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.