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!