Japanese Night with Cheese Gyoza and Dragon Rolls

Japanese food is so fine, we so love it. Yoann and I are not alone for sure but for some reason in Ghent, rarely do I see Japanese restaurants around town. I’ve seen one take-away Japanese food shop somewhere near the train station and once we ate at a Japanese restaurant by the centre but the quality was disappointing. Gentanaars might be too focused on their frites and waffles that they surely are missing out on food variety.* Kumpir (baked potato) can be a saving grace but we eat it a lot that for this particular night, we made Japanese food ourselves. Tadaan!

jaoanese night collage

Left: Spinach Bacon Crispy Cheese Gyoza by Yoann. Right: Dragon rolls by moi!

For the gyoza recipe, Yoann made it by following the instructions on this Youtube upload. I’ve been watching Ochikeron’s recipe videos for sometime now. She is Japanese and she makes Japanese cooking very doable. She makes funbentos and I’m a fan of that, too. Yoann made everything from scratch, including the paste and here is how it’s made. He used frozen spinach and normal bacon for the filling, sauteed it together with some onions and garlic and put the melted cheese in the pan while frying the gyoza.

2 jaoanese night collage

Left: Gyoza ng kainan! Right: Sprinkled sesame seeds on top before rolling the Dragon rolls.

I’m not going to lie and mislead you into thinking these are hard, impossible kitchen tasks (no, no, not at all). But it took us almost 2 hours to finish our preparations! It’s not as hard as it looks although it takes time and there are more steps to follow than when cooking adobo for sure. For the dragon rolls, I had to cook and prepare the sushi rice, de-vein and prepare the batter and deep fry the shrimps, slice the avocado and mango and cucumber thinly, and only then was I able to make the roll. Afterwhich I had to prepare the sauce. Just rewriting the steps now makes me feel a bit tired already! Haha, I kid.

Good thing this website by another Japanese living in France provides step-by-step instructions, she also has the steps to make sushi rice. Practice makes perfect and if you click that link and saw how JustOneCookBook made her Dragon rolls, you know my rolls are begging for more practice. I’d like to believe I’m getting there! I first made Japanese rolls more than a year ago while living in Lyon because I simply wanted to see if I can make it, afterall I’m Asian! Silly as it may sound, imagine my sense of accomplishment when I have proven myself correct. Try it too and prove yourself right! Bonus: it’s a good exercise of patience. Bon courage! 🙂

*Post Script: Days before we left Ghent, Yoann and I found a Japanese resto with nothing but awesome Japanese food.

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