Korean Dumpling (Mandu)

Korean Dumpling (Mandu)

The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Yield: 40 dumplings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
187 Calories
9g Fat
7g Carbs
19g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 187
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 12%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 50mg 17%
Sodium 432mg 19%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 19g
Vitamin C 8mg 40%
Calcium 70mg 5%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 348mg 7%
*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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"This Korean dumpling recipe is pretty easy to make, and the filling was delicious! Shaping the dumplings was fun and an extra hand can make the process go faster. The great thing about making dumplings is that you can always freeze the extra ones and cook them right out of the freezer!" —Tara Omidvar

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Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean​ ground beef or pork

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped

  • 1 cup finely chopped cabbage (about 1/2 of a small cabbage head), parboiled

  • 1/2 cup chopped tofu (1 small cake)

  • 4 ouncesmung bean noodles soaked in hot water 15 minutes (or fully cooked sweet potato noodles) and chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1 package (40) circular mandoo wrappers or​ Japanese gyoza or​ Chinese dumpling wrappers

  • Dumpling dipping sauce, for serving

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Korean dumpling mandoo

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

  2. In a large mixing bowl, gently combine the ground beef or ground pork, onion, cabbage, tofu, and noodles.

    Combine filling ingredients in a bowl

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  3. In a separate small bowl, combine the garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, and pepper.

    sauce ingredients in a bowl

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

    add seasoning to the filling mixture in the bowl

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  5. Place about 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of a dumpling wrapper.

    add dumpling filling on a dumpling wrapper

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

    brush the edge of the dumpling wrapper with water

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  7. Fold the wrapper in half, pressing to seal and then crimp the edges. Repeat until the filling is gone.

    korean dumplings

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  8. You can steam, boil, fry, or sauté the dumplings as you wish.

    fried dumplings in a pan

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

    Korean Dumpling (Mandu)

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

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. 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.

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 traditional sliced rice cakes (tteok mandu guk).

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.