Mandu (Korean Dumplings)

Today, I am so excited to be invited back at Rasa Malaysia and share a mandu (Korean dumplings) recipe as part of Bee’s special series on the Lunar New Year recipes. (I previously shared my dwaeji bulgogi recipe with her readers.) She is an amazing blogger with over 400 easy Asian recipes, and her first cookbook Easy Chinese Recipes was recently released. Bee also asked me if I could share a little bit about Korean Lunar New Year traditions. Celebrated for three days, the Lunar New Year (Seollal) is the most significant traditional holiday in Korea. (It falls on January 23 this year.) It is a time for families to gather and pay respect to ancestors, through an ancestral rite (charae), and enjoy traditional food and games. Young people also honor their elders, by wishing them a prosperous and healthy New Year, with a deep bow (sebae) and receive gifts (usually money) in return. Growing up, this was one my favorite activities of New Year’s day. We always wore a new traditional dress (hanbok) and visited the elders of relatives and family friends to perform sebae. I remember I was a happy little kid with lots of money in my special little pouch made for the occasion.

Food, of course, is a big part of the New Year celebration in Korea. As is the case in many cultures, it’s a tradition to gather around the table to make the dumplings in preparation of the New Year’s feast. Now, please head over to Rasa Malaysia to read the rest.

Makes about 25 – 30 dumplings
Ingredients:
25 – 30 dumpling wrappers (slightly thick)

Filling:

1 cup (packed) finely chopped kimchi
6 ounces tofu
8 ounces mung bean sprouts
1/2 medium onion
3 scallions
4 ounces ground pork (and/or beef)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon finely grated ginger (or juiced)
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 egg (use the other half to seal the wrappers) 
salt to taste (about 1/4 teaspoon)
pinch pepper

Finely chop the kimchi and squeeze out as much liquid as possible by hand. Squeeze out water from tofu.Using a cheesecloth will make squeezing easier. Blanch the bean sprouts in boiling water, drain, chop and squeeze out water. Finely chop the onion and squeeze out water. Finely chop the scallions.

The squeezed ingredients should be dry and crumbly. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well by hand.

Place one heaping teaspoonful to a tablespoon of the filling on a wrapper. Wet the edges of the wrapper with water or egg wash and seal tightly (pushing the air out with your fingers) into a half-moon shape. (Stop here if you want a half-moon shape dumpling.) Then, bring the two ends together, apply water or egg wash to one end and press tightly to create a round shape. Repeat this process until all the filling/wrappers are used.

Kimchi mandu can be steamed for about 8 minutes in a steamer (longer if frozen). Make sure to line the steamer with a cheesecloth or paper towel to prevent mandu from sticking.

Tips for freezing: I usually make mandu in large quantities and freeze them for a quick snack or meal in the future. Freeze the dumplings on a tray with no pieces touching for about an hour, and then store them in a freezer bag. Otherwise, the skins will get soggy from the moisture in the filling and stick together in the freezing process.

Dipping 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)

Combine all the sauce ingredients and mix well. Serve the mandu with the dipping sauce.

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Comments

  1. Gypsum, thanks for guesting posting and sharing Korean culture with us! Happy Lunar New Year!

  2. Whoaaaaa… those look way too pretty! Almost too pretty to eat. I’d love to try these (even though I’m sure I couldn’t make them this beautiful)… any idea where I can find these wrappers? I live in France… maybe there’s a place which sells them online, because I’m not sure if I’ve seen them before!

    The filling just looks delicious too – I’m sure these are fabulous! Definitely pinning these so I can try them soon! Thanks for sharing :)

  3. This is such a work of art! I want to eat all of them!

  4. i really like your food pictures and want to invite you to try out tastingspot.com. it’s for anyone who wants another place to submit photos and share it will other foodies. It’s still in beta version, but would love for you to start adding some photos and help get it going.

  5. Wow. These look absolutely wonderful! No doubt I’m making this recipe. Bookmarked!

  6. These are the cutest dumplings ever! Can’t wait to try this out!

  7. Hyosun, these are the most beautiful mandu I have ever seen. I made mandu (recipe from a Korrean cookery book) several times (I have posted them a long time ago) and they were delicious, but not even half as beautiful. I rememeber it was my first discovery of tofu and meat as a dumpling filling and also remember how soft and juicy it was. Since then I started adding tofu very often to other dumpling recipes: this way I don’t need fat meat to make it juicy.
    The half-moon shape is so cute!
    I also see this is another recipe where I can use some of my kimchi :-) I have really enjoyed reading about Korean New Year’s customs.

    • Sissi – I am not surprised to hear you’ve been making delicious mandu. I am sure yours look great too. I will come over to see your old post. I knew it wouldn’t take you long to figure out what to do with all that kimchi you made. Happy cooking!

  8. Congrats Hyosun!!! SO sorry I completely missed your post! I’m heading over to read now. Your mandu is PERFECTLY wrapped. Your detail work is amazing. It really shows how much you care to make the food. Really beautiful!

    • Nami – Thank you so much for such generous words! I understand. It’s so hard to keep up with everything. However, I think you’re actually doing very well on that. It’s me who’s struggling to keep up. Thanks for taking your busy time to visit!

  9. Congratulations Hyosun.
    I love reading about other countries celebrations.
    These dumplings look so professional. You’re so good. I don’t think I could have made 2 dumplings look alike.

    • Roxana – Thank you! With all your cooking and baking talents, I know this would be easy for you. It helps since I make these quite often in large quantities.

  10. I can’t get enough mandu, especially kimchi and ground chicken mandu! Yum! You singlehandedly made me very hungry.

  11. Looks delicious. Would love for you to share your pictures with us over at foodepix.com.

  12. How cute and pretty the way you shaped your mandu. I will try this shape the next time I make dumplings. Thanks!

  13. Oh my goodness..this looks stunning and so tasty! I have to learn how to make it! Congrats on the guest post..Great recipe and fantastic photographs!Have a wonderful weekend!!!!

  14. what an exquisite dumpling. don’t think i’ve had mandu, but i love any type of dumplings. I love your blog and recipes, will try making simple korean food more often.

    • Shannon – Thank you for visiting and for the nice words. My family love dumplings, and, in fact, I’ve not met anyone yet who does not like dumplings. Happy cooking!

  15. Hyosun, your mandu looks beautiful. I was looking for a large size dumpling wrapper in KL but couldn’t find them, so I had to make mine small this time. My mother used to tell me that if you shape your mandu beautifully, you will have a beautiful daughter. I bet your daughter is goergeous by looking at your dumpling. :)

  16. Your mandus are beautiful! I can see how much care you have put into wrapping them. The filling must be delicious with the chopped kimchi. Happy Lunar New Year!

  17. Those dumplings look amazing!

  18. I have never tried this before. Looking forward to try it during this weekend.

  19. Sue Taylor says:

    Wow, these are beautiful dumplings! I’m no pro, but I make pot stickers and steamed dumplings all the time. It is a great thing to do as a family. My most creative was with Thanksgiving leftovers. Turkey w/apple Vidalia chutney, sweet potato w/maple syrup cream sauce, and oyster dressing w/Asian dipping sauce. I read the explanation of how to form these but it seemed like it was explaining how you make the little hats (as I call them) I’m missing something. –can you explain more on how to form?

    • Just make a half-moon shape first and then bring the two ends together. Tightly press the ends together. Hope this helps.

  20. Your mandu looks beautiful! Which brand of wrappers do you use?? The Korean brand that I’ve used cracks when stored in freezer and ended up w/ a mush when cooked!! :( do you have any suggestions??

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