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Vegan Jjin-Mandu (Korean Steamed Dumplings) Recipe

January 22, 2012

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!

Putting the mandu ingredients together! Yumm…

Crumble the tofu and mix them up well!

It’s ready to go into the dumpling wraps!

Koreans say that if you make pretty dumplings, you will have a cute daughter, so try to make them pretty!

We put them on a cookie tray and froze them before putting in a plastic container and ziplock bags. It’ll save you so much time and frustration later! 🙂

Steamed dumplings, every time… I just love how glossy they are!

It’s ready – a big bite of jjin-mandu!! Yumm, enjoy!

19 Comments leave one →
  1. January 22, 2012 12:16 pm

    Looks great! I guess you will have a cute daughter.

    • Sunnie permalink*
      January 22, 2012 4:18 pm

      Haha.. thanks, Yvonne! We tried to make them the best we could! Although, if you take look at some of the dumplings that ladies at the Korean dumpling shops make, they are just absolutely gorgeous! They make ours look funny!! =)

  2. sandition permalink
    January 22, 2012 3:14 pm

    I love this recipe. Can’t wait to try it 😀

    • Sunnie permalink*
      January 22, 2012 4:20 pm

      Great! Let us know how it turns out!

  3. January 22, 2012 5:55 pm

    Thanks for the recipe! I’m going to make this next weekend.

    • Sunnie permalink*
      January 24, 2012 1:05 pm

      Oh yay, Kim- great, I hope it turns out well!! 🙂

  4. January 24, 2012 11:26 am

    Yes! Stuck-together mandu are the worst! I have this problem all the time, because the freezer has coldness cycles and I think lets them melt together a little before refreezing them. This recipe looks really good and I’d love to try it sometime. So much better to have a personal recipe from you than to try to veganize one from a book myself. 🙂

    One question, though. I’m partial to the crown-shape mandu, and you don’t see them that often anymore in the stores. I wonder why–are they less popular, or are they only used for certain dishes? If I were to use your recipe to make them, is it just a matter of making the regular half-moon dumplings as you describe and then pulling them into a circle until the triangle ends meet? … Actually, it seems like the circle mandu might be made from square wrappers instead. I don’t know. :-\

    • Sunnie permalink*
      January 24, 2012 1:03 pm

      Hi, Lu! 😉 Crown-shape mandu are fine, they are exactly as how you described, you make the regular half-moon dumplings first and them pull them into a circle so the ends meet. It’s easier to make those when you actually make the wrappers at home and you make them bigger than the ones that you buy from the store. People like to just switch up the shapes and all, and for new years and thanksgiving, people like to make them fancier, so they just make them in crown-shapes, but really there is no set rules on why or when you make those shapes. Now that you point it out, it’s a good question – who started doing that in what region and why?? Hmm… good topic for a high school research project… 😛

      • January 24, 2012 1:32 pm

        Thanks for the answer, Sunnie! Maybe if someone has a high-school-age daughter, made pretty by the Power of Mandu, she can devote herself to that project. 🙂

      • Sunnie permalink*
        January 24, 2012 3:01 pm

        Yes, good idea!

  5. February 2, 2012 12:51 am

    This looks so good.
    I’m going to make it this weekend and share at our monthly potluck. I can’t wait.
    Do you mind if I link back to your website for the recipe?

    • Bill permalink*
      February 2, 2012 8:08 am

      Thanks for finding us and absolutely you can link to us. We hope the mandu is a big hit! Have a great weekend!

  6. permalink
    April 13, 2013 5:09 pm

    I’m so thankful for this site. I have been trial and error making vegan korean food for the last 3 years because I’m vegan and my boyfriend is Korean. I had no idea there was a site out there, thank you so much for creating it! I love Korean food and it can be very vegi friendly but often when you go into a restaurant and ask to make something without meat they are totally confused. I’ve always wanted to make mandu but never could figure it out. Thanks!

    • Bill permalink*
      April 14, 2013 9:07 am

      So glad you’re enjoying the site, Jasmine! Thanks for finding us and don’t hesitate to ask any questions that pop up and let us know how the recipes work out for you!

  7. June 8, 2013 1:34 am

    OMG! I love this! I’ve been looking for a mandu recipe that doesn’t need any meat, so this is just perfect! Do you mind if I link this recipe to my blog? I’m gonna write about it. ^_^


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