It’s December ( can you believe it!? ) which means the year is coming to a close. A lot of things happened this year – many good, some really bad, and lots in between. The New Year is a time for new beginnings, for new challenges, and new victories. Out with the old and in with the new. I love this time of year because it makes me reflect on the past and gives me hope for a fresh start.
After our champagne flutes clink and after our annual New Years celebratory kiss, it’s time to eat! More specifically it’s officially Dumpling soup time!!!! This soup is referred to as Manduguk (sounds like mahn-du-gook) in Korean. Mandu means dumpling and Guk means soup. This is Greg’s most favorite dish and I only make it on New Years Day so imagine how excited he is! The kimchi dumplings play a major role in the soup so I wanted to focus mainly on the dumplings today and dive into every decadent detail of my Manduguk soup recipe next week.
As kids manduguk preparation started several days before New Years Day. The prep involved making the mandu dumplings…lots of dumplings. My sister and I would be elbow deep in flour and meat. Laughing, joking, and repeating the fold and pinch technique until we couldn’t even see our fingers because they were coated in flour.
The kimchi dumplings are stuffed with a mixture of beef, pork, tofu, and kimchi. The pork adds a little fat and savoriness to the filling while the tofu makes it fluffy and juicy. My mandu preparation table is lined with mandu wrappers, egg wash, and dumpling filling. I place a mound of filling onto the center of the wrapper, brush one edge with egg wash, fold, and pinch and pleat to seal the wrapper. The pinch and pleat technique is key to keeping a sealed mandu. The last thing you want to see is a deflated mandu shell next to exploded filling…that’s tragic. So, pinch and pleat!
Once the kimchi dumplings are made, I line them on a flour rimmed tray and pop them in the freezer. I make it up to a week ahead before New Years Day so they are ready to go. They can keep for up to 2 months in the freezer. When the dumplings are made in bulk they can instantly be enjoyed on their own as a snack or an appetizer. You can prepare them fried, steamed, or a combination of both (that’s my preference). Just freeze them and they are ready to be served in minutes. I serve them with my tangy sweet soy dipping sauce which you can find below.
I wanted to share this recipe early so that you could join me in the tradition of preparing the mandu kimchi dumplings before New Years day. Stay tuned for part two, the making of Manduguk! I can’t wait to share it with you!
- ½ pound ground beef
- ½ pound ground pork
- ½ cup chopped onion
- ½ cup scallions, chopped
- ½ cup kimchi, roughly chopped, discard excess kimchi liquid
- 1 tofu cake, place in towel and place under heavy pot for at least 10 minutes to remove excess water from tofu
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tsp ginger, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp sesame oil
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 egg + 1 Tbsp water
- mandu circular dumpling wrappers
- For Dipping Sauce: mix together 2 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 Tbsp white vinegar, 1 Tbsp sugar, ½ tsp gochugaru flakes, scallions and sesame seed garnish
- In large mixing bowl gently combine tofu, beef, pork, onions, scallions, and kimchi
- In separate bowl mix together sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, salt and pepper
- Pour liquid over meat and tofu mixture and gently mix together until well combined
- Place tablespoon amount of filling into center of mandu wrapper
- Brush egg wash onto top half of outer circular edge mandu wrapper
- Fold wrapper, dry edge onto wet edge, pinch and crimp to pleat the wrapper closed
- Repeat until no more filling remains
- Line mandu on flour rimmed baking sheet so it doesn't stick to it!
- Enjoy it pan fried or steamed