Mandu: Korean Pork Dumplings

#46: Finally figuring out that signature Korean smell after 22 years. #SCP

#47: “Generously sprinkle” still says SPRINKLE. #SCP

This one is a double-header.

So I’m sitting there, having just cut a cabbage in half. The smell overwhelms my kitchen and I realize that this has been THE smell that all Korean restaurants and kitchens have. I’ve always misplaced the smell and linked it with gochujang (probably because of kimchi). But that’s it. it’s cabbage. I got kind of happy inside because I felt like a little halmoni cooking for her family once I recognized the familiar scent.

And to draw the water out of the zucchini and cabbage, we were supposed to salt them in separate bowls. I missed the “sprinkle” memo, so i basically brined the cabbage. It was so gross…after a couple minutes, I just let it sit in plain water and drained it every couple minutes to try and draw it out. Whoops.

Also, I have so many things to blog. This is my third week in a row to go to the Farmers Market, and the second that Jared from Jared’s Propops has asked how the blog is going. I felt kind of guilty, and also newly inspired. And so here I am, it’s 8:30am on a Saturday and I’m hammering it out!

We nearly followed the recipe for these (delicious) mandu at Korean Bapsang, with a few edits. Also, THIS MAKES SO MUCH FOOD. We have a freezer stocked now…But not for long. Justin and I like to eat them for dinner, but then that means that we eat 20 at a time… I didn’t buy enough wrappers the first time…this is how much filling we had after filling 50:
Mandu - Korean Dumplings | SkinnyCookProblemsSheesh. DISCLAIMER: THIS TAKES FOREVER.

Makes 80 dumplings (I KNOW, RIGHT.)

Mandu - Korean Dumplings | SkinnyCookProblemsIngredients:
2 packages of wonton wrappers (you can also make your own but… -__-
1 lb ground pork

1/4 lb ground beef
1 medium zucchini, finely chopped
3/4 of a 1/2 head of a green cabbage finely chopped (complicated…just cut up a lot of cabbage. It’ll be fine)
1 Portabello mushroom (could have done more, but I’m super unfamiliar with mushrooms)
1 small onion, finely chopped (MY EEEEYES)
3 scallions, finely chopped
2 cloves finely minced garlic
1 teaspoon finely minced ginger (about a quarter-sized piece)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 egg
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt to season the filling and more for salting vegetables
1/2 teaspoon pepper


1. Chop zucchini and cabbage very finely. SPRINKLE salt over them in separate bowls to draw the water out.

2. Squeeze out the water from each, add to a bowl with all of your other finely chopped ingredients.

3. Mush together with your hands! Justin loves doing the dirty kitchen work so I had him do this part. He also got home right in time to help me chop onions so I could stop crying.
Mandu - Korean Dumplings | SkinnyCookProblems

Mandu - Korean Dumplings | SkinnyCookProblems

Mandu - Korean Dumplings | SkinnyCookProblems

I don’t know why I have this picture on here, but we’ll just put it in here anyway

4. Use a teaspoon and load the filling into wrappers. You can use water to seal them up. They hold a lot less than you think. So, be prepared for oozing if you’re not careful.
Mandu - Korean Dumplings | SkinnyCookProblems

5. I’ve never made them like this before, but the folding is kinda cute, huh?

6. You can cook them three different ways:

  • Steaming: However you steam things…I don’t do this so… Hahha
  • Pan frying: This is what I do. When a pan of shallow oil gets hot, fry the bottoms until brown. Then pour a 1/4 C. of water into the pan and quickly cover. This will steam cook the rest of the wrapper, ensure the filling is done inside, and you still get that crispy edge!Mandu - Korean Dumplings | SkinnyCookProblems
    Mandu - Korean Dumplings | SkinnyCookProblems
  • Deep-frying: there’s always this. They are DELICIOUS this way. In Korea, fried appetizers are called twigim (Twee-ghim).


Easy Dumpling Sauce:
2 parts soy sauce1 part water
1/2 part (is this a thing? I think i should have started with 3 part soy) vinegar
1T. white sugar
dash of sesame oil <333

7. You can freeze in smaller bags for a grab and cook!




Mandu - Korean Dumplings | SkinnyCookProblems