Mandu is the Korean version of lumpia, pot stickers, gyoza, or any other dumpling out there. Mandu-mania is the fun you have making about a hundred of these tasty bundles.
Having flashbacks of my childhood with my umma and her friends gathering around making thousands of these together makes me realize two things: dumplings take some love to make, and it helps to clear the mind. Cheaper than therapy and at the end you get to eat!
The main difference between the varieties of dumplings is the filling. This recipe is a base on what I usually start with, then add whatever else I want as an extra bonus, like kimchi and spiciness. My umma would tell you this isn't the filling she would have done, but I say every household has their version of memory filled meals.
I hope you enjoy making these as much as I do, and receive some zen moments in this crazy world of ours. If not ... you'll have about a 100 dumplings in the end, so you still win.
Korean Dumplings - Mandu
Makes about 120 dumplings
1 lb ground pork
1 lb ground beef
1 carrot, diced small
½ onion, diced small
3 green onion, diced small
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 package firm tofu, ½ inch cubes
1 cup dried mushrooms, re-hydrated then diced small
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
3 packages mandu wrappers
1-2 Tablespoons vegetable oil, for frying
1 part rice vinegar
1 part soy sauce
½ teaspoon gochugaru (Korean chili flakes)
1 green onion chopped
- Re-hydrate the dried mushrooms with boiling water until softened. Drain and dice into small pieces.
- Drain firm tofu then roughly cut into ½ inch cubes.
- Dice the onion, carrot, green onion and garlic into small pieces.
- Combine the vegetables, ground beef and pork, salt and pepper with two eggs. Mix until fully incorporated, reducing any large chunks of tofu and meat.
- Take one wrapper and put about a teaspoon of filling in the middle. Using your finger, dab water on the edges and fold in half to seal the dumpling. Crimp the seam by making three little folds and firmly pressing on them to secure the seal. Use more water to make the wrapper more flexible if needed.
- To cook the mandu, add vegetable oil to a hot pan fry 2 minutes each side on high. When you have the desired color, add about a tablespoon of water and immediately turn the heat to low and cover for 5 minutes with a lid.
- For the dipping sauce mix equal amounts of vinegar with soy sauce, gochugaru (Korean chili flakes) and chopped green onions. Serve with the mandu with the dipping sauce as a side dish.
Home Cook’s note
- Freeze any remaining uncooked dumplings in a single layer in the freezer, then put in a Ziploc bag.
- Filling is great in an egg roll wrapper as well.