Late August and I’m still reaching for quick and easy, no cook dishes that don’t skimp on flavor. And this Korean Cucumber Salad, known as Oi Muchim, is a favorite. It’s cooling and crunchy, a little spicy, and it has an amazing umami packed dressing. You read more
I just recently returned from a family trip to Hungary, where the food was heavy on rich meaty dishes, but light on veggies. I found myself craving one of my meatless meals where I make an array of plant based dishes so there’s a variety of textures, colors, and flavors to make dinner exciting. Yakimatsu is a powerful player in my arsenal of quick veggie sides. It’s ready in minutes, it’s a perfect side for any protein, and it’s made with only a handful of pantry ingredients. This speedy stir fry is tangy from the ponzu sauce while toasted sesame oil lends nutty richness, and a sprinkling of scallions adds a fresh bite.
This dish, with just regular mushrooms, has been on our menu since 1979! I know crazy. But it’s a time tested recipe that has savory flavor, likable ingredients, and a taste that doesn’t get old. It’s delicious whether you keep it simple with basic mushrooms and bottled sauce or extra special with some fancy mushrooms and homemade ponzu.
Use a Variety of Mushrooms for Yakimatsu!
This dish is all about the mushrooms. I select a variety for both visual appeal and to provide lots of different textures and flavors. Shiitakes, oysters, cremini, enoki, baby bellas, beech…they’re all good. And even good old button mushrooms all have their own distinctly different look, flavor, and texture.
Prep for Yakimatsu
Like all stir fries, prep is key for Yakimatsu. The actual cooking time is just about 5 minutes, so everything has to be prepped and within reach. Prep your veggies and have your ponzu sauce and sesame oil close. By the way, homemade ponzu sauce is so easy to make and is amazing here, but the bottled stuff will be great too.
Now it’s time to prep the mushrooms. I know the prevailing wisdom is to just gently brush dirt off mushrooms rather than wash them. That’s a no from me. I thoroughly wash mushrooms because that dirt can really cling to them and I feel that brushing them can actually rub the dirt in. So instead I wash them quickly under running water and dry them thoroughly. Then I use high enough heat that I don’t worry about the dreaded mushiness.
Yakimatsu Stir Fry Time!
Usual rules of stir fries apply here:
- Get your pan good and hot before adding the oil. This means heating it for several minutes.
- Have all your ingredients prepped and ready.
- Use high heat and keep everything moving in the pan.
And for good measure, I let the mushrooms sit undisturbed for 1 minute before stirring. I know this goes against the rule I just mentioned but mushrooms have a ton of water. And like other extra moist ingredients (such as ground meats) you need that heat plus lack of movement to get a good sear on your food.
Stir in the toasted sesame oil:
Mince the scallions to top the yakimatsu.
I like to also sprinkle some Shichimi togarashi chile on top for a little tickle of heat.
Yakimatsu makes a wonderful side to any number of dishes, and it pairs exceptionally well with these Japanese style pickles. I also like to serve it with other veggie forward plates like my fave Spinach, Air Fryer Tofu, Braised Peppers, or this Eggplant Salad. I hope you love this earthy and tangy mushroom stir fry as much as I do. Give it a try and let me know, we love hearing from you!
- 4 ounces mushrooms: use a combination of button, cremini, shiitake, or oyster
- 1 pack enoki mushrooms (about 5 ounces)
- ½ large onion
- ½ cup homemade or bottled ponzu sauce
- 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 Tablespoon minced scallion for garnish
- Shichimi togarashi chile to taste
- Slice the onion thin and set aside.
- Slice the mushrooms into approximately the same size and thickness. If the mushrooms are long or big, cut them in half before slicing.
- Open the packet of enoki mushrooms and cut off the growing medium at the bottom.
- Separate the mushrooms into small clusters. Set aside.
- Heat a large pan over medium heat for several minutes.
- Add the oil and swirl it around the pan.
- Add the mushrooms (except for the enoki) in an even layer over the pan and let them cook for 1 minute without touching them. They should brown around the edges.
- Next raise the heat to high and add the onions.
- Stir-fry for 1 minute, moving the food in the pan constantly.
- Add the enoki mushrooms and ponzu sauce. Stir to combine and cook for an additional minute.
- Add the sesame oil and toss to combine.
- Serve yakimatsu immediately garnished with scallions and shichimi togarashi.
Keywords: stir fry, mushrooms, vegan, vegetarian, ponzu, enoki, side dish
Have some kimchi laying around in the fridge that you need to use up? Try these Korean style dumplings, known as Mandu. They are stuffed with shrimp and kimchi, so they are packed with explosive flavor. And of course I serve them with a yummy dipping sauce. I even manage to squeeze some noodles into them, and I make no apologies for that. Noodles are life! So what are you waiting for?
First Make Mandu Dipping Sauce
Dipping sauces are half the fun of dumplings, whether you call them potstickers, mandu, wontons, or gyoza. And this one has the gingery, tangy, toasty flavor we all love. A little rice vinegar, some soy sauce, minced ginger and garlic, sugar and toasted sesame oil create a perfectly balanced sauce. Just mix everything together and set aside.
Make the Mandu Filling
I start with the shrimp. Since they are going to be ground, it doesn’t matter what size you use. Get whatever’s on sale! Also, it’s not necessary to grind them to paste; chunks of shrimp will give your dumplings much better texture and flavor.
