Gyoza is a type of Japanese potsticker or dumpling. The gyoza wrappers are pastry-like and wrap around the gyoza. They are typically made of oil, salt, and wheat flour. The creation of gyoza was inspired by Chinese cuisine and its rich history of dumplings. But any kind of food can be wrapped in gyoza wrappers; vegetables, meat, and seafood, for example.
If there are no gyoza wrappers available to you, there are still plenty of options that will make your stomach happy. Some replacements for gyoza wrappers include: shumai wrappers, wonton wrappers, spring roll wrappers, deep-fried thin tofu, daikon, shiso, bell peppers, or thinly sliced meat.
1. Shumai Wrappers
The literal translation of shumai is “cook and sell,” but is known as Chinese steamed dumplings. Shumai has also become very popular in Japan and is typically filled with pork or onions. Shumai wrappers are made of bread flour or cake flour (the same ingredients for gyoza wrappers) so they make for a great gyoza wrapper substitute.
Because shumai wrappers are used for dumplings that are open-topped, they are thinner than gyoza wrappers so need to be handled with care. The only other main difference is that shumai wrappers are square while gyoza wrappers are circular. But the taste is virtually the same as it would be with gyoza wrappers.
2. Wonton Wrappers
A wonton is a type of Chinese traditional dumpling. Fillings for wontons are usually meat that has been chopped finely, vegetables, and seafood. Wonton wrappers and shumai wrappers both have a very similar appearance, but wonton wrappers are thicker than shumai wrappers.
Wonton wrappers are made from all-purpose flour and kansui, unlike shumai and gyoza wrappers. Kansui is a type of alkaline solution, and because of this ingredient the wonton wrappers are slightly thicker. They are still soft and the thickness doesn’t make a huge difference, but their skin is elastic and strong even if it is soaked in broth or soup.
3. Spring Roll Wrappers
Spring rolls are probably the food people are most familiar with on this list. Spring rolls were initially made with meat, but now they usually have stir-fried ingredients on the inside. Usually spring roll wrappers will be made with oil, salt, fat, and bread flour.
Interestingly, spring roll wrappers can actually be eaten raw because they’re already cooked once. It’s still recommended to cook them though, just in case. Spring roll wrappers are much larger than gyoza, shumai, or wonton wrappers. So, when using as a replacement for gyoza wrappers, it’s best to cut them in halves or quarters before you begin preparing your meal.
4. Thin Deep-Fried Tofu
Abura-age, or deep-fried tofu, is used for many stir-fried meals and miso soup. It can also be used as a gyoza wrapper substitute, by cutting a notch into it and filling with your regular gyoza filling. Abura-age is also healthier than gyoza wrappers and you don’t need to add any oil to it.
Daikon is a type of radish (sometimes called winter radish). It can be used as a gyoza wrapper replacement, but it takes a bit more prep than the others thus far. Start by peeling it and slicing it thinly, then put it into a plastic bag and sprinkle with salt. Let it sit for a while until it’s soft and coat it thinly with potato starch.
Then put your gyoza filling into it, fold the daikon once, and put the dumplings into a frying pan. Add water, then cover and bake them for five minutes. Daikon has a high water content and very few calories, so it is also healthier than gyoza wrappers.
Shiso is known as “perilla leaf” or “beefsteak plant” in English. It’s a type of vegetable, but is unique to most other vegetables because it’s already thin. It makes for a convenient, readily available, and healthy gyoza wrapper substitute.
Shiso is also an herb that has been used for medicinal purposes. It can be red, green, or purple in color. Its flavor is more complex than most other herbs and it can also be made into a tea.
Originally, shiso was intended as a condiment and it can help minimize the scent of meat and fish, making it nicely compatible with gyoza filling. Some people use shiso that has been minced as a filling for their gyoza, but it also works as a wrapper. For best results, it’s recommended to sprinkle potato starch on one side then cook as usual.
7. Bell Peppers
Cutting bell peppers in half, vertically can make for a unique gyoza wrapper substitute. Particularly when the peppers have been slowly baked, they can add a lot of flavor to your gyoza. They’re also very high in Vitamins C, E, and K.
Bell peppers make for a great gyoza wrapper substitute, but it does take some preparation. To get the most out of bell peppers for gyoza, follow these instructions:
- Thinly coat the peppers with potato starch, corn starch, or flour.
- Put your gyoza filling into the halves that you’ve cut.
- Pour oil into a frying pan, and bake for two to three minutes.
- Once they start getting brown, turn over and pour around 1 tbsp of white wine.
- Cover the pan and bake for another three to four minutes, then serve immediately.
8. Thinly Sliced Meat
It might sound outlandish at first, considering the rest of these gyoza wrapper substitutes are plant-based, but meat can work just as well. Especially if you love the taste of meat and can’t get enough of it. Wrapping the meaty gyoza filling with more meat will give you the sensation of enjoying two types of meat at one time.
Gyoza is a delicious potsticker. It can be filled with meat, seafood, vegetables, or anything else, really. Wrappers for gyoza are usually made with flour, oil, and salt. But if you don’t have any gyoza wrappers, or want to try something different, you aren’t without options. There are plenty of suitable substitutes from gyoza wrappers that can replicate the same taste or give you something brand new to try.