Monday, November 19, 2012

Family Cooking - Making Mandoo (Korean dumplings)

One of my most favorite childhood memories is watching my mother cook Korean food.  It seemed like whatever my mother made - bulgo-gi, kimchi, mandoo - required her hands getting messy and the recipe existed in her head (I don't think my mother has ever owned or opened a cookbook).  One of the few times I was allowed to help was when she made mandoo - Korean dumplings.  But unlike nowadays when mothers are encouraged to let children help in the kitchen to spend quality time together and make the children feel involved, my participation was solely a matter of two more hands helping to make the work go faster.  Making mandoo is a bit of work, there's a bunch of ingredients, lots of chopping and mixing, so no one thinks to make just a dozen or so, they are made by the hundreds; in fact, the wrappers are sold in packs of 50.
Many hands make light work.

  1. The first step in making mandoo is to prepare the filling, which, according to the cookbook, is a mixture of ground pork and/or beef, tofu, bean sprouts, sesame seeds, scallions and spices.  My mother's recipe also includes rice noodles and eggs.
  2. Cover a baking tray in rice flour to lay out the mandoo as they are made.
  3. Carefully fill the wrapper or mandoo skin with a spoonful of filling.
  4. Dampen the edge of the skin with a fingertip dipped in beaten egg and fold in half, press edges to seal.
  5. Lay the completed mandoo on the floured tray, covering them with a light layer of flour as you go along.

Filled mandoo, laid out on floured tray
When all done, cook some now and freeze some for later.

To freeze, lay them flat on a tray so that they are not overlapping or touching.  After they are frozen, remove them from the tray and store in zip-top bags in the freezer.
Fried mandoo with dipping sauce - yummm!
There's a few options to cook them.
  • I love them fried!  Heat cooking oil and when its hot, carefully slide mandoo into the oil.  When they are brown and float, they are done.  
  • A healthier option is to boil them - place in boiling water for a few minutes, as you would prepare ravioli.  
  • Mandoo is also used in various soups, especially a rice cake soup traditionally eaten on New Years Day.
Prepare a dipping sauce by mixing 2 parts soy sauce to 1 part rice vinegar, with a sprinkling of sesame seeds to taste.



c.marie said...

this is such an interesting post and the recipe seems so yummy! thank you for posting! :)

SlackerMomof4 said...

you're welcome! thanx for reading!