Wednesday, March 12, 2008

mandu mandu ~ how many ways & days do I love thee....

all dressed up and ready to go.....

the beginnings: mandu filling all chopped up and green as can be....even if you don't like vegetables, this recipe will jump hoops past any blind taste test

ground meat isn't always a pretty picture....but the veggies poking out are always cute......

First off - I want to thank you guys for voting on the recent poll - and you got it! The winner is Homemade Mandu aka Korean dumplings kinda like gyoza I'd say.

As you probably know by now, I am a freak about chopping vegetables.

I love to chop, mince, shred and pulverize vegetables.

I especally love to mince garlic ~ my favorite thing to do lately.

Many of you don't like this manic by all means use your food processor and/or other kitchen accessories to get this recipe off the ground.

I am just pure lazy about washing dishes.

When I was waitressing way back when.....had to force myself to help in dishwashing duties when it was my turn. It was even one of those mega industrial dishwashers and that still didn't have me convinced.

I liked scooping ice out though.....

Also - may I suggest to do this in steps, so you don't drive yourself nuts trying to conquer the world and make mandu in a day.

Day 1: Get groceries needed. Chop/prep vegetables and throw all the prepped veggies in an airtight container in the fridge

Day 2: Make the mandu filling. Cover & chill till needed that evening or the very next day to complete the filling

Day 3: Make the dipping sauce. Make the mandu with help of friends and family....I've prepped them solo w/the help of my 6 year old too....cook & enjoy! Mandu boiled, potstickers, fried and duk mandu soup make great leftovers too.....

I also suggest if possible using organic produce and meats if possible. Not only does it tastes so much better ~ the end results will leave you feeling more coherent about life sans the pest & bacteria killing elixers, additional fake hormones and other stuff that normally doesn't grow on trees or breathes air......

mandu as pot sticker babes basking......kinda like Japanese gyoza

Homemade Mandu: Korean dumplings

© 2008 Ingar Brunnett,
this is a recipe I am sharing with you ~ appreciate my credit ;)

1 lb. freshly ground turkey or ground chicken
1 package soft tofu, drained on paper towels
2 eggs
20 asparagus spears, finely sliced into rounds*
optional: 1 yellow squash or green zuchinni, finely shredded then minced
2 cups of white mushrooms, finely chopped up
4 green onions, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
2 Tbsp. sesame oil
2 Tbsp. **toasted sesame seeds (unsalted), grounded w/mortar & pestle or other
2 Tbsp. mirin or sweet sherry
1½ teasp. sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
*thanks to my mom's insight about using fresh asparagus ~ it makes this recipe even tastier
**use of toasted sesame seeds that are UNSALTED & GROUNDED is a very IMPORTANT aspect to this recipe. I have tested this recipe several upon several times and the ratio of the sesame seeds are perfect with the ratio of the sea salt mentioned fyi.

2 - 10 oz. packages small gyoza/won ton wraps, 3 ½” width and preferably round in shape
a bowl of water

Ganjang: seasoned dipping sauce
½ cup soy sauce
1 teasp. sesame oil
freshly ground black pepper
2 green onions, minced
1 teasp. toasted sesame seeds, grounded

optional: ½ teasp. mirin and ¼ teasp. dried Korean chili pepper flakes

preparing the marinade
In a small serving bowl combine the ingredients in the order listed. No need to mix, just serve with a small spoon on the side for communal use as needed. If you prefer a slightly sweeter sauce add the mirin in after the soy sauce. If you think you’ll be going through the sauce more – just double it. Serve Ganjang (seasoned dipping sauce) with mandu.....

making the mandu filling
In a large bowl, mash the tofu with potato masher or throw caution to the wind and use your will just take a brief moment to create a chunky blend that is slightly smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients. Combine everything using a large spatula until all ingredients are thoroughly combined together. Koreans like to use their hands for this part, but a rubber spatula suits just fine.

Cover and chill until needed the same day or....

