If you've never made dumplings before, this is a good recipe to start with.

If you’ve never made dumplings before, this is a good recipe to start with. The sweet potato mixture is incredibly easy to work with, the ingredients are straightforward (but complex-tasting, once they all come together), and the rolling, while tricky at first, is easy to master.

If you happen to have coconut oil for frying, use that—it adds a lovely, slightly sweet note.

Ingredients 1 large sweet potato (garnet yam), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks $1

1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce, plus more for dipping pantry

2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil $2.50 for 8 oz.

1 medium shallot, minced 50 cents

1 clove garlic, minced pantry

2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro or chives $1 for a bunch

1 small (1/2-inch) piece ginger, peeled and grated 50 cents

30 small, round won ton skins $2 for a 12 oz. package

vegetable or coconut oil, for frying pantry

Total cost of ingredients: $7.50

Directions Cook sweet potato chunks in a covered pot of boiling water until very tender, about eight minutes. Drain and rinse until cool to the touch. Transfer sweet potato to a mixing bowl.

Use the back of a fork to mash the sweet potato until mostly smooth. Add the soy sauce, sesame oil, shallot, garlic, cilantro or chives, and ginger, and stir well.

To assemble the gyoza, brush the edges of a won ton skin lightly with water (use a clean finger or a small pastry brush). Place about a teaspoon of the sweet potato mixture in the center of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper in half and make five to six small pleats as you seal the wrapper together, pinching gently to ensure total closure. Repeat with the remaining filling and wrappers, until all the gyoza are made.

To cook the gyoza, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan (make sure it has a fitted lid and keep it near the stove) over medium heat. Working in batches, arrange the gyoza close to one another (but not touching) in the pan and let cook for two to three minutes, until a golden crust begins to develop on the bottom. Flip the gyoza, and cook on the other side for one to two minutes, until a crust develops.

Carefully pour about 3 tablespoons water over the gyoza, then cover the pan quickly and let steam for about three minutes.

Remove the lid and let the gyoza aerate until the excess water is cooked away and the bottoms become crisp again.

Transfer the cooked gyoza to a serving platter, repeat with the remaining uncooked gyoza, then serve immediately, with soy sauce for dipping.

Makes 30 gyoza (serves about four).

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