Daikon radish reaches its peak season in the winter. It gets sweeter and juicer as the weather gets colder. I use daikon radish raw, sauteed, grated as a sauce or dressing, and braised. Today, I am putting daikon radish in a Chineese dish - gyoza. Gyoza is so popular in Japan that it has more or less fused into Japanese culture. The combination of daikon radish and scallops makes the filling "mochi" like in texture, which I love. The mochi texture reminds me of Chinese Daikon Radish Cake. You can make the filling ahead of time and let the mixture marinate in the seasonings. If you are expecting company, you can make both the scallop daikon and the meat based gyozas.
10 oz Daikon radish, peeled and sliced into matchsticks, 1/4 inch thick and 2 inches long.
6 oz Scallops, minced
1 Tbls sake
1 Tbls vegetable oil
1 Tbls potato starch (katakuriko) or corn starch
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp minced ginger
1/ 2tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
3 scallions, chopped or 1 negi, chopped or 1 cup of chopped nira
Bring water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the daikon matchsticks and cook for 2 minutes. Drain water. Wrap the daikon matchsticks in a clean cotton cloth or paper towls and squeeze out excess water. Too much moisture in the daikon will produce soggy gyozas, so make sure the daikon radish matchsticks are dry. Transfer daikon radish matchsticks to a cutting board and chop the matchsticks.
Put the scallops on a cutting board and mince them. They should be finer than the chopped daikon radish. Combine the chopped daikon radish and minced scallops in a bowl and add sake, vegetable oil, potato oil, sesame oil, minced ginger, salt, ground pepper and chopped scallions. Mix well with your hands until the mixture is well blended,
about a minute or two.
Wrap the gyozas. (see instructions below) Heat a non-stick frying pan with 2 tbls of oil. LIne up the gyozas and brown the bottom. When all the gyozas are brown on the bottom, add 1 cup of water and cover with lid. Turn the heat to low and let the gyozas cook until all the water is absorbed in the gyozas. Bring heat up again to crisp the bottom on the gyozas. When the bottom is dry and crispy, the gyozas are done. Use a spatula to lift the gyozas and serve them browned side up.
Garnish with cilantro and serve the gyozas with soysauce (optional) and layu.
Prepare a cup of water to wet your fingers.
Fill each gyoza skin with about 1/2 Tbls of filling. Wet
the rim of the gyoza skin, using your finger. Fold gyoza skin in half and seal the ends.
Pleat the gyoza skin - just the side
facing you. I pleat in two directions. You can
also pleat in a single direction. This is similar
to crimping the edge of a pie.
The gyozas are ready to be fried. Use a non-stick frying pan.
Brown the gyozas.
Add about a cup of water. Enough to fill half way up the
gyoza with water. Close lid and bring heat to a simmer.
When the water is all absorbed into the gyoza, turn heat