The mandu filling can be chilled overnight, but I suggest you prepare and cook it the very next day.

forming the mandu
Pull up a chair at the table :).....invite your friends, to help...

Arrange small bowl of cold water, mandu filling (you may want to bring half of it out at a time - keep the remaining half in the fridge), gyoza skins and a kitchen towel to wipe finger tips as needed and a lightly floured a dinner platter.

Place one gyoza wrap in the palm of your hand. Put one slightly heaping teaspoon size portion of the filling in the center of the wrap.

With your fingertip wet one half edge of the wrap with cold water.

Fold and seal tightly. Make sure there are no air pockets between the filling and the seal of the wrapper. Make sure the meat filling doesn't creep out towards the edges.

To crimp the edges: Lightly wet the outer edge and make about 4 to 5 overlapping folds one at a time and pinch down until secured....or can also pinch one corner of the wrap to the other to resemble a pillow (see fried mandu photo).

Lay out finished mandu on lightly floured platter. Be careful not to have any of the wet portions touch each other.

If you find the process of forming the mandu a little longer than anticipated; cover the completed mandu with plastic wrap and keep chilled in the refrigerator until ready to be cooked later in the day. Start another lightly floured platter to place your completed mandu and repeat as needed.

Don't worry that it may not come out perfect the first couple of times you do this. Its all in the heart & then the wrist....have fun and eat at the end of it all!

boiled mandu: easy
In a quart size pot filled with water add 1 teasp. sea salt, 1 Tbsp. olive oil or sesame oil and bring to a boil.

Gently drop in mandu, bring to medium simmer and cook completely for until the mandu rises from the bottom of the pot to the top. Allow the mandu to float to the top, thereafter cook for 2-3 minutes.

Remove with a slotted spoon onto serving platter and serve immediately with seasoned dipping sauce.

potstickers method:easy
In a large saucepan or frying pan heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil or 2 tablespoons of sesame oil. Add mandu and be careful not to overcrowd. A large saucepan can accommodate about 20 to 25 pieces of mandu. Gently brown mandu on both sides for about 10 to 12 minutes on medium to high heat until deep golden brown. Then, pour ¼ cup of cold water and cover pan immediately. Bring heat down to a medium to keep the pan simmering for 3 to 6 minutes. Allow the mandu to absorb the water during the cooking process. The mandu should be puffy like a pillow and check for the meat’s doneness but slicing into one before removing off the pan.

I have a thing about grease – so I drain the cooked potstickers on paper towels prior serving.

Serve immediately with seasoned dipping sauce.

deep double fried method: patience required

In a deep fryer or deep frying pan heat 3 to 4 cups of canola or sunflower oil to 350 F. Gently drop in mandu in small batches. Deep fry until light golden brown for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels in between batches.

Then re-fry the batches mandu until a deep golden brown on all sides for another 3 to 5 minutes. To check for doneness, cut open a mandu to make sure the meat is completely cooked.

Drain on paper towels.

Serve warm or cooled with seasoned soy sauce on the side.

place about a heaping teaspoon of mandu filling.....

hey, if a 6 year old can do she knows how to make the 'crimps' on the edges too!

lightly dab with water half of the inner edge of the mandu skin, fold and then seal shut......

to crimp: lightly dab half the outer edge with water and pinch 4 to 5 crimps - kinda like one over the other....then pinch down.....

the crimp look - makes it tastier too...if you can't crimp (or don't have time), don't worry - go for the free flowing straight look.

lightly floured surface and don't let the wet parts touch eachother too long or ----aarggghhhhh-----they'll stick

potstickers are easier than frying and taste just as good - with way less the oil....

whole toasted sesame seeds in mortar waitin' for that pestle

Ganjang: marinated dipping sauce the Korean way....a must have....

the trick to tasty boiled mandu is sesame oil & sea salt in the water: in this photo the mandu is not ready cooked, it's still lingering on the bottom

it's near done when they become floaties.....

boiled mandu, just hot off their bath....

comfort & tang in each bite

mandu fried

duk mandu soup: rice cake dumplings & mandu's all in the broth my friend


Okay is this the longest post ever?


