For our February cooking classes we got in the spirit of the Olympics and made mandu! Mandu are Korean dumplings that can be made with a variety of fillings. We made a vegetarian filling that had egg, onion, cabbage, bean sprouts, and vermicelli noodles.
We went over some basic shapes to fold the dumplings into, but the most important concept to grasp is that the dumplings need to be completely sealed so that the filling does not escape. From there creative fingers made dumplings into all sorts of shapes, like envelopes, half-moons, hugs, and creatures.
This is the recipe we used in the classes, and if you need help with your dumpling forming there are tons of videos on Youtube to guide you (like this one). Dumpling wrappers can often be found in the refrigerated section next to the produce in the grocery store (where you can also find tofu). If you can only find square ones, those will work instead of round!
(Korean Vegetable Dumplings)
2 eggs, beaten
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup parboiled, squeezed dry, and finely chopped Napa cabbage (about 1/2 of a small cabbage head)
1 cup chopped firm tofu
¼ cup blanched and chopped bean sprouts,
4 oz mung bean or sweet potato noodles (aka Chinese vermicelli), soaked and finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tsp salt
2 packages circular mandu wrappers (or Japanese gyoza or Chinese wonton wrappers) – about 50 total (a 16 oz package usually has about 25 wrappers in it)
In a large mixing bowl, gently combine egg, onion, cabbage, bean sprouts, tofu, and noodles.
In a separate bowl, combine garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce, salt and pepper.
Pour seasoning mixture over tofu and vegetables and use your hands to mix the ingredients together.
Place about 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of the dumpling wrapper. Dip your finger in the water and wet the outside edge of the top half of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper up to close it and then crimp the edges. Repeat until the filling is gone. Then steam, boil, pan fry, or sauté the dumplings as you wish.