Kimchi Mandu (김치만두) (2)

The other morning, I woke up with a scratchy throat. I fell asleep wearing shorts and a T and when my alarm went off and I had to hop out of bed, I was miserable because it was so freakin' cold! I guess it's just that time of the year now. You know, when you've got to break out your long johns and sport slippers all day, lest your feet freeze and fall off.

The good news? Hot food is now super appealing. Soups, stews, steaming hot yummies straight out of a deep fryer - it's all v. delicious. Today, I'm sharing kimchi mandu. I previously shared a kimchi mandu post but it wasn't v. detailed. So, when I made mandu again a few weekends ago, I thought I'd give you a more complete, step-by-step photo diary of the process. The dumplings can be fried, steamed, boiled, or added to a soup. It's perfect.
Ingredients [yields about 50 dumplings]:
1 lb. ground pork
3 scallions, chopped
½ teaspoon grated ginger
2 cloves minced garlic
¼ cup chopped glass noodles (small handful)
½ cup kimchi (squeezed of excess liquid)
½ cup crumbled tofu
1 teaspoon soy sauce
½ teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 egg
14 oz. package dumpling wrappers (about 50 wrappers)

Prepare all of the filling ingredients. Mince the garlic, chop up the scallions, chop up the kimchi, cook the glass noodles and cut them into small pieces with scissors, and crumble the tofu.
Plop the pork and the rest of the filling ingredients into a large bowl. Gently mix the ingredients together, either using a fork or your hands, until everything is combined. Try not to squeeze the meat, as it will cause it to be tough. Just toss.
Grab a little scoop of the filling and cook it in a tiny baby skillet (or a normal sized one). Give the filling a taste just to confirm that the seasoning is good. If it needs more salt, add a little more soy.
Grab a dumpling wrapper and place a scoop of filling in the center, about 3/4 teaspoon. dip your finger in a little dish of water and run it around the edge of the wrapper but just around half of the edge. Fold over the wrapper and pinch it, starting from one side to the other, making sure to push any trapped air out. Trapped air will equate to exploded dumplings so it's an important step.
At this point, you can choose to cook the dumplings or freeze them. My recommendation for freezing is to leave the dumplings on a parchment-lined sheet pan and pop the whole thing in the chiller and leave until completely frozen. Once the dumplings are rock solid, put them into a zip-top baggie and pop them back into the freezer. Cook the frozen dumplings right away; I don't recommend thawing them. The wrapper will get gooey and fall apart.
I fried a batch while the dumplings were fresh. To fry, coat the bottom of a skillet with oil and cook on each side until crisp and the filling is cooked through.
Serve the dumplings while they're piping hot and while the wrappers are still crisp. For the dipping sauce, combine 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil, 1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar, pinch of hot pepper flakes, pinch of sesame seeds, and a few bits of scallion.
Dip and eat. The mandu filling is so good. It's savory and the pork is tender and the kimchi adds a bit of spice and acidity and there's a lovely textural component from the noodles and crumbled tofu.
You can also make dduk mandu guk.
I love dduk mandu guk. It's homey and delicious and comforting and a perfect vessel for the mandu.
Oh mandu, you are delicious.
Here's the recipe page: