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MANDOO (mandu) are Korean dumplings that they can be made in advance, frozen, and then pulled out whenever you’re ready for them.

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DAILY INSPIRATION

Wherever life plants you, bloom with grace

Mandoo (mandu) are Korean dumplings. Like their Chinese cousin the wonton, they are usually stuffed with a combination of meat and vegetables. These flavor-filled pockets can be deep-fried, steamed, or, in this case, panfried. They can also be added to soups for nice pops of flavor. There’s really very little they can’t do. What I love about mandoo is that they can be made in advance, frozen, and then pulled out whenever you’re ready for them.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ head small napa cabbage (won bok; about 1 pound), shredded 12 ounces ground pork
4 ounces medium (41/50) raw shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed, then chopped
4 green onions, white and green parts, finely chopped
2 large fresh shiitake mushrooms, finely diced
One 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely grated
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon sesame oil
One 16-ounce package mandoo (or gyoza) wrappers (about 75 wrappers)
Neutral oil, for panfrying

Instructions

  1. To make the mandoo, in a large bowl, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the salt over the cabbage. Toss it together with your hands and set aside for 15 minutes to soften. Squeeze out as much moisture as you can from the cabbage (use your hands to do this). In another bowl, combine the cabbage with the pork, shrimp, green onions, mushrooms, ginger, garlic, black pepper, sesame oil, and the remaining ½ teaspoon kosher salt and mix together with your hands or a wooden spoon until combined.
  2. With a wrapper in the palm of your nondominant hand, place a heaping teaspoon of filling in the center of the wrapper. Dip the index finger of your dominant hand in a bowl of warm water and run it along the outer edge of the wrapper. Loosely fold the wrapper in half, into a half-moon shape, and pinch the edge closest to your thumb (in your nondominant hand) closed with your thumb and index finger. Use your dominant hand to fold a series of seven to ten tiny pleats on the front half of the wrapper, pressing each pleat firmly onto the back half of the wrapper. Stand the mandoo on a tray and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Repeat until all the wrappers are used.
  3. Add a few teaspoons of neutral oil to a nonstick skillet and heat over medium heat until shiny and shimmering. Working in batches, place the mandoo upright in the pan, leaving enough room between them so you can turn them all on their sides later. Cook, uncovered, until the bottoms are golden and crispy, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the mandoo onto their sides (the flatter side), add 2 to 3 table mushrooms, ginger, garlic, black pepper, sesame oil, and the remaining ½ teaspoon kosher salt and mix together with your hands or a wooden spoon until combined.
  4. With a wrapper in the palm of your nondominant hand, place a heaping teaspoon of filling in the center of the wrapper. Dip the index finger of your dominant hand in a bowl of warm water and run it along the outer edge of the wrapper. Loosely fold the wrapper in half, into a half-moon shape, and pinch the edge closest to your thumb (in your nondominant hand) closed with your thumb and index finger. Use your dominant hand to fold a series of seven to ten tiny pleats on the front half of the wrapper, pressing each pleat firmly onto the back half of the wrapper. Stand the mandoo on a tray and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Repeat until all the wrappers are used.
  5. Add a few teaspoons of neutral oil to a nonstick skillet and heat over medium heat until shiny and shimmering. Working in batches, place the mandoo upright in the pan, leaving enough room between them so you can turn them all on their sides later. Cook, uncovered, until the bottoms are golden and crispy, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the mandoo onto their sides (the flatter side), add 2 to 3 tablespoons water, and immediately (and carefully) cover the pan with a lid to steam them. Cook until the bottoms are crispy and the dumplings are cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Repeat until all the dumplings are cooked. Serve hot with the dipping sauce.

Note:  Alternatively, you can freeze any dumplings you are not planning to serve immediately. Place the uncooked dumplings onto a baking sheet, and slip into the freezer for 30 minutes, then transfer them to a ziplock freezer bag. To cook frozen dumplings, follow the same directions, adding a couple of extra minutes to the steaming time.

Did you know?

Rice is the staple food for 50% of the worlds population.

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