Last week my son and I made homemade mandu for the first time. When preparing for our son’s Dol we found a brand of frozen mandu that we loved. And for four years, it’s been a staple in our house. But a couple of months ago when we went to buy another bag, the store no longer had it. Since then we’ve tried a couple of different brands but nothing is as good as our original. So I decided to make some and see how it stood up.
The result: Yum! And while it takes a little time to do all of the chopping, it’s not hard at all. And our son had a great time creating very unique mandu shapes that are all his own.
I basically combined three different recipes to come up with the one I’m sharing here. I used the recipe at Eating and Living for the seasonings. You can find that recipes here: http://eatingandliving.blogspot.com/2009/09/mandu-korean-dumplings_20.html. The other ingredients I decided on by looking at a few different recipes and picking what we liked.
1 package won ton wrappers (ours were square; traditionally they are round)
1 zucchini, finely chopped
2 carrots, grated (I used six baby carrots)
3 green onions, chopped
1/2 c. kimchi, chopped
1-2 handfuls of mung beans, blanched and chopped
1/4 package of glass/cellophane noodles, cooked and chopped
1/2 lb. ground beef/pork/turkey, browned (optional)
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. ginger, grated or minced
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/2 to 1 tsp. salt to season the filling; more for salting vegetables
1/2 tsp. pepper
1. Set chopped zucchini aside in salt water to draw out water for about 15 minutes while you chop the other ingredients.
2. Once you’ve drained the zucchini well, combined all of the ingredients in a large bowl. It’s easiest to use your hands to mix this up.
3. Place a spoonful of filling in a wrapper.
4. Wet the edges of the wrapper with water to help them stick together. Repeat until all wrappers are filled.
We pan fry our mandu, which I’ve just learned from Eating and Living is called “gun mandu.” To cook them this way, heat vegetable oil in a skillet. Cook mandu three-four minutes each side until golden brown.
Our first batch made 48 mandu, with additional filling left over. Mandu can be frozen. Just place the dumplings on a cookie sheet so they aren’t touching, and put in the freezer for an hour or two. Once they are frozen, you can place them in a freezer bag. I’ve read that you must thaw mandu before cooking, but we’ve never done that. We just cook from frozen and cook it a little longer on each side.