You’ll never eat gyoza the same way ever again!

It’s no secret that we here at SoraNews24 love us a plate or two of gyoza, and here in the office there are few who love the delicious pot stickers more than our resident gyoza expert Takashi Harada. So when he heard the news that Japanese food brand Ajinomoto would be releasing a new flavour of gyoza, Black Pepper and Garlic, he was overcome with excitement. Not only did the new combination of flavours sound absolutely mouthwatering, but these were gyoza created specifically to accompany beer, making them perfect for a spot of drinking at home.

Takashi whipped out a frying pan and cooked up a batch of gyoza in less than 10 minutes (without using any oil or water to fry them — something Ajinomoto’s gyoza are famous for). But they weren’t quite ready to eat yet — after all, Ajinomoto had used unique recipe design technology to make the gyoza go well with beer, so surely the meal wasn’t complete without a cheeky can of the good stuff on hand.

Of course, our boss wouldn’t be too happy if we got tipsy during work hours. Plus, Takashi wouldn’t be able to fully appreciate the taste of the gyoza if he got drunk, so he went for a chilled non-alcoholic beer.

But there was something else missing… Something crucial to the world of gyoza taste-testing… We needed the man who loves gyoza more than anyone else in all of the SoraNews24 office…

▼ It’s Mr. Gyoza himself, Go Hatori!

Go Hatori, whose qualifications are the fact that he once ate gyoza every day for one hundred days. Surely there’s no one better to judge gyoza!

As the men bit into their first gyoza, they were immediately startled. Ajinomoto’s gyoza are a popular brand, and as such they have a wide appeal. While they are certainly delicious, they tend to stick to safe, traditional flavours so that as many people can enjoy them as possible.

But these new gyoza were different.

Rather than being safe and appealing to everyone, it felt like these gyoza were on the offensive in terms of delivering maximum flavour. There was a considerable amount of garlic and black pepper in the pot stickers which, when combined with the juicy meat inside the gyoza was like a meaty, flavourful punch to the taste buds. Deeeeelicious!

Takashi has been a long-time fan of the regular gyoza and the ginger gyoza for how well it goes with beer, but this new garlic and black pepper gyoza is an even better match for beer. And as the men continued to scoff down the pot stickers, Go Hatori was struck with a sudden thought.

“These gyoza need something other than soy sauce.”

While the garlic and black pepper gyoza were a perfect match for a glass of beer, they didn’t quite match with the traditional dipping sauce to accompany gyoza, soy sauce. As Takashi was ruminating on how to get around this condiment predicament, Go stood up, went to the refrigerator and whipped out…


Black pepper and garlic isn’t a traditionally Japanese flavour for gyoza, so Go thought it would go well with a condiment that isn’t traditionally Japanese, either. The black pepper and garlic combination by itself was quite spicy, which initially reminded Go of food from Thailand, but eventually he decided it was closer to Italian peperoncino. The spice from the black pepper and the spice from the Tabasco sauce… what would happen when these two powerful forces of nature met in the battlefield of Go and Takashi’s mouths?

It transformed the gyoza completely into something incredible. It felt like they weren’t even eating gyoza anymore… what was this taste??

It tasted like tacos!

Just by adding a little spicy tabasco, they felt like they were eating some sort of hybrid taco with a skin on it. From one simple mouthful of this new black pepper and garlic gyoza, Takashi and Go had gone on a whirlwind tour of the world, starting from China (the birthplace of gyoza) to Mexico via Italy.

But Go, who spent three years working as a short-order cook and is a certified chef, wasn’t content to end his gyoza experimentation just yet. “If you add some melted cheese to your Tabasco gyoza, it could become an even more delicious dish.”

While Go was certainly on board with the idea of adding melted cheese to the gyoza, Takashi didn’t know if his taste buds would be able to handle such a sheer explosion of flavour, so he decided to stick to just Tabasco for the time being. But if you’re feeling adventurous and want to take your tongue on a round-the-world trip with every bite, the Black Pepper and Garlic gyoza from Ajinomoto will go on sale from February 6.

Eagle-eyed readers may have spotted the typo on the packaging, which reads ‘Black Pepper and Garic‘. The spelling error will be corrected on products available from around the end of March, so in a way, the ‘Garic’ gyoza will become a limited-edition product.

Of course, if you want to try other unusual gyoza flavour combinations (and actual real taco gyoza!), we’ve got you covered there too.

Photos © SoraNews24
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