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Tofu Kimchi Dumplings

Korean dumplings (mandu) come with various fillings, including meat, tofu, kimchi. These ingredients can be combined or used separately. Inspired by a Korean friend who showed us how to make mandu, I put together ingredients used traditionally in Korean dumplings (tofu, kimchi, mung bean sprouts) and some others that are less common (leek). The end result is more than satisfactory!

I do not have an actual dumpling steamer but this did not stop me from making mandu anyway. I built an improvised one using a baking tray to cover the pot with a colander inside it. If steamed for too long, the dumplings got stuck to it. Therefore, if like me, you are going to improvise, it is good to use an elastic spatula to remove them from the colander and move onto a tray.

Ever since I discovered that ready-made wrappings were available in Thai stores, I stopped making my own dumpling dough. If you have access to it and want to save some time, I encourage you to go for an easy solution.

These dumplings can be frozen once steamed. To do so, make sure to seperate them and pre-freeze individually before placing into a storage bag. Otherwise, they will stick to one another, which may ruin them while reheating.

Tofu Kimchi Dumplings

Cooking time: forever (2 hours)

Serves: 42 dumplings

  • 200 g firm tofu
  • 300 g Kimchi
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 75g leek, finely chopped
  • 150g mung bean sprouts, blanched
  • 1 egg (skip if you are vegan)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 42 dumpling wrappers
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Preparation

  1. Crumble the tofu and place it in a cheese cloth or a colander to drain excess liquid.
  2. Similarly, drain excess liquid from kimchi before using it. After this, transfer into a bowl and use scissors to cut it into small pieces.
  3. Heat the pan adding a teaspoon of olive oil and sauté leek for about 2-3 minutes until it becomes translucent and fragrant.
  4. Bring a small pot of water to the boil and blanch your mung bean sprouts for about 1-2 minutes. Strain and rinse with cold water to make sure that your sprouts remain firm.
  5. Combine tofu, kimchi, grated garlic, sautéd leeks, sprouts and egg in a bowl. Season with salt.
  6. Open a pack of dumpling wrappers. Their producers want to trick you by stucking two “correct” sides of wrappers facing each other. (They managed to trick me at least. I am sure that my Korean friend would not fall for this trick) The external layer will be covered in flour so that individual wrappers do not stick together. Place the wrappings on a table top, the non-floury side facing up. Dip your fingers in water and gently wet the edges of each wrapper. This way it will be easier to shape the dumplings.
  7. Place a teaspoon of tofu-Kimchi filling inside the wrapper, on the non-floury side. Place the wrapper diagonal on the table. Gently grab the top and the bottom corner of the dough and pinch them together. Afterwards, and while holding two corners together, grab the left and the right corner and pinch them together so that all four corners join together forming a type of pointy crown. Squeeze the dough gently to make sure that all edges are sealed. I suggest watching videos on different types of dumpling shapes before proceeding.
  8. If you are making a big batch of dumplings, cover the ready ones with a clean towel while they wait to be steamed. This way, they will not go dry.
  9. Boil a pot of water and place a professional or improvised steamer in it. Arrange dumplings in the steamer making sure that they do not touch each other, otherwise they will stick together. Cover the steamer and steam for about 10 minutes.
  10. Note that if you are making dumplings with meat you may want to steam them longer to make sure that the meat is thoroughly cooked.
  11. Transfer dumplings onto a plate or a tray. Make sure to cover them if you are not planning to eat them straightaway.
  12. Serve with soy sauce.
  13. Steamed dumplings can be also fried before serving.

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