DC Challenge #2 – Gluten Free Gyoza with Roasted Duck and Spinach Filling served with Sweet Cherry and Apricot Dipping Sauce

by Jenn on June 14, 2009

in Dairy Free,Daring Kitchen,Dips and Sauces,Gluten Free,Meats,Pastas and Grains


The theme this month was potstickers.  I was really excited about this challenge, because this is something I’d never have attempted gluten free on my own.  Well, I think I know why now.  I had a lot of challenges working on these, but, I can say I did them.  Are they as good as the gluten version? They were a bit chewy, but I think this was an issue of not being able to get the dough thin enough.  Are they worth doing so that gluten free folks can enjoy a food they normally would not enjoy? Honestly I’d rather make my morel and sausage ravioli if I am going to do a stuffed pasta-like dish, because that ravioli dough was fairly easy to work with.  But I gave this a shot.  I don’t think this is something I’ll make again though.

This challenge was hosted by Jen of Use Real Butter and you can see her instructions for making potsickers here and here.  However, to make them gluten free, I used Jill’s recipe over at Hey That Tastes Good.  This was a great challenge because like the gnocchi in the first challenge, you could really make whatever you wanted as long as you made the actual dish – the gyoza.  So I got creative with the filling and used duck! Jen made a great diagram explaining the process:


I was a bit nervous about the idea of wheat starch for making gf gyoza.  After talking with some people and asking questions, I decided that it wasn’t worth risking it.  I couldn’t find conclusive enough evidence about the wheat starch and its potentially GF qualities.  And being that it came from wheat also made my husband nervous.  We decided rather than chance him being sick, it was better to find a recipe that we knew would be kind to him, and so I used Jill’s’ recipe from Hey That Tastes Good since it stayed away from wheat starch and used ingredients we already knew were safe for him to have.


Roasted Duck and Spinach Gyoza Filling

2 duck legs (about 1 lb.)
salt & pepper
1 head of spinach
1/2 cup chopped shitake mushrooms
1/4 cup chives, minced
3 tbs. sesame seeds
2 tbs. minced ginger
3 tbs. soy sauce (GF Tamari)
2 tbs. arrowroot powder or cornstarch

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Once at temp, place duck legs in a pan (with edges so fat/juices don’t run off) and season with salt and pepper.  Roast for 1 1/2 hrs.  Remove meat from the bone (the bone & fat can be saved to make an awesome stock), and chop very finely.  Resist the urge to eat it off the pan.  This easier said than done, because roasted duck is amazing.
2.  Wilt spinach in a pan.  I added in about 2 tbs. of water when doing this, on medium-high.  Once wilted, let it cool to room temp, and squeeze out all the liquid – I did this with my hands.  You don’t want really soggy filling.
3.  Mix all the ingredients together with the duck in a bowl.  I felt there was too much liquid at this point, and so squeezed out more liquid and drained it.
4. Use this awesomeness to fill and cook your gyoza!


Unfortunately,  filling the gyoza was easier said than done.  Because it was gluten free, there was no rolling out each one by first squishing in your palm and then rolling out in the traditional way.  The dough just would not hold up.  So I did like I have done with other gluten free dough, and rolled it out w/ a rolling pin, but had the floured dough between two sheets of plastic wrap.  This allowed me to roll it thinly (around 1/8″).  I then cut circles using the edge of a wine glass, just like I did with ravioli in previous pasta recipes.


Here is where the trick comes.  Cutting them out ahead of time and then filling them was a bad idea.  The 10 minutes this took caused the wrappers to dry out too much, so when I filled them they tore and ripped.  I learned I had to do this by first cutting one out, filling it immediately and folding it.  Then cut the next out, etc.  Otherwise they looked like this sorry pair of potstickers:


But eventually I got the hang of it how to regulate the moisture of the dough and that  helped a lot – see the improvement!  I definitely needed to fill the gyoza right after cutting it, one at a time.  You can see that they are still way too thick for traditional gyoza though, but at least they held together.

Then came actually cooking them.  Steaming seemed to be the traditional way to go, but with the rice and tapioca flour, this just turned them and any surface they were on into a big gooey mess.  Turns out frying was much better, so I fried them in about 1/2″ of canola oil.  I let the bottoms brown, and then turned them on their sides quickly.  They were a bit chewy this way, but at least it worked.

But what really made this dish besides the awesome duck filling was the even more awesome cherry and apricot dipping sauce.  Really simple with few ingredients but super tasty!


