There are many different kinds of dumplings, but here I’m going to concentrate solely on the Korean kind, called mandu. Here are some little tidbits of information regarding these treats:
- Wahng Mandu are ‘king’ dumplings about the size of your palm with a slightly thicker and fluffier skin (called ‘pi’)
- When served on their own, they are usually served either steamed or fried. Steamed dumplings are called ‘jjin mandu‘ and fried ones are called ‘goon mandu‘, but they are both still mandu.
- Another way these dumplings can be served is in a slightly thickened soup with rice cakes (dduk) called ‘dduk mandu gook‘.
- Whilst the fillings are usually similar/the same, there is a distinction drawn between regular mandu and kimchi mandu (mandu which has also got diced kimchi in the filling)
This recipe is purely for the filling as we no longer make the skins ourselves – whilst my grandmother used to handroll hundreds of these, you can get packets of fresh dumpling skins from the freezer of most Chinese grocery stores and we find that these work fine. As with any recipe, you’ll need to adapt it to your own tastes, and the recipe below will turn out roughly 60~80 dumplings, so you may want a friend on hand to help with the filling and folding part Now, onto the recipe!
Korean dumpling (Mandu) recipe
Ingredients (makes approx 60~80)
500g pork mince
300g dried tofu
2x medium-sized eggs
100g garlic chives
1 heaped tsp minced ginger
4-6 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup chinese rice wine
250g mung bean shoots
6 large leaves of napa cabbage (also called chinese cabbage) *
2-3 tsp beef dashida (substitute with powdered beef boullion)
1-2 tbsp dark sesame oil (Asian sesame oil)
1 pk dumpling skins (preferably gowzee/gowgee or gyoza)
1 egg white, lightly beaten
* To make kimchi mandu, replace the napa cabbage with 1 cup kimchi, then get rid of the liquid and chop up as per step 2.
1. Blanch the mung bean shoots till slightly softened (but still retains majority of its crunch), then squeeze out as much liquid as possible using the muslin cloth/bag. By working in small batches (1/2 to 1 handful at a time), you will be able to get rid of more liquid effectively. Once you’ve finished, set these aside for now.
My brother squeezing the liquid from the blanched mung bean shoots
2. Blanch the napa cabbage (make sure that the thickest part of the leaf is soft enough to poke with a fork without too much resistance). Squeeze out the liquid from the cabbage using the muslin (remember, smaller quantities work better), then roughly chop into 1cm pieces and set aside.
3. Thoroughly wash the garlic chives to get rid of all dirt, then remove any wilted or yellow bits and finely chop the rest into pieces no more than about 5mm in length. Set these aside with the mung bean sprouts.
4. Mix together the pork mince, ginger, garlic, rice wine, dashida and sesame oil and rest for 30 minutes. This is in order to give the meat time to absorb the other flavours and lose it’s ‘porky’ smell.
Dried tofu is just tofu that has been strained – it is extremely firm in texture (as firm as well-cooked meat) and has the least liquid of all tofus available. The surface is usually rough as it retains the pattern from the muslin used to strain it.
6. Combine the mince mixture, mung bean shoots, cabbage, tofu, chives, eggs and add salt and pepper to taste, then mix thoroughly till everything is evenly and well combined.
The mixture should be fairly dry (moist but not very wet), and well combined so that every teaspoon has an even amount of chives, cabbage, tofu and mince.
7. Take one dumpling skin and place in your hand, then take 1 tsp of mixture and place it in the middle:
These are the skins I like to use. I find that these skins taste a lot less floury and tastier than gyoza skins.
The mixture sitting on a dumpling skin in my hand
8a. Dip your finger in the beaten egg white, then run it around the outer edge of the dumpling skin, then pinch it together in the middle so it resembles a tube:
8b. Right next to the joined section, grab a bit of dumpling skin from the edge facing you and fold it over and join it to the other edge. Repeat this action two more times till the side of your dumpling looks like this:
8c. Do the same to the other side of the dumpling, working from the middle to the outside, and then the dumpling should look like this:
9a. If the previous method of folding seems too fiddly, you can try this simpler method. Once you’ve run egg white around the outer edge (step 7), fold the two sides together to form a half circle:
The half circle, as demonstrated by my brother
9b. Dab a little egg white on one of the outer corners of the dumpling, then fold the two edges together (the bit with egg white should be under the other edge):
10. Now you can cook them as you like (fried, deep fried, steamed or boiled) or freeze them for future use!
To make the dipping sauce for mandu, use the following:
2 tbsp white/rice vinegar
3 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp dried red chilli powder (gochugaru)
1/4 tsp sesame oil
Combine and serve either drizzled over the dumplings or on the side.
As the dumplings are quite time-consuming to make, it is a good idea to make a large batch (this recipe will give you quite a few) and keep them in the freezer for when you need a quick meal. They can be cooked straight out of the freezer:
- To steam them, cut out a round of baking paper that will fit into your steamer, and poke it full of holes. Line your steaming basket and then operate as per usual with the frozen dumplings (or the fresh ones if you’ve just made them!)
- To fry them, heat 1 tbsp of oil in a non-stick frying pan that has a lid, then fry till golden. Once they’re golden, pour about 1/4 cup of water into the frying pan (you want them to be resting in the water, not swimming in it) and put the lid on, cooking till the water has absorbed.
- The “dduk mandu gook” (rice cake & dumpling soup) recipe you’ll have to check back for. My camera has actually died (this is a very old post) and I can’t take any pictures till I purchase a new one – which won’t be till later this month if I decide to go with the Nikon p5000!
[tags]mandu, Korean cuisine, recipe, dumplings, Korean[/tags]
People who have tried this recipe:
- Kristine at Web-Goddess