Anonymous said...

i am in love with mandu! I'm already hungry just looking, tell me more soon.

Mats Lodén said...

I can smell it. Lovely. Thank you!

KT said...

Hi, I just stumbled across your blog & I love it. Can't wait to finish reading. Beautiful pictures of food too.

bestfriend said...


Thanks to "Next Blog" button...I made it here....

Just by looking at the photos..makes my mouth waters..slllrp!

Can't wait until you post that thing in here.

Even if I'm not sure if I'll be bale to provide the recipes, still...can't wait.

Thanks for such wonderful blog!!!

Anonymous said...

The pictures are great. Makes me drool and want to taste. Not sure if I had mandu before. The pictures remind me of gyozas - which I enjoy. I look forward to your homemade mandu post

Brian said...

It all looks delicious, I can't wait to try it out.

cakewardrobe said...

i hate chopping stuff! I have a bad habit of sticking everything into the food processor. I've been waiting for you're mandoo recipe (on refresh) :) Please post the dipping sauce as well!

kelseashell said...

Wow, these pictures are beautiful. As a first-timer to this blog, it was a great introduction!

A friend recently just picked me up a large bottle of Korean soy sauce and I'm unsure where to start with it. What would you suggest? Thanks. :)

Jessica@Foodmayhem said...

Do you have a recipe for Duk Mandu Guk? My favorite place to get it closed:

Passionate Eater said...

It may be a long post, but it is a fantastic one! I love your detailed instructions and gorgeous pix.

Sasori no Danna said...

oh wow, the shape looks like the chinese dumplings or japanese gyoza.. certainly makes me drool all over my keyboard ^^

Padma said...

hey great blog, spent about an hour here and will come back. Got here thru blogs of note. Congrats!!! on being listed on Blogs of Note.

Agent Deepak said...

We Indian also make such type of food.We make it sweet.It tastes so good.

Mags said...

hello ingar I just joined blogspot today and yours is the first blog i have read. I love your recipes
mags x

cakewardrobe said...

I'm really looking forward to making this and having a dumpling party! Perhaps some child labor as well.. tee hee

Film Scholar said...

Those potstickers look tasty

Unknown said...

those pictures are really something...i can almost smell the gyoza on my head!

i really must try it one day, but i'm so's much easier to run off to the store and get some!

escralan said...

I am in love period.

Kalyan Karmakar said...

Hi I just came across your blog. Amazing pictures. I will read it later and try to make some of the dishes. I too hate doing dishes and am not a fan of chopping cooking though

Belle said...

Your blog is wonderful.
And your food is even better. Your pictures make my mouth water.
I will be checking your blog often.
If I lived closer to you, I would wheedle a dinner invitation out of you!!!

haikusue said...

OMG those look crazy-delicious, so glad I happened on this blog, I am book-marking you!

Sweet Home and Garden Carolina said...

Hi Ingar,

Whew am I tired just reading about making mandu, which I've done many times with my Shi Omani ( Mother-in-law ), my Korean cooking teacher.

Your recipe looks quite intricate so I'll be using your trade secrets next time.

Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving your nice comments ! I shall return to yours frequently because I make Korean meals several times a week.

Deborah said...

These sound absolutely delicious!

jessica said...

using milk instead of water to make the mandu skin stick also works. i think it's a little less messy than water.

and when you want fried mandu, it's pretty good if you boil it for just a little bit before frying it so that the inside cooks a little so that you don't have to keep it too long on the frying pan and burn the skin [which has happened one too often times when i was first learning to make mandu :P]

just a couple tips! although i may be coming back here for some other recipes later :) being a korean in college sucks when the place you go to school is in a total non-korean area.

Anonymous said...

those look sooo yummy!!

