Ground pork, cabbage, carrot, scallions and kimchi make up the filling for the dumplings. Steam and serve as a snack or appetizer, or serve with broth for a filling soup that can be a complete meal.
Soup as a meal? You drop eight to ten dumplings into a bowl, pour in broth and add toppings, and I don’t know how you’d have space in your tummy for more food.
The dumpling wrapper is essentially a dough so you get carbs. The filling has both meat and vegetables. So, yes, I’d call a bowl of pork and kimchi mandu soup a complete meal.
First, let’s talk about the filling. I mentioned there’s cabbage in it and cabbage contains a lot water. To make sure that the dumplings don’t get soggy because of the water in the cabbage, we toss shredded cabbage with salt. The salt draws out the water and makes it easy to squeeze it out.
The squeezed cabbage is now ready to be mixed with the ground pork, scallions, carrot, chopped kimchi and salt.
To form the dumplings, the filling is spread on a wrapper, the edges of the wrapper are pressed and the pointy ends are brought together in overlapping fashion, pressed and sealed.
If you want to serve the dumplings without broth, just arrange them in a steamer basket and steam for twenty minutes.
On the serving plate, you may sprinkle finely sliced scallions over the pork and kimchi mandu and serve them with your preferred dipping sauce.
If you prefer to enjoy your Korean dumplings with broth, drop them in simmering broth, wait until they float, scoop out and place in bowls. Ladle hot broth over them and, optionally, serve with thinly sliced omelette and scallions on top.
Pork and kimchi mandu (Korean dumplings)
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1 large egg
- 8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- thinly sliced scallions
Make the dumplings
- Place the cabbage in a bowl and sprinkle in a teaspoon of salt. Toss well while you prep the carrot, scallions and kimchi.
- Squeeze out and discard the water expelled by the cabbage.
- Add the pork, kimchi, scallions, carrot and the remaining salt to the cabbage. Mix well.
- Take a dumpling wrapper, spread a tablespoon of filling at the center, moisten the edges of the wrapper with water, fold and pinch to seal.
- Moisten the top of one of the pointy ends of the dumpling with water, pull the other pointy end towards it until they overlap then pinch to seal.
- Repeat until all the filling has been used or until you run out of wrappers.
To make dumpling soup
- Start heating the broth in a pot.
- Heat the cooking oil in a frying pan.
- Beat the egg and pour into the pan, swirling to allow it to spread.
- Cook just until the egg is set.
- Transfer the egg to a cutting board, roll into a log and slice as thinly as you can.
- When the broth boils, drop in the dumplings one by one (the boiling broth will immediately drop into a simmer but don't turn down the heat).
- The dumplings are done when they float to the surface of the broth. Note that they will not all float at the same time. Scoop up the ones the float first, drop into bowls then scoop out the next ones to float, and so on.
- Pour hot broth over the dumplings in the bowls, garnish with sliced omelette and scallions, and serve immediately.
To steam the dumplings
- Heat water in your steamer basin.
- Line the steamer baskets with cheesecloth or non-stick paper poked with holes (commercially available steamer paper come with holes already).
- Arrange the dumplings in the steamer baskets an inch apart and steam over briskly boiling water for twenty minutes.
- Serve the dumplings with your preferred dipping sauce.