Korean Picnic, Street, and Snack Food Recipes: Mandu (Korean Dumpling) 만두

Mandu are dumplings usually filled with minced meat, tofu, green onions, garlic, soy or mung bean sprouts, and noodles made from sweet potato starch. They can be served as an appetizer, a snack, or eaten as picnic food. In Korea many different varieties of Mandu can be found  in market stalls or restaurants, purchased from street vendors, or made at home.

Servings: 20

Recipe Type: Appetizer, Korean, Side Dish, Snack


1 package (100 count) or 2 (50 count) package 3 1/2 inch round dumpling wrappers



1 package (12 – 14 ounce) firm tofu

1 pound extra lean ground beef (89% lean or better)**

3 each green onions, finely chopped (Save 1 teaspoon for the dipping sauce)

3 ounces fresh garlic, minced

2 teaspoons pure sesame oil

2 each eggs

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

3 ounces mung bean sprouts

3 ounces Korean Vermicelli (sweet potato starch noodle)

1/2 white or yellow onion, finely chopped

1/2 small green cabbage, shredded

Optional Ingredients

*2 or 3 ounces kimchi, finely chopped

Substitute Ingredients

1 pound ground pork, chicken, turkey, bison, or game meats instead of beef

Omit meat and add 1/2 additional package of tofu for vegetarian variety.

Dipping Sauce

4 tablespoons soy sauce**

1 or 2 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon pure sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame seed

1 teaspoon crushed or minced garlic

1 teaspoon green onion, finely chopped

Optional Ingredients

1 teaspoon fine ground Korean red chile pepper

Substitute Sauce Ingredients

4 tablespoons teriyaki sauce OR 3 tablespoons oyster sauce instead of soy sauce

For Frying

Pan fry: 2 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil

Deep Fry: 2 to 4 cups vegetable oil



Korean Vermicelli

Traditional: Soak the noodle in cold water for at least one hour.

Fast: Boil 1/2 quart water. Rinse noodle in cold tap water then add to boiling water. Boil for 2 to 3 minutes or until limp(soft). Remove from heat and drain. Rinse with cold tap water and drain thoroughly. Chop into very small pieces (mince) and set aside.

Tofu, Beef, Kimchi(if used)

Place the tofu in cheesecloth or a clean lintless towel, wrap, and squeeze out as much moisture as possible, then crumble into a large mixing bowl.

Repeat the process with the ground beef, then the kimchi(if used).

Onion, Green Onion, cabbage, bean sprouts, garlic

Finely chop (mince) and add to bowl.

Final Mix

Add the remaining filling ingredients (including chopped noodles) to the bowl and mix well.

Place 1/4 of the filling mix into a smaller bowl. (Mandu will be filled from this bowl, refill as needed until all filling is used)

Cover and refrigerate the rest of the filling mix.

Stuffing The Mandu

Lightly dust a large sheet of wax paper, tin foil, or plastic sheeting with corn or potato starch.

Set a small dish of water close to your work area.

Place some of the dumpling wraps on a small cutting board or wax paper.

Place about 1 teaspoon of the filling mix in the center of the wrap.

Dip your finger or a small basting brush into the water and lightly wet the outside edges of the wrap.

Fold the top over until the edges are even, then press to seal starting on either the left or right, and removing as much air as possible. Or use a 3 1/2 inch dumpling press.

Set the mandu on the dusted foil/waxed paper while you stuff the remaining wraps, refilling your small bowl until all the filling is used.


Freeze any mandu that you do not intend to cook.

Place the mandu to be frozen on a cookie/baking sheet so that they are not touching. Set the sheet in your freezer.

Once they are frozen, the mandu may be placed into zip lock style freezer bags and returned to the freezer.

Cooking The Mandu

Steaming- Jin Mandu

Thaw frozen mandu before cooking.

A stove top or electric steamer is recommended, but you can improvise with a large soup/stock pot that can be covered, and any type of flat bottomed metal sieve or strainer that has legs or risers to keep the bottom above water level.

Electric steamers: Add water and pre-heat according to manufacturers instructions.

Stove Top Steamer: Add water to level line or one inch below the bottom of the steaming tray and bring to full boil.

Line the steaming tray with cheesecloth and place one layer of mandu, evenly spaced, not touching, onto the cloth.

Place the tray in the steamer, cover, and cook fresh or thawed mandu for 10 to 12 minutes.

Serve steamed mandu with dipping sauce.

Pan Fry

Thaw frozen mandu before cooking.

Pour vegetable oil into a non-stick skillet until there is an unbroken coating on the bottom.

Heat over medium high heat until the oil is very hot, then place a single layer of mandu into the skillet. Do not overlap.

Cook the mandu until the bottom is a golden brown then turn them over.

Add about 2 tablespoons water to the pan, then quickly cover and cook for another 3 minutes.

Place the mandu in a serving or warming dish and repeat the procedure until the desired number of mandu is cooked.

Cooked mandu may be held in a warm oven until cooking is complete.

Serve the mandu with dipping sauce.

Deep Fry – Yaki Mandu

Thaw frozen mandu to room temperature.

A deep fryer is reccommended, but you may use a wok or standard cooking pot.

Pre Heat 2 to 4 cups vegetable oil to 365 degrees (amount of oil used depends on the size of your fryer, use a sufficient amount to completely submerge the mandu, approximately 2 inch depth) Make sure that oil level is at least 2 inches below the top of your fryer.

If you don’t have a deep fry or candy thermometer you can test the oil with a pinch of bread or wooden toothpick. Drop the bread or toothpick into the hot oil, if it immediately begins to bubble, the oil is hot enough.

Place several mandu into the hot oil using a metal slotted spoon or small metal strainer with a handle.

–CAUTION: DO NOT DROP MANDU INTO THE OIL!!– Serious burns or fire could result.

Cook mandu until golden brown, remove from oil, and place in a metal straining basket or paper towel lined plate. Fried mandu may moved to an oven safe dish and kept in warm oven until all frying is complete.

Serve fried mandu with dipping sauce.