Mandu, the Korean term for dumpling, holds a special significance for me. If I were to select a single dumpling variety to consume indefinitely, it would undoubtedly be kimchi dumplings or pork and chive dumplings. The inspiration behind creating these dumplings stemmed from receiving a shipment of homemade kimchi from my mother in Korea.
The true highlight of these dumplings is the kimchi, complemented by a filling of pork, tofu, glass noodles, chives, and green onion. I dedicated a significant portion of my day to shaping these dumplings into my preferred styles. I typically opt for circular-shaped mandu when boiling or steaming, and crescent-shaped mandu for frying! While I purchased my dumpling wrappers from a nearby Korean market, they are also readily available at most Asian grocery stores. If you encounter difficulty in finding pre-made dumpling wrappers, you can even make them from scratch in the comfort of your own home.
I relish these kimchi mandu prepared in three ways: steamed, fried, and added to dduk guk (rice cake soup). They are ideal for bulk preparation and freezing. A helpful tip for freezing your dumplings is to partially freeze them individually before placing them in a bag for full freezing. This ensures they won’t stick together!
If you’re seeking guidance on how to wrap dumplings in this particular shape, I recommend watching the video tutorial provided below. It may require some practice, but the results are truly rewarding.
- 2 bundles of Korean chives (Buchu, 부추) – OPTIONAL
- 5 oz Cellophane/Glass Noodles (Dangmyun)
- 1 pack of firm tofu
- 1 large green onion
- 1 lb ground pork
- 8 cloves of garlic
- 3 tbsp perilla oil
- 3 tbsp rice wine
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp grated ginger
- 3 cups fermented kimchi (chopped and packed; add up to 4 cups if you love kimchi)
- 1 ladle of kimchi juice
- 60 dumpling wrappers
- In a bowl, combine the ground pork, minced garlic, perilla oil, and rice wine. Set aside for 10 minutes to marinate while you prepare the other ingredients.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the cellophane noodles and cook for 5-8 minutes until they are softened. Drain and rinse them, then transfer to a bowl and drizzle with a little perilla oil. Use scissors to chop the noodles into small pieces.
- Finely chop the green onion, Korean chives, and kimchi. Place the tofu in a cheesecloth and squeeze out as much moisture as possible. In a large bowl, combine the chopped vegetables, kimchi, tofu, and cellophane noodles.
- Add soy sauce, kimchi juice, pepper, and grated ginger to the bowl. Mix everything thoroughly.
- Wrap the dumplings (refer to the video for instructions). For steaming, place the dumplings in a steamer and steam for about 5 minutes. For frying, cook the dumplings in a pan over medium heat for approximately 6 minutes, flipping them once.
If you don’t plan to consume the dumplings right away, you can freeze them. However, ensure that you first place them in the freezer, without touching each other, for approximately 30 minutes. Afterward, you can consolidate them into a bag or airtight container for storage.