Japanese Gyoza Filling Curry — The combination of two great foods reminds us of another great food

It’s like a party in our mouth, and three of our best friends are invited!

rice with curry it’s just great, isn’t it? Delicious and invigorating, we’re basically always in the mood for a plate of it.

But you know what? We can say all these things gyoza, too. So imagine our delight when we found a potential solution to our frequent curry or gyoza dinner dilemma in the form of Gyoza Filling Curry.

As the name suggests, these are not just separately prepared dumplings placed on top of curry rice. Gyoza Filling Curry (or Gyoza no Gu de Curry as it is called in Japanese) takes ground pork and diced garlic, chives and bamboo shoots you’d normally find inside a gyoza wrapper and instead put them directly into the curry so their flavors can fully blend. It was also produced with the assistance of Utsunomiya Gyoza Associationand since Utsunomiya is the center of gyoza culture in Japan, we felt confident picking up a pack for ¥420 (US$2.85) at our local supermarket

Gyoza Filling Curry is an instant option and you have two cooking options. You can either place the unopened pouch in a pot of water for five minutes, or transfer the contents to a microwave-safe container and microwave for two minutes at 500 watts. After ours was ready, we arranged a plate of white rice and poured ruto over exactly half of it, following the curry protocol that we’re not sure who developed it, but that almost everyone in Japan follows.

Visually, it reminded us of keema curry, one of the few widespread types of curry in Japan that uses ground meat rather than larger chunks or strips. If we look closer, however, we can see all the familiar gyoza fillings we know and deeply love.

Our Japanese language reporter Takashi Harada handled the taste testing duties. “It’s very spicy!” he says, and the presence of ginger the paste in the rout made his tongue tingle and sweat broke out on his forehead. It wasn’t bad, though, and he was also happy to find that the rouge and ingredients were properly flavored, avoiding the monotonous blandness that rears its head with lower quality instant curries.

Something about the combination of spice and texture of the mixture of roux and gyoza fillings reminded Takashi of phat kaprao, the Thai minced pork dish that became known as “gapao” in Japan while gaining popularity here. Overall, the Gyoza Filling Curry is definitely something different from what we are used to with Japanese curry, it feels like something the staff of a gyoza specialty restaurant would prepare for themselves on their lunch break, and only knowledgeable customers would know about and order the dish off the menu. It is a unique, invigorating spicy dishand while we might not want to eat it every day like we do with orthodox curry or gyoza, it’s definitely a viable meal option, says Harada.

Oh, and by the way, if you’re thinking that a combination of curry roux, garlic, and ginger creates not only a strong taste, but also a strong smell, you’re absolutely right. So if you plan to have Gyoza Filling Curry for dinner, our recommended combination would be some peppermints for dessert.

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