Korean Mandu: Homemade Dumplings
Tip from my mom: if you boil these first for 4 minutes and then freeze, they hold together better and freeze better so you can enjoy them later! This recipe makes about 150 mandu dumplings!! To freeze: boil the amount you want in water for about 4 minutes only. Lay them on a lined baking sheet or large plate or platter (anything that can fit into your freezer) in an even layer making sure they are not touching. You don't have to boil them first but my mom recommends this. Once frozen, transfer the frozen dumplings to a freezer safe ziptop bag. Enjoy within 3 months for the best results.
- 2 lbs. lean ground pork
- 1 lb. uncooked shrimp peeled and chopped
- 6 oz. mung bean or sweet potato noodles soaked in very hot water and then chopped*
- 8 oz. Korean chives chopped
- 4 large eggs
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic finely chopped or minced
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 to 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 1 to 2 tablespoons kosher salt**
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 packages circular mandu wrappers or Japanese gyoza or Chinese wonton wrappers
- water needed when sealing the mandu
VARIATIONS ON THE MANDOO FILLING:
- bean sprouts but you must use a cheese cloth and squeeze all the water out; chopped
- firm tofu but you must use a cheese cloth and squeeze all the water out
- kimchi; finely chopped but you must use a cheese cloth and squeeze all the liquid out
In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients from the ground pork to the salt** (see photos below). I highly recommend wearing disposable plastic gloves and using your hands to mix everything.
Get your mandu assembly area ready with your wrappers, a bowl of water and the pork/shrimp filling mixture.
Place about 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of the dumpling wrapper. If you have the smaller sized wrappers, only add a 1/2 tablespoon of mandu filling. Be careful not to add too much; it will make it hard to close the mandu.
Dip your fingers in the water and wet the outside upper edge of the top half of the wrapper only. Fold the wrapper to close and then crimp the edges. Alternatively, you can close the wrapper and then fold and bring the ends together to make a circle and connect. Repeat until all the filling is gone.
Steam, boil or pan fry the dumplings and enjoy! You can also throw these into a Korean mandu soup. You can freeze the dumplings for up to 3 months.
*Alternatively, you can add the noodles to boiling water for 4 minutes. The noodles don't have to be cooked completely because they will cook later when you cook the dumplings but you do want them soft enough the chop and mix with the filling.
**To test the filling for the salt, add only 1 tablespoon of salt and mix well. Take a big spoonful of the filling and cook in a sauté pan over medium high heat. Taste and if the salt level tastes good, you are ok. If it needs more salt, feel free to add more salt. Some people like to keep the salt down because you typically eat the dumplings with a dipping sauce or put in soup anyway but it's up to you!