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The Actual Quest for Good Gyoza
The importance of dining, versus simply just eating.
Food has transcended a mere survival instinct
Myth has it that Siddartha gained
control over his hunger through fasting. Legend has it that he fasted
for days. In the end by showing that he had
conquered his hunger, that he no longer was constrained by his desire
for food, could he find what he was seeking. This was only one step
on his path to nirvana.
By the fact that humans dine, and sit around and
ponder the significance of a meal together.
Dining is an indication of the civility. Life together
is eathing together. Yet there's probably a historical truth to this.
Feed a dog the
same thing, day after day, and he'll probably be one happy pup.
Vary his diet too much
and he'll become
finicky, poorly nourished, agitated, antisocial, if not one sick
puppy. The act of feeding him scraps from your dinner table, is
less for his
health and more a socialization process so that he becomes part of
Feed a person the same thing
day after day, and you're more than likely to drive them nuts.
This isn't quite the forum for discussing how bad, or good the
food in your dorm cafeteria is. I don't think this is what they
meant by "Man does not live by bread alone."
Although I did have a friend who tried
this and ate the same thing, day after day, after day.
He ate tuna sandwiches
every day, for a month. Perhaps it was a message to help him where
he took a food he liked, and at
the same thing more or less for a month. The point was to prove
to himself that he was not driven by his hunger, so he didn't have to
think about what he was going to eat for dinner that night. Somehow
through this he would transcend his obsession with food, thus showing
that he is above his hunger. And through it he did have more time
to focus on his job and his studies. And as a doctor going through
in particular a doctor who specialized in the digestive process
assume that he did know what he was doing. Somehow this got out
of hand and people started to think that he did it for like six months
or so. And then there's his obsession with tuna fish.
Amidst a culture of abundance. A place
where hope lies that all your desires can be fulfilled.
Are we the masters of our desires? Or
do our desires control our lives?
Gyoza, elegantly simple, yet capable of amazing diversity.
A Christian Perspective:
Christians Celebrate communion. In the biblical times
Communion was actually a meal, instead of a scrap of bread and a little
bit of grape juice. Passover is a similar holiday, yet it's a full
fledged meal. I've heard Passover called "Jewish Thanksgiving." Thus
it's ritualized. I wouldn't be so bold as to compare a potsticker to
the body of Christ.
Yet, in every
culture there's a small food, a bit of starch surrounding an edible
Gyoza, Suijiao, Mandoo, Wonton, pot stickers, dumplings.
I suppose you might even call them small sandwiches.
Pan fried, deep fat fried, baked, boiled, steamed, bbq'd, grilled.
From street food, purchased hot from a vendor in a cart, to
eaten in an open air food court, heated up in a microwave at
a convenience store, to served on a plate over a bed of fine
lettuce at the finest restaurants. They transcend issues of class.
So in any cases, if you're looking for good gyoza,
here's two places to start:
I'm not going
to give any advice on how to find these places. You can find your
own places or make your own. In addition you're free to contact me
with suggestions, or your own take on these deceivingly simple, yet
delectable indulgent little culinary treasures.
This is a
pretty famous place in Kyushu, Japan. During one of my trips
to Japan, a co-worker and I went to this cheap little joint.
Go for the gyoza. To our surprise, we finished off dozens of
these pan fried little delights.
This is the gyoza by which all other gyoza
The gold standard for Chinese potstickers,
of course they're steamed but that's not really too much of an issue.
Din Tai Fung -
This is a famed
Taipei dumpling house that specializes in Shanghai-style dumplings--pleated
pillows filled with rich broth and minced meats such as pork
and crab. With the first bite, the juicy pork dumplings burst
with piping-hot broth, and the gently flavored meat is steamed
to perfection inside a fragile pasta skin. If your tongue gets
singed after a few nibbles, order the less accident-prone non-juicy
dumplings. The crescent-shaped vegetable dumplings are loaded
with minced greens, and pork dumplings are crowned with little
You can find
outlets in such fine cities as Taipei, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and
of course that hotbed of Chinese cuisine, Arcadia!
In addition Gyoza, Japanese style.
Ever do this before. Go into a sushi restaurant,
with three people. Order one plate of gyoza.
Then go to another Japanese restaurant and do the same. Don't order
anything else, no matter how tasty the ramen looks.Go to a korean
bbq, and order one plate of mandoo. Go to a chinese restaurant
order pan fried potstickers. Repeat till people start looking at
Thus, on a Monday night, GyozaQuest continues. I'm too old for that
kind of silly stuff.
Plus I think they're going to forever ban us from Little Osaka (in LA,
and only in LA, so you don't get it confused with Little Tokyo) But if
you get a chance the food is on the whole a little bit less expensive
and more plain on a section of Sawtell avenue. Japanese style, even having
a great little bakery, which typifies the French style cafes that you'd
find in Tokyo. Even serving the Japanese style diner food (spaghetti
We Started our quest at a place called Art Sushi, a nice
little place. Actually we started out at a place called FuiRaiBo,
but they didn't have Gyoza, and I thought it strange for a Japanese
In any case we walked in, looked around, saw that it was a sushi
restauraunt, saw they had gyoza om the menue and then we ordered
two plates of these things.
They were decried, as they tasted like they'd taken a frozen mandoo,
and put it in the deep fat fryer. Not a great start to a long quest.
Average Grade 3 out of 10
A little bit better at least these had discernable
meat in them. The ramen shop looked good, plus the pickles were
a nice touch. My partner thought these were cooked perfectly.
Plus you got seven of them for $3
Then there's gyoza sauce, what goes in good
gyoza sauce. hmm vinegar, chili oil, soy sauce, pepper, onions,
Average Rating 6 out of 10
Another Ramen house.
These were actually my favorite. I think the
presentation and the effect were ideal. Although the filling
seemed non-standard, having
chives, broccoli and other vegetables. We thought it might be a
little bit more meaty, but for the most part it typifies what
makes a good
Average Rating 7 out of 10
Ah, another non-ramen house trying to make gyoza.
Appearance wise, as you can see they looked a little bit flat.
Taste wise they did
They did a pretty good job, although the presentation
could use a little work. This is fusion cuisine mind you so you'd
have their take on this kind of thing. Their gyoza weren't bad,
in the photo they look kind of soggy and wilted.
Average Rating 5 out of 10
The fusion gyoza
Of course - Buddhas Dream
being an Asian fusion restauraunt, does have it's take on this
stuff. I thought the combination was very intriguing.
Papaya salsa, served on a spinach
filled gyoza, served cold of course as well. Cilantro and fish
sauce compliment the delicacy. But at
$6.95 for six gyoza!
No rating given.