Essay Week Recipe: Gyosa

I don’t know about you, but when I have a lot of deadlines I can’t eat at regular mealtimes. If I’m currently in the zone and it’s lunchtime I have to keep going or I’ll lose my train of thought. But I do want to have something I can eat all day, so I need food that I can prepare and then have ready to eat whenever I happen to be able to take a break. And some nibbles for in between too, naturally.

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Gyosa is a good idea for a busy week. I usually make massive quantities in one go and freeze them to thaw whenever I feel the urge to eat. Once cooked, they are just as enjoyable cold as they are warm and with a variety of fillings they can be a varied meal. The quantities below are what I usually use to make about 60 gyosa with the same filling.



  • 200g Flour
  • 100ml luke-warm Water
  • 500g mince (any kind)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 small piece of ginger
  • 1 head of Chinese lettuce
  • 1 spring onion
  • 2 bushels of chives
  • 1 tbs sesame seed oil
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • Pinch of salt
  • Optional ingredients like peas, sweetcorn, chillies, carrot etc 



  1. Finely chop the head of the Chinese lettuce and mix it in a large bowl mix lettuce together with a pinch of salt. Leave to rest for at least an hour to remove the moisture.
  2. Mix flour and water to create a ball of dough that is firm but not sticky. You can add more flour or water if the dough needs it.
  3. Wrap the ball of dough in a lightly floured piece of cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Put the mince in a large bowl. Finely chop the sring onions, garlic, chives, ginger and mix well into the mince. Add the soy sauce and sesame oil and mix well again. If you are adding any other ingredients (peas, sweetcorn, chillies, carrot etc), add them now.
  5. Squish all of the moisture from the lettuce and add it to the meat, mixing it all up well. Refrigerate while making the dough.5587c606ab5a1cbc187559d55b5da683
  6. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough until it’s very thin, so that it’s just not see-through. Cut out circles with a cookie cutter or a large glass. Make sure you work quickly because the dough will dry fast and not stick together. Fill with about 1ts of the filling and fold to create a little pouch. If the cases are dry, wet them slightly to get them to stick together. You can vary the quantity of the filling to suit the shape and size of your case. Make sure the seam is seamless by either pleating them or just squish together to close them up.
  7. Lastly, warm some sesame or vegetable oil in a pot or pan. Fry the bottom of the gyosa until lightly golden and then add enough water to cover them about 2/3 of the way. Then add a lid and let steam for about 10-20 minutes or until all the water is gone. If you don’t wish to eat them all immediately, pile the individual, uncooked gyosa in a bag and freeze. They’ll keep that way for up to a month. When cooking from frozen the steaming time will take longer and you may need more water.


Now,  you can make these with a variety of fillings. Two delicious ideas are, for example, chicken and sweetcorn (using chicken mince and 100 grams of sweetcorn and grated carrots) and spicy pork (using pork mince, 3 whole chillies, 3 tbs chilli oil and 2 tbs tabasco sauce). The possibilities are endless – you can always try out small quantities of gyosa and try different combinations.


Images courtesy of deliciousshots, shopfella, greatbritishchefs, lafujimama.

Banner image courtesy of Pinterest