Korean Dumpling (Mandu)

Korean dumpling mandoo recipe

The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
321 Calories
15g Fat
19g Carbs
28g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 321
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 4g 22%
Cholesterol 66mg 22%
Sodium 794mg 35%
Total Carbohydrate 19g 7%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Protein 28g
Calcium 193mg 15%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Korean dumplings, known as mandu or mandoo, are a traditional food that's easy to make. These tasty little dumplings are stuffed with a mixture of meat and/or vegetables, and there are almost as many variations of mandoo as there are cooks in Korea.

This mandu recipe is made with ground beef or pork, onion, cabbage, tofu, and mung bean noodles. The assembled dumplings can be boiled, deep-fried, pan-fried, steamed, or baked in the oven. You can also prepare mandu in large quantities and store them in the freezer for future use.

Versatile and delicious, the dumplings are substantial enough for a main dish but also good as a snack or appetizer or a mess-free lunch. Mandu is often prepared by families as part of Korean Lunar New Year festivities and is considered a symbol of good luck for the coming year. 

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Click Play to See This Traditional Korean Dumpling Recipe Come Together

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean​ ground beef (or pork)
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 cup cabbage (about 1/2 of a small cabbage head, finely chopped and parboiled)
  • 1/2 cup tofu (1 cake, chopped)
  • 4 ounces​ mung bean noodles (or sweet potato noodles, soaked, and then chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 package circular mandoo wrappers (or​ Japanese gyoza or​ Chinese wonton wrappers)
  • Dumpling dipping sauce, for serving

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Korean dumpling mandoo
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  2. In a large mixing bowl, gently combine the ground beef or ground pork, onion, cabbage, tofu, and noodles.

    Combine ingredients in a bowl
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  3. In a separate small bowl, combine the garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce, salt, and pepper.

    Combine sauce
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  4. Pour seasoning mixture over meat and vegetables and mix with hands to combine.

    Pour seasoning on
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  5. Place about 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of a dumpling wrapper.

    Place filling in
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  6. Dip your finger in water and wet the perimeter of half of the wrapper.

    Wet rim
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  7. Fold the wrapper in half, pressing to seal and then crimp the edges. Repeat until the filling is gone.

    Fold wrapper in half
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  8. You can steam, boil, fry, or sauté the dumplings as you wish.

    Steam dumplings
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  9. Serve with basic dipping sauce or a spicy sauce.

    Serve
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How to Cook Korean Dumplings

In Korean, mandu takes on a different name that indicates how the dumplings are cooked. No matter which method you choose, cook in batches to avoid overcrowding and ensure even cook times.

  • To boil (mul mandu), bring a large pot half full of water to a boil and gently slide the mandu into the water. When it returns to a boil, turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 6 to 8 minutes.
  • To steam (jjin mandu), place the dumplings in a steamer basket lined with banana leaves. Steam for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • To pan-fry (gun mandu), place 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown. You can also add a few tablespoons of water after the bottom browns, then cover and steam for 4 to 5 minutes.
  • To deep-fry (tuigin mandu), heat a few inches of canola oil in a deep fryer or large skill to 350 F. Fry the dumplings in batches for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown.

Can Dumplings Be Baked?

While not a common way to cook mandu, it is possible to bake Asian dumplings in the oven. Preheat the oven to 325 F and place the mandu in an even layer on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden and crispy.

Tips

  • If you have extra dumpling wrappers, cut them into slices and use them to make noodle soup
  • To prepare a lot of dumplings in advance, steam the dumplings, wait for them to cool, and then freeze them on a parchment-lined tray. Once fully frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag for longer storage.
  • You can then use frozen dumplings straight from the freezer without defrosting, whether you want to fry, sauté, steam, or use them in a soup. They will need to cook just a little longer.

Recipe Variations

  • Korean dumplings are traditionally made with a beef or pork filling, but chicken and vegetarian dumplings also are popular. 
  • Mandoo can be added to soup made with beef broth or anchovy broth (mandu guk) that also can be served with a traditional cylindrical rice cake (tteok manu guk).