Sweet Cherry and Apricot Dipping Sauce

1/2 cup apricot jam (I found a brand at Whole Foods that we have had good luck with being GF even though it was not specifically labeled as such – in general buying organic gives one a better shot of less issues)
1 cup pitted cherries
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tbs. minced ginger

1.  Add everything to a small pan, and heat on medium until it comes to a boil.  If you can, smash the cherries a bit.
2. Stir while simmering for a few minutes, then remove from heat and let cool for about 5-10 minutes.  The cherries should be pretty soft now.
3. Pulse sauce in a food processor until smooth.


I seem to be on a sauce kick lately.  I’ve decided this is a good thing.

While I may not be a huge fan of the process of making these gyoza, I am most definitely a fan of the roasted duck/spinach filling and the sauce.  These two items are just awesome served over some rice by the way, and when I got tired of actually forming the gyoza, I quit and just cooked the rest and we ate our dinner this way haha.

DC Session #2 – a bit of trial and setback, but in the end, success!


abby June 14, 2009 at 8:52 am

i think you did brilliantly jenn – i wasn’t working gluten-free and struggled to get the dough thin enough as well.

Audax Artifex June 14, 2009 at 10:47 am

I was impressed when you posted this on the forums. It is so hard to work with gf pastry and you did wonders. Bravo and kudos for your efforts on this challenge. Wonderful pictures also. Very honest comments

Audax Artifex June 14, 2009 at 10:48 am

Forgot to mention just love the filling!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anula June 14, 2009 at 11:38 am

Cherry and apricot dipping sauce – what a great idea! You did a great job :) Cheers!

Kiara June 14, 2009 at 2:15 pm

Wow, I love that combo of duck and cherry and apricot. I’ll have to use those flavors in something in the future. :)

Lori June 14, 2009 at 2:42 pm

Great job! I love the filling and the sauce combo. You picked a winner!

Claire June 14, 2009 at 2:49 pm

Great combination of flavours! The combination of the filling and the dipping sauce sound fantastic

Singing Horse June 14, 2009 at 3:13 pm

Your gluten-free dumplings look amazing! The dough is just divine. Congratulations!

Tamy ~ 3 Sides of Crazy June 14, 2009 at 3:27 pm

Your pleating is excellent and that sauce sounds amazing! Great job. :)

3sidesofcrazy June 14, 2009 at 3:32 pm

Beautiful pleating and that sauce sounds amazing! :)

Lauren June 14, 2009 at 3:46 pm

Awesome!! Your dumplings look amazing =D.

junglefrog June 14, 2009 at 3:54 pm

You certainly did a great job with glutenfree dumplings. I think they look amazing, but what really is intriguing (ok, not sure how to write that word..:)) is the apricot and cherry dipping sauce. That just sounds to good to be true and is going to be something I will make!

isa June 14, 2009 at 3:54 pm

Your gluten-free dumplings look just perfect! Love the duck filling and the cherry-apricot dipping sauce. Wonderful job!

lisamichele June 14, 2009 at 4:04 pm

OMG, such creative fillings and beautiful dumplings. Not sure which I’d choose dirst, but I’ll take them all please..maybe the spinach first, even though I usually east dessert first.,.lol I’m weird.

Junie Moon June 14, 2009 at 4:16 pm

What a wonderful filling you used and I love the dipping sauce you made. You’ve done a fantastic job with this challenge. And thank you so much for your sweet comment on my blog about my own challenge results.

seamaiden June 14, 2009 at 4:31 pm

Wow- amazing! I agree that a recipe calling for wheat starch for a “gluten-free” variation is a bit weird. Special wheat starch is available in Europe that is very low-gluten and considered ok for the gluten-free diet there, but in the States it is not used. Personally, I’ve had it (accidentally) in Austria in products and it results in a nice product but I DEFINITELY reacted to it and would not use it. I don’t think it is appropriate for very sensitive Celiacs, personally… and have my doubts about its suitability for any Celiacs. Good call.

Your gyoza looks great- I’ve struggled with replicating it myself and find it a real pain. Nicely done! But I hear you on not wanting to do it again. 😉


lisamichele June 14, 2009 at 5:32 pm

EEK, I didn’t realize the cherry=apricot was the sauce, and not a filling for a dumpling! OK, just give it all to me..lol

angiegazdziak June 14, 2009 at 6:44 pm

Wow, I think you did great! Yours look lovely.

