Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Kimchi Mandu (Dumplings)

Omg, I'm late for this month's challenge AGAIN. UGHHHH, why do i always think posting date is on the 17th??? Gahhh, ahh well, late is better than nothing. So this month's Daring Cooks' challenge is to make our own dumplings. And since I've already posted up a recipe for Chinese dumplings in the past, i decided to make Korean kimchi mandu. But due to the lack of resources in PL, I went through great lengths for these dumplings-- i had to make my own kimchi which took me 2 days to ferment. Sigh, 自作自受 am I, hohoho. It was well worth it though, I love ANYTHING with kimchi and making a tub of it meant that i wouldn't be fretting over what to make for dinner for at least a week :) Funny thing is, JLo complained that his pee came out orange last night... HAHAHA. I know beet roots and some other veggies can change urine color, but... red chili powder?? Let's hope it was something else he ate. So anyway, what makes these dumplings Korean isn't just the kimchi filling, but also it's unique shape! From what I've read online, round dumplings are used for soups in Korea, whereas the normal ones are more commonly used for pan-frying. So if you can't resist the cutesy-ness of these little dumpling parcels, try this wrapping method on your next batch!

Kimchi Mandu (Dumplings)
A Daring Cooks Challenge hosted by JenYu @ userealbutter.com
  • 500g ground pork
  • 180g firm tofu
  • 200g mung bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms (soaked overnight if using dried mushrooms).
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup of spring onions, chopped
  • 2 cups kimchi, minced and strained
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup warm water [mine was a bit dry so I added 3/4 cups total]
    [ I also added 1/2 teaspoon salt for a little more flavor]

Kimchi Filling:
  1. Wash and finely chop the tofu (i used my food processor) [picture 1].
  2. Boil the mung bean sprouts. Strain, squeeze dry, and chop them up [picture 2, 3].
  3. Finely mince the shiitake mushrooms (i used my food processor) [picture 6].
  4. In a big bowl, mix all filling ingredients together and refrigerate for 30 minutes [picture 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7].
Dumpling wrappers:
  1. In a large bowl mix flour and salt with 1/4 cup of water and stir until water is absorbed.
  2. Continue adding water one teaspoon at a time and mixing thoroughly until dough pulls away from sides of bowl. We want a firm dough that is barely sticky to the touch.
  3. Knead the dough about twenty strokes then cover with a damp towel for 15 minutes.
  4. Take the dough and form a flattened dome. Cut into strips about 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide. Shape the strips into rounded long cylinders.
  5. On a floured surface, cut the strips into 3/4 inch pieces.
  6. Press palm down on each piece to form a flat circle (you can shape the corners in with your fingers).
  7. With a rolling pin, roll out a circular wrapper from each flat disc.
  8. Take care not to roll out too thin or the dumplings will break during cooking - about 1/16th inch.
  9. Leave the centers slightly thicker than the edges.
  10. Place a tablespoon of filling in the center of each wrapper and fold the dough in half. [picture 8].
  11. Wet the ends with water, and pull both ends to meet together. Pinch them to make them stick together [picture 9].
  • To boil: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add dumplings to pot. Boil the dumplings until they float.

  • To steam: Place dumplings on a single layer of napa cabbage leaves or on a well-greased surface in a steamer basket with lid. Steam covered for about 6 minutes.

  • To pan fry (potstickers): Place dumplings in a frying pan with 2-3 tbsp of vegetable oil. Heat on high and fry for a few minutes until bottoms are golden. Add 1/2 cup water and cover. Cook until the water has boiled away and then uncover and reduce heat to medium or medium low. Let the dumplings cook for another 2 minutes then remove from heat and serve.
  • To freeze: Assemble dumplings on a baking sheet so they are not touching. It helps to rub the base of the dumpling in a little flour before setting on the baking sheet for ease of release. Freeze for 20-30 minutes until dumplings are no longer soft. Place in ziploc bag and freeze for up to a couple of months. Prepare per the above instructions, but allow extra time to ensure the filling is thoroughly cooked.

  • To serve: Serve dumplings or potstickers hot with your choice of dipping sauce combinations.

Kimchi Mandu


  1. Korean kimchi mandu (dumplings) WOW I loved everything about your posting the pictures (beautiful) the iinstructions (clear and easy to understand) and the unique pleating (I just love it) which I will be trying - all in all a wonderful effort and result you got. Orange pee strange hope all I well, love your blog full of so many interesting (in the good sense) things. Bravo and kudos to you. Cheers from Audax in Australia

  2. SO CUTE!! If it weren't for that I've already gone out for Korean food twice this week, I would go out and grab some of these...the frozen type, of course, haha, weaksauce to the max.

  3. Yum..
    so whats the best way to eat them? boil, steam or pan fry?

  4. Yum..
    so whats the best way to eat them? boil, steam or pan fry?

  5. @Denise: hahahah, omg ur so lucky to have korean restraunts there! We have this half-ass korean/japanese restaraunt here and they actually serve Shin Ramen noodles!! but of course they called it something else, but still, WTFFFF.....!!!

    @Aisha: i think the best way is still to boil them (easier). But be careful to mix the dumplings around or else they'll stick to the bottom of the pots and break off (happened to me twice). I tried steaming it but it was a complete failure. hahaha, my bf ended up picking out the filling and threw the wrappers away XD

  6. Wow, they're adorable! And it's great that you experimented, since you had alread made dumplings before. Way to go!

    There was a TV food segment on kimchi the other day. I was amazed by the quantity of chili pepper!

    And yeah, the dates for the DC challenges are easy to mix up - all the more so if you're also a DB!

  7. First off, the korean kimchi mandu is a fantastically creative and delicious filling. Secondly, LOVE the way you shaped your dumplings! They look gorgeous! Amazingly done, anj! You rocked this challenge!

  8. Those are very cute! Way to think outside of the box!

  9. Just lovely! Really like that you made your own kimchi for these too. They sound terrific :) If you don't mind, it's customary to link back to the host or the host's challenge for the original challenge recipe. Thanks a lot!

  10. homemade kimchi.. WOW! I raise my hat for you. I've never tried kimchi dumplings before. I bet they're great. I love kimchi!

  11. Wow so many nice recipes (I love taiwan noodles! thanks for the recipe). I haven't been experimenting much of late:( Been busy photo shooting. Check out some of my latest samples in my website :)

  12. Hey hfng! Havent heard from in a while, your new photos are great! I especially love the baby and family photos, they're adorable! I'm kinda on a hiatus right now... i'm back in Taiwan and been busy with my summer training at the hospital. I'll be posting once life becomes less hectic, take care!

  13. Thanks:) Hope you're having a good summer training at the hospital.

    If you are feeding the patients, I am sure they will end up gaining a few kilos when they leave the hospital:D

  14. Nice work with the post, though I was looking for a Daring Cooks challenge one...

    Kudos for making your own kimchi! You're generally right about the whole round/soup thing, though at home I let my whim determine the application, regardless of their shape :)

  15. Hi Angelica!
    i was wondering if u ever have made shiu mai? if u havent could i request for one? =P

  16. @Jane:
    I've never made shiu mai before but i do have a recipe for it! I'll try my best to make it sometime soon... it's about time i updated my blog :D

  17. Wow it looks very good, I will try this recipe! For how many dumplings is it ?

  18. @Annonymous: hmmm if i remember correctly, it should make about 24. Depends on the size you make your dumplings!