I use one of my favorite noodles for this, the Korean noodle made out of sweet potato starch. They have an awesome chewy texture, and they are naturally gluten free. They can be labeled as either Japchae or Dangmyeon noodles. (Try them in my Mushroom Japchae). You can substitute with mung bean noodles (also known as bean thread noodles) if you’re at a Chinese grocery store that doesn’t carry Korean products.
Shape the Mandu
I use a very simple fold and seal to speed up the process. If you want to try your hand at a more decorative, but more labor intensive dumpling, I give detailed instructions in the note section on how to make the pretty pleats.
Repeat with the rest of the filling, which should yield about 3 dozen dumplings. (Do you see a couple of dumplings that don’t match in the photo below? This is what happens when other people want to help you! 😉 You can freeze some at this point, and I give instructions for that in the note section. Having delicious homemade dumplings in the freezer ready to go for a last minute craving is like money in the bank. The best part is not having to defrost the dumplings before cooking. They go straight into the pan from the freezer. Add a couple more minutes of cooking time and you’re good to go.
Cooking the Mandu
Dumplings in Korea can be deep fried, pan fried, boiled, or steamed. I give directions for boiling them, which creates a softer dumpling. I prefer them pan fried; I love the crispy wrapper which contrasts with the soft interior, but you do you.
Then I add a little water to the pan and cover it with a lid. This creates steam which helps to ensure the filling is cooked all the way through. After a couple minutes, once the water has evaported I take the lid off and let the mandu crisp up a little bit before serving.
These shrimp and kimchi mandu are crispy, spicy, and make a terrific starter. Or just eat a plateful and call it dinner. It will be our secret. Let me know what you think by rating and commenting on the recipe below. And don’t forget to show off your gorgeous dumplings by tagging us @funkyasiankitchen; we love seeing your creations!
- 1 package dumpling skins
- neutral oil for pan frying
- ½ pound shrimp (you can use any size since you will be chopping them up)
- 1 egg, divided
- 2 teaspoons potato starch (can also use corn starch)
- 2 ounces dried sweet potato starch noodles (dangmyeon)
- ¼ yellow onion minced
- ½ cup chopped garlic chives (2 oz. about ¼ of a large bunch)
- 1 cup kimchi, squeezed tightly to eliminate juice and finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 Tablespoons oyster sauce
- 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 teaspoons peeled and minced ginger
- ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
Make the dipping sauce:
- Combine the garlic, ginger, rice wine vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, and sesame oil.
- Stir until sugar is dissolved.
- Set aside or refrigerate until ready to use.
Make the filling:
- In a food processor, place the shrimp, egg white (save the yolk for later), potato starch, garlic, and ginger into the bowl.
- Pulse 8-10 times until roughly chopped. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Add the sweet potato starch noodles and lower the heat to medium high.
- Simmer the noodles for 6-8 minutes until the noodles are chewy and do not have a hard core (taste one to check).
- Strain the noodles into a colander and rinse under running water to cool.
- Then put the noodles into some paper towels to dry off the noodles.
- Chop the noodles into small ¼ inch pieces and add them to the shrimp mixture.
- Add the minced onion, chives, kimchi, ginger, oyster sauce, toasted sesame oil, salt, and pepper to the shrimp bowl.
- With clean hands or a spoon, mix the ingredients well.
Make the Mandu/Dumplings:
- Put the egg yolk into a small bowl and whisk well with a fork.
- Take one dumpling wrapper and brush half of the edge with the egg wash. Spoon 1 Tablespoon of filling onto the wrapper.
- Fold the wrapper over and seal the edges. This makes a simple half coin dumpling.*
- Set the dumpling aside on a tray and keep making more dumplings until all of the filling has been used up. You will yield approximately 36 dumplings.
Pan Frying the Dumplings:
- Heat a pan over medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Add a Tablespoon or two of oil (depending on the size of the pan you are using) and swirl to coat the pan.
- Add as many dumplings as will fit the pan without the dumplings touching.
- Cook the dumplings for 2 minutes until the bottoms are golden brown. Flip them and brown the other side for 1 minute.
- Add 2-3 tablespoons of water and cover the pan with a lid. Cook with a lid and cook for 2 more minutes until the water has evaporated.
- Take off the lid and cook for an additional minute to re-crisp the skin. Transfer the mandu to a plate and serve with the dipping sauce.
- Bring 1 quart of water to a boil in a 4 quart pot over high heat.
- Add 8-10 dumplings and cook for 2-3 minutes until the dumplings float to the surface.
- Scoop them out with a slotted spoon or spider, letting the water drain back into the pot.
- Repeat with more dumplings as desired.
- Transfer the dumplings to a plate and serve with the dipping sauce.
*If you would prefer to make more decorative mandu, place 1 tablespoon of filling in the middle of the wrapper and then holding the dumpling with your left hand (if you are right handed), pleat the dumplings by pushing the dough with your left index and middle fingers to create a fold and then pulling it with your right index finger, pinching gently to form a pleat. Seal the pleat by pinching it firmly with the right index finger and thumb. Keep folding and sealing 6-7 times across the top of the dumpling until you have a row of beautiful pleats. It takes a little practice to make it work, but keep trying. All misshapen dumplings taste amazing too!
*You can freeze any dumplings you do not plan on consuming immediately. Put them on a tray so they are not touching. Freeze them for 6-8 hours until they are frozen solid. Bang the tray on the kitchen counter to loosen the dumplings and transfer them to a zip top freezer bag or an airtight container. You should cook them straight from frozen, adding 2-3 more minutes to the cooking time.