Regular Food Review: Gyoza With Wings

Poetically tasty

Darling Dumplings
Regular Food Reviews

There are several ways to refer to the dish that is pan-fried dumplings with a fragile, golden-brown base formed of flour or starch: gyoza with skirt, gyoza with lattice, gyoza with crispy lace. My favorite is the Japanese hanetsuki gyōza (羽根つき餃子), or “gyoza with wings”; a close second is the Chinese bīnghuā jiānjiǎo (冰花煎饺), which translates to “ice crystal pan-fried dumplings.” Names are a kind of poetry — the best of them evoke something. I think of that every time I attempt to make these wings for my dumplings, which is not as easy a task as it appears. Invariably, my slurry’s ratio of flour and cornstarch to water will be off, and the lattice ends up thick and flaccid rather than delicately, shatteringly crisp. I have done it correctly just once. My homemade vegetarian dumplings were joined together by a crackly crust, as fine as a layer of frost spreading on a pane of glass. They sprouted wings, and when they soared into my mouth — bathed in a sauce of soy sauce, black vinegar, chili oil, and minced garlic — they were delicious. 4/5 stars.