Korean Mandu

Brief History (Click here to original reference)

Mandu is a popular little stuffed thing in Korea. They can be grilled, boiled, fried or steamed. They are usually served with kimchi. Kimchi is part of Korean’s daily diet. It can be eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It can be mixed in so many things and so many ways: Rice, noodles, pancakes, pizza, burgers, soup or as a side. Kimchi is a national Korean specialty: made of fermented cabbage. Fermented foods such as kimchi, yogurt, kombucha are very healthy since they help with digestion, yeast infections and even some cancers.

Some interesting things about korea:

When you are born in Korea, it’s your 1 year old birthday!
Writing someone’s name with red ink indicates that this person will die or is already dead.
The no # 4 is bad luck.
All the roofs in Korea are bended giving an appearance of a smile.

So Where did Mandu Come From?

It’s believed that mandu was brought to Korean by Mongols who again, migrated from China! Korea has border only to one country: China so no wonder they share a lot in common with this milliner culture. I was a little scared to try mandu with kimchi because of it’s strong smell but I’ve tried it and it is delicious! If you try this recipe at home do buy a little bit of kimchi and try it! Just be careful with how much you use of it because it can be very spicy. If there’s any stuffing left over, all sorts of things can be made. What my friend did with leftovers were pancakes and fried rice. One advice is that when you are making it, gather some people to help put it together, because it goes a lot faster! We did 40 pieces in 10 minutes because we were five doing it! Its not that hard, even children can do it and it’s even a good way to spend time with your kids, if you have any.


Preparation and Cook Time

For the bread dough:
Ingredients for Filling

  1. Follow basic steamed bun (Mantou) recipe to make the basic dough. You’ll need about 2 – 3 hours to prepare the dough.
  2. While waiting for the dough to rise, start making the stuffing by chopping the scallions and ginger
  3. Chop the cabbage to the size of ½ of your pinky nail. Move the chopped cabbage to a mixing bowl
  4. Mix 1 tbsp of salt into the cabbage. Let sit for about 20 minutes or until cabbage has released some moisture
  5. Remove the cabbage liquid. Combine with the ground pork (or your meat of choice) in the same bowl. Add the chopped scallions and ginger to the pork and cabbage
  6. Mix in all the stuffing marinade ingredients to the pork except the cooking oil. Whisk the stuffing using a spoon until all the ingredients are well incorporated. Add additional salt to taste if needed
  7. Drip the cooking oil in the meat mixture and whisk to mix. Seal the stuffing with plastic wrapper and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. This can be done in advance
  8. Once the dough is ready, transfer the dough to a flour-dusted workstation. Divide into 4 portions. Roll each portion into a log that’s about 1.5 inch in diameter
  9. Cut the log into 6 parts and shape each port into a ball. Make sure you coat the dough balls with a layer of flour. Press down the ball with your palm. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a round thin wrapper with 4 inch diameter. When rolling, make sure the center of the wrapper is thicker than the edge of the wrapper. Repeat this step to make a batch of 6 wrappers at a time
  10. To fold the bun. Place 1 to 2 tbsp of the filling in the center of the wrapper. Try to stack up the filling so it’s at least 1 inch from the edge of the wrapper. Wrap the bun by folding the edge counterclockwise until the bun is completely sealed. Repeat these two steps to assemble the rest of the buns
  11. Place the buns on a bamboo steamer with parchment in between to prevent sticking. Don’t steam your buns right away but instead let them sit for another 30 – 45 minutes. This is an important step in making the buns soft and fluffy. The buns will increase in size
  12. Steam the buns for 15 minutes over high heat. Turn off the heat but do not open the steamer cover. Let them sit in the steamer for another 5 minutes before you take them out. Let them cool a little and serve hot as breakfast, snack, or appetizers

Families & friends make a home video instructions!