There's nothing like a steamy bowl of soup to warm your soul on a cold winter day, and this Gyoza Soup recipe is one my mom used to make me as a child. I've shown you how to make the best homemade gyoza before, but pan-frying them is not the only way to enjoy these bite-sized bundles of flavor. This delightful concoction marries the bold flavors of Japanese potstickers with tender veggies and mushrooms and the comforting umami of piping hot dashi broth. It's the perfect cozy meal to warm you up from the inside while leaving you satisfied and smiling.
Why this Recipe Works
- Parboiling the gyoza dumplings in a separate pot first removes excess starch from the wrappers, keeping the soup clear and light.
- Transferring the gyoza to the soup once partially cooked gives the gyoza a chance to absorb the flavors without making the wrappers soggy.
- Cooking the gyoza with simple ingredients such as mushrooms and vegetables gives the potsticker soup substance, turning it into an easy weeknight meal in a bowl.
Ingredients for Gyoza Soup
- Gyoza Dumplings - Japanese gyoza (a.k.a. potstickers) are the star of this dish, and I love them for their balance of slick noodley wrapper and meaty filling that's redolent of garlic and ginger. They can be homemade or store-bought, filled with pork, chicken, or vegetables, and you can even use frozen gyoza straight from the freezer for convenience.
- Dashi - Japanese dashi stock is made from konbu (kelp) and katsuobushi (smoked, fermented, and shaved skipjack tuna), bringing loads of umami and a mildly smoky flavor to the dumpling soup. You can check out my dashi recipefor more details on how to make it, but if you can't find it, any savory broth like chicken stock or pork stock will work. If you're using my vegan gyoza and want to make this soup plant-based, you can use vegetable stock or mushroom stock.
- Sake - Sake adds a subtle sweetness and umami to the soup. The alcohol boils off during cooking, but for this recipe, you can skip it if you don't have any.
- Soy Sauce - Soy sauce is this soup's primary seasoning, adding an earthy flavor and loads of umami. For a gluten-free version, tamari will work, but the soup will be darker in color.
- Salt - Seasoning the soup base with soy sauce alone makes the flavor of the soy sauce dominate all of the other ingredients. Using it in combination with salt creates a more balanced bowl of soup.
- Vegetables - I like adding mildly sweet vegetables like cabbage, baby corn, or carrots to the gyoza soup because they complement the umami-rich broth while adding volume. I used napa cabbage and green onions (scallions or spring onions) this time.
- Mushrooms - I prefer shiitake mushrooms for their meaty texture and earthy flavor, which complement the gyoza. However, this potsticker soup recipe will work well with other mushrooms, such as button, maitake, enoki, or oyster mushrooms.
- Toasted Sesame Oil - I like to finish this dumpling soup with a drizzle of toasted sesame oil, which adds a marvelous nutty flavor to the pot of soup. You could also add some toasted sesame seeds to garnish the soup.
How to Make Gyoza Soup
Mix the soup broth ingredients, including the dashi, sake, soy sauce, and salt, in a pot and bring them to a boil. At this point, I like to add any firm vegetables to the hot broth so they can get tender before we add the dumplings. In this case, I added the napa cabbage and white parts of the green onions, but this is also where you'd want to add veggies like carrots. As for the mushrooms, if you are using mushrooms that will release flavor, like shiitake or button mushrooms, this is a good time to add them as well. If you are adding mushrooms that are more for texture than flavor (such as shimeji or enoki mushrooms), add them towards the end.
If you're in a rush, you can cook the gyoza directly in the broth, but I don't like doing this because the starch on the outside of the wrapper will thicken the soup and make it cloudy. That's why I parboil the dumplings in a separate pot of water. This allows you to partially cook the dumpling wrappers without fully cooking the gyoza. To do this, just add the Japanese dumplings to a large pot of boiling water and stir them to keep them from sticking. When the water comes back to a boil, and the gyoza floats to the surface, transfer them to the soup with a slotted spoon; this will take about a minute. If you're using frozen potstickers, remember that this might take a little longer.
Once the dumplings are added to the broth, you'll want to continue cooking them for another 2-3 minutes (longer if you're using frozen potstickers). This allows the juicy morsels to exchange flavors with the soup, bringing everything together. To finish your Japanese dumpling soup, add any tender greens, such as the tops of scallions, or leafy greens, such as fresh spinach or garlic chives. Taste the potsticker soup and season with salt if needed, and then give it a drizzle of nutty toasted sesame oil.
Serving and Enjoying Gyoza Soup
Thanks to the vegetables and hearty dumplings, this steamy soup is the perfect one-bowl lunch on a chilly day, but you could also divide it into smaller portions and serve it alongside other Japanese dishes for dinner. To make it even more warming, I like to serve it with extra toppings such as freshly cracked white or black pepper, my spicy Chili Crisp, a dab of grated ginger, or a dash of shichimi togarashi (Japanese seven-spice blend). As for side dishes, no Japanese meal is complete without a bowl of steamed rice, and I like adding a little contrast by serving this with my crispy Smashed Cucumber Salad.
Potsticker Soup Variations
The best part about dishes like this is that there's a lot of room to experiment with variations. You could make a vegan version using my vegetable gyoza and vegetable stock. Or you and a different array of veggies like tomato and basil, taking the broth in a completely different direction. I also like to season this with miso paste sometimes, which turns it into a hearty miso dumpling soup. If you want to bulk it up, try adding some serve this along with udon, ramen, or rice noodles (you can even boil them in the same water you use to parboil the gyoza).
Tips for Storage and Reheating
While it's best to eat this as soon as it's prepared, you follow these tips to save leftover gyoza soup. The most important thing is to store the gyoza and broth separately. Otherwise, the dumpling wrappers will continue absorbing the soup until they turn to mush, leaving you with very little broth. When you're ready to eat it, just heat the broth and veggies in a pot and then add the gyoza back in just long enough to warm them through. You could also do this in a microwave oven.
- To make the soup broth, add 3 cups dashi, 2 tablespoons sake, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and ¼ teaspoon salt to a pot and bring to a boil.
- Add 150 grams Napa cabbage, the white parts of the scallions, and 50 grams fresh shiitake mushrooms. Cook the vegetables until the cabbage is tender (~10-12 minutes).
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 12 gyoza dumplings. Stir right away to prevent the dumplings from sticking together.
- When the water has returned to a boil, and the gyoza have floated to the surface (~1 minute), transfer them to the soup with a slotted spoon.
- Continue cooking the gyoza in the soup for another 2-3 minutes. If you are using frozen dumplings, you'll want to cook them for a little longer.
- Finish the gyoza soup by adding 30 grams scallions and 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil, and serve it by dividing it between 2 large bowls.