SO WE MEET AGAIN: Suzanne Park’s Korean Mandu (Deep Fried Dumplings) Recipe
|In my novel So We Meet Again, Jessie Kim, after moving back home to Tennessee, spends a lot of time cooking with her umma. For many Asian families, food is an expression of love and affection, whether it’s through preparing homemade meals or simply cutting up fruit for a loved one after a long work/school day. Early in the novel, Jessie and her mother prepare Korean fried dumplings (mandu), something they had done years ago. Luckily Jessie still remembers how to fold and press the outer shell to her mother’s satisfaction!
When I was young, I helped my grandmother and mother make mandu for Korean community picnics and potlucks. When my child gets a little older (and is less of a fire hazard in the kitchen), I’ll pass on this tradition.
Suzanne Park’s Korean Mandu (Deep Fried Dumplings)
Suzanne Park suggests her family recipe for Mandu (Deep Fried Dumplings) to accompany a discussion of her novel, SO WE MEET AGAIN.
- ½ teaspoon canola or vegetable oil
- 1 1/4 cups green cabbage, finely chopped or shredded
- 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 scallion, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup mungbean sprouts (optional, it’s not for everyone!)
- 3/8 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/2 pound ground pork or beef
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon finely minced ginger
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 egg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- (30-40) dumpling or gyoza wrappers (see note
- Small bowl of water or beaten egg, for sealing dumplings (see note)
- Add oil to a large frying pan. Stir fry cabbage, onion, scallion, and optional mungbean sprouts on medium heat for 30 seconds. Sprinkle a pinch of salt as you finish. Remove from heat and add the mixture to a large mixing bowl. After a minute, pat/press with paper towels to absorb excess moisture.
- Add pork or beef, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, egg, ¼ teaspoon salt, and pepper to the bowl. Mix well, ideally with your hands. You can use rubber gloves or put the mixture into a large gallon plastic bag and knead from the outside, if you don’t want to get your hands too messy.
- Place one heaping teaspoonful of filling on a wrapper. Wet the edges of the wrapper with water or beaten egg, fold into a half-moon shape by folding the wrap in half and seal tightly by pinching the edges together (pushing the air out with your fingers). Repeat this process until all the filling/wrappers are used.
- Heat a deep fryer or skillet with about 2-3inches of oil over medium-high heat to 350°F. Fry dumplings for 2-3 minutes until golden brown.
- Place mandu on a paper towel-lined plate to soak up excess oil. Allow a few minutes to cool.Enjoy!
Note: You can find prepared dumpling wrappers at the grocery store.
If you’re new to making dumplings, be light on the filling for easy folding and crimping— you need room to seal the dough. My mom uses beaten egg as “glue” for the edges. My grandma used water for sealing, so either method works.