Korean dumplings—mandoo or mandu—are a traditional, easy-to-make and easy-to-freeze traditional food. These little dumplings are stuffed with a mixture of meat and/or vegetables, and they can be deep-fried, boiled, pan-fried or baked in the oven.
In fact, there are almost as many variations of mandoo as there are cooks.
Mandoo often are prepared by families as part of Korean Lunar New Year festivities, and are considered a symbol of good luck for the coming year. Mandoo can be added to soup made with beef broth or anchovy broth (mandu guk) that also can be served with a traditional cylindrical rice cake (tteok manu guk).
Follow this Korean dumpling recipe for mandoo (or mandu) that are easy to make and can be prepared in large quantities in advance and stored in the freezer for future use.
Korean dumplings are traditionally made with a beef or pork filling, but chicken and vegetarian dumplings also are popular. Versatile and delicious, mandoo are substantial enough for a main dish, but are also good as snack dishes or a mess-free lunch.
- 1 lb. lean ground beef or pork
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup finely chopped cabbage (about 1/2 of a small cabbage head), parboiled
- 1/2 cup tofu (1 cake), chopped
- 4 oz mung bean or sweet potato noodles, soaked and then chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 package circular mandoo wrappers (or Japanese gyoza or Chinese wonton wrappers)
- In a large mixing bowl, gently combine meat, onion, cabbage, tofu, and noodles.
- In a separate bowl, combine garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce, salt, and pepper.
- Pour seasoning mixture over meat and vegetables and mix with hands to combine.
- Place about 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of dumpling wrapper.
- Dip your finger in water and wet the outside edge of the top half of the wrapper.
- Fold the wrapper up to close and then crimp the edges.
- Repeat until the filling is gone.
- You can steam, boil, fry, or saute the dumplings as you wish.
- Serve with basic dipping sauce or a spicy sauce.
* If you have extra dumpling wrappers, you can just cut them into slices and use them to make noodle soup.
** If you want to prepare a lot of dumplings in advance, steam the dumplings, wait for them to cool, and then freeze them. You can then use them anytime straight from the freezer without defrosting, whether you want to fry, saute, steam, or use them in soup.