Mandu are Korean dumplings with variations of fillings. They can be deep fried, steamed, cooked or pan fried. The dough is easy to make and the filling can be made to taste. In Korea Mandu are eaten as an appetizer, for the main course, as a snack or in a soup.
You can buy ready-made frozen dumpling wrappers (Korean: mandupi; Japanese: gyoza; Chinese: wonton) in Asian shops and skip the next step. However, making the dough is not difficult. The only ingredients that you need for 22 wrappers are:
200 g flour
100 ml warm water
1 pinch of salt
Mix and then kneed all three ingredients by hand until they come together to a smooth dough. Let it rest in a covered bowl while you prepare the filling.
1 onion, finely chopped
200 g Chinese cabbage, pointed cabbage or plain while cabbage, finely chopped
80 g pork minced meat or crumbled tofu
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 piece of ginger (thumb-sized)
1 garlic clove, crushed
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Briefly sauté onions, cabbage, minced meat and carrots in oil and season with other ingredients. At the end add cornstarch and set filling aside. Kneed the dough until it is smooth and elastic. Divide the dough into 22 same-sized parts and roll them into balls. Flatten them carefully with a rolling pin on a floured surface into thin (1.5 mm) 8 cm circles. If you buy ready-made dumpling wrappers, they should be defrosted in the refrigerator so the melting ice does not soak the dough.
Folding the mandu requires some patience. If you are right-handed, you lay a wrapper into your left hand and place a tablespoon of the filling on the wrapper. Then you fold the wrapper in the middle loosely forming a half-moon shape. Push the air out with your fingers and seal the edges starting on the right side. You might have to wet the edges with water to make them stick.
The folded mandu can be either steamed over boiling water for 10 to 12 minutes (Jjin Mandu), pan fried for 2 to 3 minutes on each side (Gun Mandu, add a little water and steam for 2 minutes) or boiled in hot water for 5 minutes (Mul Mandu).
Mandu tastes especially delicious when served with a dipping sauce:
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 teaspoon water or rice wine
½ teaspoon sugar
1 pinch of pepper
1 pinch or red chili flakes (Gochugaru)
The left-over Mandu dumplings can be wrapped in foil and stored in the freezer in a freezer bag. The readymade mandu can be warmed in the oven at 150° c for 20 minutes.