Once referred to as the “kitchen of the country”, Osaka is the town of “kuidaore” (bringing financial ruin to oneself from overindulging in food and drinks) where so many gourmands gather. Okonomiyaki (Japanese savory pancakes) and takoyaki (octopus dumplings) are not the only dishes that are delicious there. Below are five yaki-gyoza (pan-fried dumplings) stores that you must try if you happen to visit Osaka.
1. Osakaou Kyobashi Main Shop
Osakaou has been dedicated to gyoza for more than 40 years now. Its Osakaou Goku-uma Gyoza (240 JPY (excl. tax) for six pieces, which is a one person serving) that customers have loved since the shop first opened has spread in popularity through word of mouth, and today, it has become so famous that the shop is even getting orders from all over the country! You won’t be able to get enough of the harmony of the cabbage – which has the best kind of sweetness – with the ginger, garlic, and meat. Take a bite of the gyoza without sauce first, and then dip it into the sauce after. Osakaou is a popular shop, so some days are fully booked with reservations. If you plan to visit, make sure to make a reservation (only groups of at least four guests can book a table).
2. Gyozao Dotonbori Shop
Gyozao is a sister brand to Osakao, which was introduced earlier. Their Meibutsu! Yaki-gyoza (280 JPY (excl. tax) for six pieces, which is a one person serving), which changes ingredients and seasonings depending on the weather and humidity, is an exquisite dish that is ordered by virtually all of its customers. This shop is obsessed with the ingredients used in their gyoza, so it is recommended to eat the gyoza with Himalayan rock salt, which draws out the sweetness of the gyoza. There are more than 30 creative gyoza dishes available, including the Mushi Gyoza Goma Ponzu (steamed gyoza with sesame seed and ponzu sauce) (390 JPY (excl. tax)) and the Tomato no Soup Gyoza (tomato soup gyoza) (490 JPY (excl. tax)). Enjoy the gyoza with Osaka sours, Osaka-produced wine, or local sake.
3. Chao Chao Whity Umeda Shop
Chao Chao is a specialty shop that is known for its bite-sized gyoza with a crispy thin skin. Its bestseller, the Chao Chao Gyoza (600 JPY (incl. tax) for two pieces, which is a one person serving) is characterized by meat juices and delicious flavors sealed in extra thin gyoza skin. Your first bite must be without any sauce or condiments to better enjoy the meat juice and tasty ingredients overflowing from the crispy gyoza. There are two kinds of sauce available: the vinegar and soy sauce combination, and the miso sauce. The Okigaru Set (light set) (1,200 JPY (incl. tax)), which is a set of draft beer and gyoza, offers the best gyoza and drink combination. There are also many innovative gyoza dishes available, including the Puripuri Ebi Gyoza (tender shrimp gyoza) (480 JPY (incl. tax)) and Tori Cheese Gyoza (chicken and cheese gyoza) (430 JPY (incl. tax)).
Tenshin is a shop that is famous for Chamiton Gyoza (240 JPY (incl. tax) for one person), which uses Chamiton – a brand of pork that is fed with sweet potatoes. You can enjoy the superbly delicious flavors of the fresh ingredients, directly sourced from producers, that are prepared and made into gyoza at the shop each day. You will definitely eat a lot of this crispy gyoza when it is served straight out of the pan. You can also take out the Suigyoza no Soup (soup with boiled gyoza) (300 JPY (incl. tax) for one person) that also uses Chamiton pork. So, how about getting some just-cooked, piping hot gyoza to go?
5. Ishiiegyozaten Abeno Lucias
This store has a variety of gyoza on its menu that use domestic garlic, from the classic types to Italian ones, including some specialty dishes: Ishiya Gyoza (390 JPY (incl. tax) for five pieces), Curry Gyoza (450 JPY (incl. tax)), Okra Gyoza (450 JPY (incl. tax)), Cheese Gyoza (450 JPY (incl. tax)), and Pizza Gyoza (450 JPY (incl. tax)). Enjoy these gyoza with a glass of alcohol in your other hand. The Gyoza Teishoku (gyoza set meal) that comes with gyoza, rice, and a side dish is just 690 JPY (incl. tax). Rice refills are free during lunchtime, so it’s definitely a great deal. It is located near Tennoji Zoo and ABENO HARUKAS, so you might want to drop by when you go sightseeing to those spots.
Gyoza – a dish that is made by wrapping vegetables and meat in wheat flour-based skin – is a stamina-giving food that is perfect as a snack for alcohol and as a meal. One of its biggest appeals is that its taste completely changes depending on the kind of skin, ingredients, and cooking method applied. When you go to Osaka, please check out the delicious gyoza that this city has in store!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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