In a few weeks B and I will be finishing our contracts and returning to Australia to see our family and friends and work on our careers for a while. It's been a two-year roller coaster of new experiences here in Japan and I'll never forget many of the people I've met, places I've seen, and amazing food I've tasted. That said, it's time to go home.
Right now everything seems a little surreal, an endless parade of 'lasts' - my last Japanese class, my last plate of zaru soba, my last lunch with my friend Hitomi. There are so many arrangements to be made, flights to book, and boxes of junk to get rid of that I just want it all to be over so I can relax.
The one change that seems comforting is the winding down in the kitchen. Where six months ago I looked at the full freezer of neatly stacked leftovers and the rows of spices and sauces with contentment, these days I feel a disproportionate sense of satisfaction every time I use something up, never to be bought again.
I found some gyoza skins in the freezer last night, left over from god knows when, and put together a filling with some minced pork and cabbage and whatever else I still had lying around. One less thing to throw out and three delicious lunches, done.
I won't give you a recipe based on my pantry scraps, but there are plenty of others online. I liked the look of these ones:
More Pork Gyoza
You can boil or steam them, but the typical cooking method here involves browning the bottoms in a little oil, then adding water to the pan and covering to finish. There used to be a great little YouTube video from a Japanese cooking show demonstrating the technique, but it's no longer available. Happily, the instructions live on here.