Ok, so homemade dumplings sound really labor intensive right?! But these little gems are fairly easy to make and are a big crowd pleaser. Even Liz’s son likes them – and he doesn’t like anything. I mean ANYTHING! He doesn’t even like cheese. Well, except for McDonald’s American cheese, but is that really even cheese? Regardless, I love that silly boy and dumplings make him happy, so I guess these will have to remain a staple for at least the next 5 years.
DON’T TELL ANYONE, BUT THESE ARE COMPLETELY HOMEMADE
So I don’t actually make my dumplings. You can and there is a great recipe over on Korean Bapsang. But if I actually had to make the dough, I doubt I’d ever make these.
I buy packs of frozen dumplings at the Korean market near my house. I have yet to find them at my local grocery store, and I tried to substitute wonton wrappers one time, but they definitely weren’t as good.
MAKE THESE IN ADVANCE AND FREEZE THEM
The best part about this recipe, ok the second best part after the flavor, is that once you prepare them, you can freeze and store them for weeks.
I like to freeze my dumplings before they are cooked. Start by placing the dumplings on a tray and putting them in a freezer. Make sure your dumplings don’t touch. After an hour, transfer them to a freezer bag to save space. The pre-freeze ensures your Mandu doesn’t get soggy and stick together.
Courtesy of Korean Bapsang
For the filling
8 ounces zucchini finely chopped
10 ounces green cabbage finely chopped
4 ounces fresh mushrooms finely chopped (shiitaki preferably)
½ medium onion finely chopped
2 scallions finely chopped
½ pound ground pork
¼ pound ground beef
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 to 2 teaspoons finely minced ginger or juiced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
¼ teaspoon salt to season the filling and more for salting vegetables
⅛ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 tablespoon water
½ teaspoon sugar
pinch of black pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes (gochugaru)
Finely chop zucchini and cabbage
In two separate bowls, generously sprinkle salt over the chopped zucchini and cabbage and set aside (for at least 15 minutes) while preparing other ingredients. (This process will draw out water, soften the texture, and add flavor.) Squeeze out as much water as possible from the salted zucchini and cabbage by hand. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
Prepare all the remaining ingredients and add to the mixing bowl. Mix all ingredients well with your hands.
Place one heaping teaspoonful of the filling on a wrapper. Wet the edges of the wrapper with water and seal tightly (pushing the air out with your fingers) into a half-moon shape. Repeat this process until all the filling/wrappers are used.
Heat the pan with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium high heat. Cook 2 – 3 minutes on each side over medium heat until golden brown. If the dumplings are frozen, cook a little longer.