Mandu (Korean Dumplings)

Mandu is a Korean dumpling stuffed with a mixture of various meat and vegetables. There are many variations of mandu. Some classic versions are: gogi mandu (which has meat as the main ingredient in the filling), yachae mandu (vegetables) and kimchi mandu. The cooking method also varies. Mandu can be steamed (jjin mandu), deep fried (tuigin mandu), pan fried (gun mandu), boiled (mul mandu), or used to make soup (mandu guk). Koreans usually make mandu in large quantities and freeze them for later use. Frozen mandu is easy to prepare as a delicious snack, appetizer, or meal, making it a home-cooked favorite for my two kids away at school.

1 package mandu pee (dumpling skins/wrappers) (about 40 pieces)

Filling
1/2 lb ground pork (or other meat if preferred)*
1/4 lb ground shrimp or ground beef*
1 medium zucchini, finely chopped
1/2 head of a small cabbage (about 1 lb), finely chopped
8 oz fresh mushrooms, finely chopped (Shiitaki preferably )
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 scallions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon finely minced ginger (or juiced)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 egg
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt to season the filling and more for salting vegetables
1/2 teaspoon pepper

* Mandu is so versatile that you can use any type of meat you like (or none at all). Although pork is classic, I typically use two types of meat/seafood for the complexity of flavor: pork and beef or pork and shrimp.

In two separate bowls, generously sprinkle salt over chopped zucchini and cabbage and set aside (for at least 15 minutes) while preparing other ingredients. (This process will draw out water, soften the texture, and add flavor.) Squeeze out as much water as possible from salted zucchini and cabbage by hand. Mix all ingredients well in a large bowl with hands.

Place one heaping teaspoonful of the filling on a wrapper. Wet the edges of the wrapper with water and seal tightly (pushing the air out with your fingers) into a half-moon shape. Repeat this process until all the filling/wrappers are used.

For tuigin mandu (deep-fried dumplings), heat a deep fryer or skillet with about 2-3 inches of canola or vegetable oil over medium-high heat to 350°F. Fry the dumplings for 2-3 minutes until golden brown.

For gun mandu (pan fried), heat the pan with generous amount of vegetable oil (about 2 tablespoons) and cook 2 – 3 minutes each side over medium low heat until golden brown. If frozen, cook longer over lower heat for about 4 – 5 minutes on each side. Serve hot with sauce (recipe below).

For mul mandu (boiled), bring a pot of water to a boil. Add mandu (stirring gently so they don’t stick to the bottom of the pot), a few at a time, and cook until all of them come up to the surface. Serve hot with sauce.

Tips for freezing: Freeze mandu pieces on a tray without pieces touching for about an hour before storing them in a freezer bag. Otherwise, the mandu skins will get soggy from the moisture in the filling and stick together in the freezing process. You can also freeze cooked mandu the same way. Frozen mandu don’t need to be thawed before being cooked. Just cook a little longer.

Sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon sugar
pinch of black pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes (gochugaru)

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Comments

  1. Hi,
    I am eager to know if Yachae Mandu ( Vegetarian dumplings without any meat) can be made without egg? If so, could you suggest how to go about that?

  2. Thanks for visiting my blog. Yes, you can make mandu without egg. You can add tofu and more flour/corn starch for binding. See my Kimchi mandu post for using tofu in mandu. Also, you can use finely chopped (or grated) onion that is stir fried until all liquid evaporates. It will look like a paste and works as a binding agent. Hope this helped. I would love to hear from you.

  3. “1 small opinion chopped”

    hehe

  4. Pavel – Thank you for catching it. It’s a bad habit from my day time job.

  5. How many mandus does this recipe make? 40-50?

  6. Correct! Thanks.

  7. 와우! *_* 너무 쉽네요! 덕분에 잘 만들고, 잘 먹겠습니다 ^^

  8. Fin – Sorry about the delayed response, but I am so happy to hear that you will try this recipe. Hope you enjoy as much as my family does! Thanks for the visit and nice words.

  9. I “heard” of mandu before but didn’t really notice it looks like Chinese pot stickers or Japanese gyoza. We have lots of similarities and so happy to find connections. :-)

  10. Always wondering what is the best way to squeeze out the ginger juice. What is the way most Koreans do? Thanks for posting many yummy recipes. Supranee from Thailand.

  11. Supranee – I just grate or finely mince it and then squeeze it by hand. Thanks for stopping by. Happy cooking!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Hyosun,

    I just came across your blog and have already learned so much! After making mandu and freezing it, when ready to prepare to eat, how do you suggest doing that? Putting in oven… back in skillet… etc. Thanks!

    Natalie

  13. I think, fried dumpling more best than steam dumpling.

  14. When you freeze uncooked mandu, do you have to thaw when making mul mandu or can you just put them directly in boiling water for a bit longer???

  15. Fantastic, thanks very much, I lived in Korea for a year, and m now back in nz, in a small town, so no access to yummy Korean restaurants! I made ur recipe for mandu…..and they were perfect, brings back memories!! Thanks again!

  16. do we have to add scallions?

  17. Dam,. Loooken Goooood

  18. For the sauce do you need the gochugaru? If so, is there an alternative if you don’t have that?

  19. Anonymous says:

    Ms. Ro,
    My dad was in Korea for a tour and came back with so many recipes one of which was mandu. I can only remember bits of pieces of it but the one I do is he added those lil white noodles(potato-starch noodles). I have asked him to remember how to make and he says he forgot..so thanks for the recipe. I have made bulgogi and kmchi my husband who is from the south absolutely loves korean dishes. Thank you

    • Yes it’s common to use those soaked (or cooked) and chopped starch noodles in mandu. You can add that to this recipe if you’d like. Thanks for stopping by!!

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