Steamed kimchi mandu, or Korean kimchi dumplings, were one of the common street foods I encountered a lot during my trip to Korea! In addition to the fermented kimchi, a few ingredients like sweet potato starch noodles and tofu make them distinctly different from the kinds of Chinese dumplings I grew up eating. Other common filling ingredients are garlic chives and mung bean sprouts. These specific ones are inspired by a Korean grandma’s in LA!
A few tips for the best steamed kimchi mandu
- Remove as much liquid as possible from the tofu, so that it can absorb the delicious flavors from the kimchi. Too much moisture in the tofu initially will produce a filling that’s too wet and falls apart too easily.
- Try to find Korean dumpling wrappers! They’re made of wheat flour and are thicker and chewier than wonton wrappers.
- Let your dumpling wrappers come to room temperature (covered or sealed so they don’t dry out) before folding them. This makes them more pliable and easy to work with.
Steamed Kimchi Mandu (Korean Kimchi Dumplings)
- 30-40 dumpling wrappers (Korean ones if available)
- 6 oz ground pork 80/20 lean to fat ratio
- 5 oz fermented kimchi
- 6 oz firm tofu
- 2 oz sweet potato starch noodles / vermicelli / glass noodles
- ¼ onion finely diced
- 2 stalks scallions thinly sliced
- 3-4 cloves garlic minced or grated
- 1 tablespoon ginger minced or grated
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoon gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes)
- ½ teaspoon chicken bouillon powder (optional)
Prepare the filling ingredients
- If your dumpling wrappers are in the fridge, take them out to come to room temp. Boil the sweet potato starch noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse in cold water. Chop into small ½ inch pieces.30-40 dumpling wrappers, 2 oz sweet potato starch noodles / vermicelli / glass noodles
- Crumble and press the firm tofu between paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible with a paper towel or clean cloth. Doing so will prevent the filling from becoming too wet and from falling apart.6 oz firm tofu
- Cut or chop the fermented kimchi into smaller bite-sized pieces. Remove any excess liquid. Some liquid will remain in the kimchi itself, which will flavor the filling.5 oz fermented kimchi
- Mix together all the filling ingredients and seasonings until everything’s well incorporated and a bit sticky. If there’s any excess liquid, absorb with a paper towel.6 oz ground pork, 2 stalks scallions, 3-4 cloves garlic, 1 tablespoon ginger, ½ teaspoon salt, ⅛ teaspoon black pepper, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, ½ teaspoon sugar, 2 teaspoon gochugaru, ½ teaspoon chicken bouillon powder, ¼ onion
Wrap the dumplings
- Add 1.5-2 tablespoon of filling to the center of a dumpling wrapper, then line the edges on the top half with water. Make a half moon and pinch the edges to seal. Evenly distribute the filling inside the dumpling.
- You can leave as half moons or make the shape in the video by bringing the two edges together, dabbing a touch of water on one edge, and folding them together. Repeat with the rest. Place a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap over the folded dumplings to ensure they don’t dry out while you are wrap the rest.
- Place them onto a steamer lined with parchment, and press down lightly to form the circular shape. Make sure edges are sealed, and line with a touch of water to keep them from drying.
Cook the dumplings
- Steam on medium-high heat for 12-13 minutes. In the meantime, mix together dipping sauce ingredients. Enjoy immediately for best results!2 tablespoon soy sauce, 2 teaspoon fermented kimchi brine, ½ teaspoon sesame oil, gochugaru to taste, sliced scallions, sesame seeds
- For any unsteamed dumplings, freeze them in a single layer (without them touching) first for 1 hour -- this ensures they don't stick together. Then put them all together in a bag or container to store in the freezer.