I have a mixed feeling when I recall Mandu memories in my childhood. On holiday morning, the usual scene includes every female family member sitting around together and making mandu with no exception. If you know how to make Mandu, you also may know how painful and time consuming the process is. You need to make a filling first, then put on a mandu skin and fold it, shape it and cook it ( ex. Fry or steam or making soup). Well, preparing filling needs an expert like my mom, so people like me always did a shaping-job- seemingly simple but not really- once my mom made a filling. Unfortunately, I was not gifted person in terms of hand skill so mandu I shaped was kind of big and not pretty. Sometimes, Mandu was even torn down once it went into a big pot because my folding was not strong enough to keep the filling. But I loved Mandu soup made of that ugly mandu I made. Taste was so unique and it was very fun to find ‘My Mandu’ among others which, by the way, was very easy since my mandu was the ugliest thing ever.
Anyway, in U.S. I don’t make mandu myself anymore because it would costs me a whole day and don’t like a factory processed mandu either. So my solution? I found Chorizo as a great substitute for mandu filing. It is much simpler than traditional Mandu filling process with less time. I want to share with you.
Serving for 5 (about 3 dozen small dumplings)
• 1 pack of Chorizo (12 oz)
• 1 big diced onion
• 1/3 cabbage
• 5 Shiitake mushrooms
• 5 cloves of minced garlic
• 1 green onion
• Mandu skins (dumpling wrappers) or wan ton skins (more than 40 pieces)
Optional: Asian chives, tofu
1. Dice Shiitake, onion and cabbage. Set aside.
2. Place Chorizo in a wok at medium-high heat.
3. Add 1ts of ground pepper and cook for about 6 minutes.
4. Mix Shiitake, onion and cabbage into the wok and stir for about 5 minutes. Let it cool.
Optional : You can add diced asian chives or tofu ( Drain well and squeezed tofu into crumble) at step 4.
Shape and Steam:
1. Place one mandu skin on your left hand and put 1 teaspoon of filling mixture on the center of the skin.
2. Put a little warm water with your fingertips and put on the half of the edge of the skin.
3. Fold skin in half over filling and press edges together.
4. In a steamer boil 6-7 cups of water and put dumplings on the rack.
(You want to put cotton cloth before you put dumplings because it is sticky)
If you don’t have a steamer, just use a big skillet with steam rack.
Cook about 7 minutes. Remove the lid and wait for 1 minute and serve.
Since I used square shape won ton paper,
Mandu shape is different from round shape dumpling wrappers.
You can make the shape as you wish.