Vegan Jjin-Mandu (Korean Steamed Dumplings) Recipe
Good jjin-mandu (steamed dumplings) is one of the things that I really miss about living in Seoul. Oh, the yummy snacks you can get at tiny snack shops around every corner!
Especially with the Lunar New Year, mandu sounds really yummy today. Seoul has a lot of specialty mandu stores that serve mandu that are sooooo good, and mandu is a big hit during the winter like ddeokbokki or oden soup that I blogged about earlier. Friends often huddle into a tiny snack shop and order a plate of mandu to warm up and enjoy the hot, steamy yumminess together.
Even though I don’t get to enjoy mandu with my friends at a tiny snack shop in Seoul this New Year’s, I was determined to make a big batch of mandu for Bill and myself this winter. Making mandu at home is so great because it’s really easy and you know it’s super healthy as well. And as you see in Korean dramas often, it’s always nice to sit around with friends or family making mandu, talking and listening to music.
Growing up, my mom used to make mandu for us all the time, and it was always good. But she often added eggs or ground meat it it, so I’m sharing a veganized version of my mom’s mandu recipe! You can steam them, add them to ddeok-kook (rice cake soup), or fry them!
Vegan Jjin-Mandu Recipe
1 pack of vegan mandu wraps (you can get these at any Korean or Asian grocery store, just check the ingredients)
2 cups chopped vegan kimchi (squeeze out a bit of water if it is too watery, but you don’t want to squeeze out too much, as it is the main flavor of the mandu)
1 cup of cooked and chopped sweet potato noodles (dangmyun)
1 cup steamed and chopped mung bean sprouts
8 oz of mashed tofu (squeeze out the water as much as you can)
1/2 cup chopped Korean chives or diced green onions
1/2 cup diced yellow or white onion
1 Tbsp sesame oil
(feel free to add chopped carrots, zucchini or mushrooms)
some salt (more or less to taste, but remember that mandu is always better less salty than too salty!)
some black pepper (optional, more or less to your liking, but again, not too much – just a hint!)
1. Add all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
2. Put a spoon full of the mix into the wrap and wipe a bit of water around the edges to glue them together.
3. Place the mandus on a cookie sheet so they don’t touch each other and put it in the freezer to prevent them from sticking together. After they are frozen, pack them into a plastic container or ziplock bag. You would not believe how frustrating it is to deal with mandus that are frozen/stuck together. I get so upset over it and find myself needing to meditate!
4. Take the mandus out whenever you’re craving them and steam them for jjin-mandu. You can serve it with dipping sauce if you’d like (combine: soysauce, sesame oil, Korean pepper powder, sesame seeds, and a hint of vinegar!)
Note: You can also fry them as well (that’s twigin-mandu). Just be sure to cook it well so the ingredients inside get cooked!