Jaya M said...

it looks so delicious,something very similar we make also but then its called " Momos "...
its so amazing ..

taste memory said...

Hey everyone ~ thanks for your interest & supporting comments:

free t/B - glad to meet another mandu fan :)

mats l - yes it's been mentioned to me that the pictures do sizzle...glad you get a douze of it there!

bestfr - yur very welcome, glad to serve up this mandu serving...

iluv2 - definitely homemade....made various versions of this...this is the amped one....
katyk - i finally got the whole recipe up & more pix

brian - give it a go!

cake wardrobe - i used to hate chopping too....somehow i just got used to it...i live in an area where there is really REALLY bad ethnic i have to chop to get cravings met ;-)

film sch - definitly

exec sous - love & mandu go well hand in hand i'd say....

the knife - what?

brigid - dinner sounds good.....i am always hungry ~ thnx for the kind words too

haikusue - awe gee.....

carolyn gail - luuuuvv your recipes...i saw your pix and they do look real savory & quite traditional. I am not as patient so I've gone the Americanized melting pot route - plus i love lots of veggies!

deborah - thanks sooo much

kate - they are great as left overs too...

jaya - yes I have heard of those....this recipe intetwines with so many cultures, esp. when fried!

Hope I got everyone, again thank you so much and I'll be posting more on savory, hot, healthy and yum factor cooking shortly......

Melita said...

Thanks for commenting on my blog! I saw this mandu mandu the other day, and I am tempted to make it. Looks so delicious!!!!!!!!!

Twila said...

These look AMAZING... I'm ready to start NOW. ^o^
But I do have a question. About how many does this recipe make? And how do you freeze them? And can you post that soup recipe sometime...? ^_~
I am curious though because it seems like that makes A LOT... and I don't want to eat them all in one sitting! ^_^

taste memory said...

medena ~ your blog is totally edible....;-) good to hear from you!

tmc ~ it's a lotta fun. Haven't taken a count - but it will be a generous portion to feed 4 to 6 adults depedning on how much you & your friends eat.

***IMPORTANT: if you decide to freeze the mandu ~ I suggest you do not use ground chicken. For some reason the ground chicken does not stay well when frozen & thawed.

To freeze them:
1. Make room in your freezer for cookie sheet(s)
2. Have cookie sheet(s) ready
3. Place freezer bag on cookie sheet - place mandu side by side but NOT touching or overlapping inside bag.
4. Repeat with another freezer bag and another cookie sheet. Place 2 or 3 sealed bags (depending on size of cookie sheet) in one layer, onto cookie sheet.
5. Freeze over night
6. When mandu is totally frozen, gently remove from cookie sheet, keep in freezer. You can stack the freezer bags on top of eachother just make sure the mandus are not touching each other.
7. To thaw: thaw in fridge overnight or on your kitchen counter for a bit before immediate use (let thaw in the bag with seal open)

I've never tried this freezing method, because there is usually none leftover....We end up cooking it all and might have a handfull in the fridge for leftovers the next day

crazy asians man....

Jennifer said...

Thank you for the reminder to call up my BF and make gyoza! These look fabulous, and have me drooling! I guess I'd better go fix dinner.

Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipes with the rest of us in the blog-o-sphere!

Have a great one,

Nina Timm said...

Your dipping sauce looks so good and fragrant, not to mention the dumplings.

taste memory said...

jennifer @ cottage ~ definitely a girlfriend night treat w. nice glass of wine in the mix.....!

nina ~ yes the sauce adds a plus to the whole experience, thanks for reading ;-)

Anonymous said...

These look beyond delicious. I can't wait to try them

Katelyn said...

This is an interesting take on mandu. I like the addition of asparagus and sesame seeds. The only ingredient I try to avoid is tofu. Is there something else that can be substituted instead? I know a lot of mandu recipes use tofu but I can't get myself to eat it! The dipping sauce sounds nice as well! Hopefully I'll be able to try it out next time I make mandu.