Ever since we have this mandu in Korean 8 years ago we have been falling in love with it. It is big and juicy, seem like one is enough but it is so delicious that we just want to have more. After several tries, we have master the recipes and today you will be learning how to make delicious homemade mandu (Korean dumplings) from scratch with these step-by-step instructions. This Mandu couldn’t be more delicious, filled with pork, shitake mushroom, carrot, spinach and Korean sweet potato noodles.
When it comes to Lunar New Year traditions in Korea, you can’t skip homemade Mandu (Korean dumplings, 만두) as a part of a New Year celebration. These dumplings are filled with juicy meats and vegetables. Taking a bite is a truly satisfying and enjoyable experience. Although it is not the new year, we always made batches of them and keep them frozen and enjoy them whenever we want.
Where to get Mandu Wrappers?
Store-bought dumpling wrappers do come in handy, and they make delicious semi-homemade mandu as well. When making Koran style mandu, look for the large size wrappers, about 5 inches in diameter. We got ours at our nearby Korean mart.
You could also challenge yourself from making them if you have more time! Korean dumpling wrappers are made with flour, sweet rice flour, and a little cornstarch. The tender yet chewy texture of these dumpling wrappers makes quite a difference compared to most other Asian dumpling wrappers.
Types of Filling
There are many variations of Korean dumplings. The most popular one is Kimchi mandu is especially popular for making manduguk (dumpling soup) or tteok-manduguk (a variation of rice cake soup, tteokguk, with dumplings), which is a must-eat New Year’s dish. The kimchi version adds a nice contrast to the mildly flavoured broth and soft rice cake slices With its pungent flavour and crunchy texture.
However this time, we decided to share traditional Korean dumplings are made with minced pork. Its mild yet juicy flavour and texture mingle well with any vegetables you add. Chopped sour kimchi, mung bean sprouts, and tofu are typical filling ingredients to go with pork. We recommend using slightly fatty ground pork for the filling, about 80/20 meat to fat ratio. The fat makes the filling juicy and tender. Pork that is too lean yields a dry texture — you don’t want that.
How to make Korean Mandu from Strach?
Step 1: Prepare the vegetables
To mix well with long noodles, ingredients have to be similar shapes. That way when you eat, all the ingredients will cling to the noodles and have more balanced flavours in your mouth. Prepare the vegetables, and set them aside.
Step 2: Stir fry, blanch, and cook each ingredient separately.
Noodle: Cook the noodles for 7 minutes in a large pot of boiling water. Do not throw this boiling water. Strain and cut with kitchen scissors so that they’re a little shorter.
Spinach: Using the same pot of water from the noodle, add spinach, cook for about 10-15 seconds. Prepare iced water in a large bowl and move the spinach out of the pot to the iced water to stop cooking. Squeeze out water from spinach as much as you can and set aside.
Step 3: Mix all together!
Put all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Season with soy sauce, sweet rice wine, ginger, sesame oil, and pepper; mix well with your hand until all the ingredients are well incorporated.
Fold it up – Half moon shaped dumplings
Half moon shaped dumplings are the most common in Korean dumplings. This shape is perfect for steaming and making soup. If you are thinking of making Korean dumpling soup, use this shape.
- Put a heaping tablespoon of filling in the middle of wrapper, wet the edges of wrapper with water using your finger.
- Fold the wrapper in half and pinch the edges together.
- Bring the both ends toward the center.
- Pinch the ends together to complete.
- You can then steam it using a steamer for 5- 7 minutes.
Can I freeze the leftover?
It is always a good idea to make abundant homemade mandu because they freeze beautifully. Make sure to sprinkle flour on a large tray so that the mandu won’t stick to the tray. Place mandu pieces on the tray without touching each other. Freeze for an hour or until they are frozen solid. Transfer mandu pieces to a freezer bag. They can last up to 3 months in the freezer.
You could also try our tofu and kimchi dumplings if you want a more flavourful and crispy flavour for your meal. You could enjoy them as a side dish or themselves.
Korean Steamed Mandu
3 oz Korean sweet potato noodles
1 1/2 lb minced pork
1 cup finely chopped Carrot
1 cup finely chopped Mushroom
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sweet rice wine
1 tsp ginger puree
1 tbsp sesame oil
3/4 tsp black pepper
40 large dumpling wrappers about 5-inch diameter
- Boil Korean sweet potato noodles according to the package directions, about 6-7 minutes. Rinse in cold water and drain well. Chop into small pieces.
- Using the same pot of water from the noodle, add spinach, cook for about 10-15 seconds. Prepare iced water in a large bowl and move the spinach out of the pot to the iced water to stop cooking. Squeeze out water from spinach as much as you can and set aside.
- Put pork, carrot, mushroom and noodles in a large mixing bowl. Season with soy sauce, sweet rice wine, ginger, sesame oil, and pepper; mix well with your hand until all the ingredients are well incorporated.
- Put a heaping tablespoon of filling in the middle of the wrapper, wet the edges of the wrapper with water using your finger. Fold the wrapper in half and pinch the edges together. Bring both ends toward the centre. Pinch the ends together to complete.
- To steam the dumplings, bring a small amount of water to a large pot to boil. Make sure the bottom of your steamer doesn’t touch the water. Place mandu without touching each other in a bamboo steamer (or regular steamer), lined with a cheesecloth or a steam liner. When the water boils, place the steamer over or in the pot. Cover and steam for 5 – 7 minutes. Serve immediately.
- Meanwhile, make a dipping sauce to go with dumplings. Combine all the sauce ingredients and drizzle it over dumplings.