My mother would spend an entire day making mandu, Korean dumplings - think potstickers. Robert and I would help until we lost interest, but always reappear when she started deep frying them. There would be cookie sheet after cookie sheet of them clustering the kitchen so that she could freeze most of them. Our neighborhood friends learned quickly that mandu days were good days to play at our house.
This recipe makes nearly 200 mandu, hence, the need for baking sheet after baking sheet of them to freeze. Two of my next door neighbors have spent time in Korea: one as an Army brat and the other serving our country himself. They always get a helping and a freezer bag when I make them. Lowell’s wife now knows what to do with them.
Believe it or not, I no longer have to go to an Asian market for any of these ingredients. The cellophane noodles, bean threads, are in the Asian aisle with ten other kinds of noodles. The bean sprouts and wonton wrappers are usually by the pre-cut veggies. Although, I’ll confess that I like the round wrappers better, and I only find those at the Asian market. I stock up on them and take them out of the freezer the day before Mandu Days.
1 lb of ground pork
1 lb of ground beef
3 scallions, minced*
2 carrots, minced*
1 cup of bean sprouts*
1 package of cellophane noodles*
4 garlic cloves, minced*
1 T grated ginger
1 tsp salt
2 T soy sauce
1 T sesame oil
4 packages of wonton wrappers
2 T soy sauce 1 T rice wine vinegar sliced scallions
Optional: crushed red pepper
*It’s important that everything is minced finely since they are part of the dumpling filling. Just be careful to PULSE not process. You still want everything to maintain some shape and taste.
~ Boil large pot of salted water. Blanche bean sprouts.
~ Use same water to soak cellophane noodles while prepping the meat, about 10 minutes.
~ Use your hands to combine pork and beef together.
~ Mix in soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, garlic, and ginger.
~ Allow meat to marinate while prepping all the veggies and drained noodles in food processor.
~ Mix all ingredients together to taste. (If you don’t like carrot, only use one. . .If you don’t like bean
sprouts, leave out. . . I love the noodles in the filling, so I overdo the noodles. . .)
~ Brushing each inside edge of wrappers with water, place 1 tsp of filling and seal making sure not to
leave ANY air in the pocket. (This will cause them to explode in the oil. Yes, I’ve done it - not pretty.)
~ Lay on baking sheet dusted with flour and prepare right away or freeze for 30 minutes before bagging.
Three Ways to Prepare: (Thaw frozen dumplings at room temperature for 1 hour before preparing.)
~ Deep fry in 350º vegetable oil till dumplings float and are golden brown. Serve with dipping sauce.
~ Place one side down in medium-high pan with 1/2 T of vegetable oil. When browned, add 2 T of
water and cover immediately. Remove when all water has evaporated. Serve with dipping sauce.
~ Add 6 or 7 into 4 cups of boiling chicken stock and 1 T of soy sauce. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Garnish with scallions. Mandu Soup!