LegalAlien June 14, 2009 at 7:24 pm

Great jobs, it must have been a good feeling to overcome those difficulties!
The fillings are very original.

Mary June 14, 2009 at 8:08 pm

What a great job. Your photos are terrific and your dipping sauce sounds positively wonderful. you are very creative.

IsolatedFoodie June 14, 2009 at 11:48 pm

They’re beautiful! I love apricot in sauces of all kinds, so I might have to come up with a filling to complement a similar sauce. I ate duck twice before becoming veg at 16, but loved it both times, so I can imagine the potstickers were delicious!

Bake in Paris June 15, 2009 at 4:17 am

Beautiful pleating! And the apricot and cherry dipping sauce looks so delicious! Great job!


Jen Yu June 15, 2009 at 4:25 am

Nice job on the gf version. Love your choice of filling. I found the wheat starch dough to similarly be harder to work with and that pan frying was the way to go. By the way, you have great looking pleats there.

LauraJosie June 15, 2009 at 12:21 pm

Good job figuring out a workaround for the gluten issue. I also didn’t use the wheat starch recipe – it just seemed too iffy to me, but it took me two trys to find an alternate solution.

Mmmm that apricot-cherry sauce looks really yummy, I may have to try that. Next time. 😉

Great job, thanks for sharing!

art and lemons June 15, 2009 at 1:13 pm

I have to try the cherry apricot dipping sauce on my next round of dumplings. Great job!

Esther June 15, 2009 at 1:20 pm

Your filling and sauce sound fantastic ! Nice to see other gluten free versions.

Erushi June 15, 2009 at 1:50 pm

Lovely work! I’m very impressed by what you’ve done with the wrappers, especially since non-gluten dough is notoriously hard to manipulate. Your dumplings look wonderfully delicate and gorgeous. The dipping sauce sounds incredibly delicious too!

Woman With a Whisk June 15, 2009 at 2:19 pm

Beautiful pleating and what a novel idea for the filling! “Resist the urge to eat it off the pan.” — totally know what you mean!

Olga June 15, 2009 at 4:29 pm

ooh, that’s some fancy filling and sauce!

Chris June 15, 2009 at 4:45 pm

I also had a bit of a problem getting the dough thin enough – but i was working with the flour version so can’t imagine… Yours look great – beautiful pleats and everything. Love the combo in the dipping sauce.

CRUISNDIVA June 15, 2009 at 5:47 pm

I LOVE your flavour combo! How totally creative and delicious sounding. Great job and wonderful pics!!

CHConrad June 15, 2009 at 6:52 pm

Oh my! Your flavor combination in your filling and sauce is making my mouth water! Your dumplings look wonderful!

Andrea June 15, 2009 at 7:08 pm

You had quite a challenge with the gluten free dough, but your dumplings turned out great, and I’m in luv with your dipping sauce.

Frenchie June 15, 2009 at 9:40 pm

Hi! Your dumplings look great. I think it definitely takes some time to get the hang of rolling them out, especially because you were using gluten-free dough which doesn’t bode well for stretching. I am so impressed with your creative sauce, sweet/sour is the essence of asian cooking and I think you did a wonderful job of emulating that. Thanks for sharing your great ideas!

shellyfish June 17, 2009 at 11:23 am

Lovlie job on this challenge! Your pleating is really beautiful!

asti soehoed June 17, 2009 at 2:01 pm

roast duck with apricot sauce… YUUUUMMMM. you are seriously making my mouth water now.

Natashya June 17, 2009 at 8:24 pm

You did a great job adapting the recipe. I love that sauce!

Cheri June 18, 2009 at 3:26 pm

Wow! Way to go all out! I love your creative filling and dipping sauce. The duck makes it so gourmet. Kudos!

chayacomfycook June 30, 2009 at 4:10 pm

That cherry sauce looks amazing. I am thinking of several ways to use it. I bet it would be good with a cheesy dish also. Certainly, it would make a great topping for blintzes or pancakes. Thanks.

The whole recipe looks great but I got caught up with the cherry sauce.

Sarah January 10, 2011 at 6:50 am

where did you buy your duck legs?

Jenn January 10, 2011 at 7:52 am

For that recipe, I was still back in the States – I bought them from a local seller of game meat who was at the market each week. Now that I am in Switzerland, I can find duck a lot more easily in my regular grocery store.

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