage. Chopped cremini or oyster mushrooms would be great in this recipe, as would Napa cabbage or red cabbage!
- Spice: Add a bit of a kick to the vegetable filling by stirring chili oil or red pepper flakes in to taste. Alternatively, you can add extra chili oil to the dipping sauce for an elevated zip.
Making Gyoza Ahead of Time
Gyoza is a fantastic make-ahead vegan freezer recipe! Just place the freshly assembled dumplings spaced out on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and freeze until solid. Once frozen, move the dumplings to a freezer-safe container and freeze them for up to 3 months.
When cooking gyoza from frozen, add an additional minute or two to the steaming step, or until the gyoza are completely cooked through and steaming hot.
Storage and Reheating Directions
Leftover veggie dumplings keep covered in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
Reheat the gyoza in the microwave on high for 1-2 minutes or pan-fry them in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat with a small amount of oil.
Gyoza and dumplings are both types of filled dough pockets that are commonly eaten in various parts of Asia. Dumpling is a broader term that refers to all types of filled dough pockets throughout Asia, however, whereas Gyoza refers to the exclusively Japanese variety of dumplings.
Though vegans cannot eat all gyoza, as they are commonly filled with meats like chicken or pork, vegans can eat vegetable gyoza (like this recipe!) as long as they are made with no animal or animal-derived ingredients like chicken broth or stock.
Though I am not a registered dietitian or physician and can't make definitive claims about the health benefits of any foods, veg gyoza are packed with vegetables and are cooked with a minimal amount of fat, making them a nutritious, fiber-rich, and a great way to get your veggies!
Tools Needed to Make Vegetarian Dumplings
- Cutting board
- Chef knife
- Measuring cups & spoons
- Mixing bowl
- Silicone spatula
- Large non-stick frying pan
More Japanese Recipes
Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope you loved this vegetable dumplings recipe as much as I do. For more mouth-watering vegan, vegetarian, or dairy-free dinner inspiration, make sure to follow me on Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram. You can also get all of my newest content delivered straight to your inbox by signing up for my email newsletter — I promise not to spam you!
- 2 cups cabbage, minced
- 1 medium onion, minced
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- ⅓ cup minced shiitake mushrooms
- ½ cup minced green onions
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon grated garlic
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon Nature's Charm vegan fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon vegetable stock paste or 1 vegetable stock cube
- 1 teaspoon potato starch
- 20 gyoza wrappers
- 1 tablespoon oil
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Nature's Charm vegan fish sauce
- chili oil optional
- Add the minced cabbage to a large bowl. Sprinkle the cabbage with the fine sea salt and massage it in. Let it sit for 15 minutes and squeeze the water out of the cabbage. Put the cabbage back in the bowl.
- Put the minced onion on a plate and microwave it for 2 minutes, or until partially cooked. Add the onions to the cabbage along with the mushrooms, green onions, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, fish sauce, vegetable stock paste, and potato starch. Mix thoroughly. Taste the mixture for seasoning and add additional salt if needed.
- Place a gyoza wrapper on your hand. Add 2 teaspoons of the vegetable mixture in the center of the wrapper. Using a finger dipped in water, wet the inner edges of the wrapper. Fold the gyoza wrapper in half and press the edges together to seal it shut, or crimp the edges to create a pleated pattern. Repeat until you run out of wrappers or filling.
- In a large non-stick frying pan, heat oil over medium heat. Place the gyoza flat-side down on the pan and cook until the bottoms are golden. Pour the water on top and cover the pan with a lid to let the gyoza steam for -- minutes.
- Take the lid off to let the remaining water evaporate. Once the water has evaporated, drizzle with sesame oil and continue to cook until the bottom turns crispy. Remove the pan from the heat and move the gyoza onto a plate.
- Combine the dipping sauce ingredients in a small bowl or plate and serve immediately with your hot gyoza.
- Leftover dumplings keep covered in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. Reheat them in the microwave on high for 1-2 minutes or pan-fry the gyoza in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat with a small amount of oil.