Tebasaki Gyoza - Gastro Obscura
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Prepared Foods

Tebasaki Gyoza

Proof that dumplings and chicken wings are not mutually exclusive categories.

Japanese soldiers encountered potstickers in Manchuria, Northern China, during World War II. Upon arriving home, they began recreating what they called gyoza. The dumplings became a staple in Japan, and variation abounded as chefs began experimenting with different cooking styles, fillings, and wrappers. Some home cooks adopted a smaller, thinner dough, which allowed for a crisp bite when pan-fried. Others started using an entire chicken wing.

Locals in Nagoya, the capital of central Japan’s Aichi Prefecture, throw an annual festival in honor of their most famous dish—tebasaki, or chicken wings. So it makes sense that this town is thought to be the birthplace of tebasaki gyoza, in which a chicken wing is stuffed like a dumpling. Traditional gyoza-makers fold delicate wrappers around a savory mixtures of ground pork, onions, cabbage, garlic, and herbs. Makers of tebasaki gyoza use the same contents, but painstakingly debone each whole chicken wing without tearing the skin that holds it together. After successfully removing each bone, they fill the hollow pocket with dumpling innards.

This finished product embodies the best of human ingenuity, but the creativity doesn’t end with gyoza. If you prefer your chicken wings with egg roll filling bursting out, try the Hmong-style version of this dish instead.

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