TOFU MANDU

Korean Tofu Dumplings

Yield: 30 to 35 pieces

Time: 3 hours

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These vegetarian mandu have a soft tofu filling with bites of shiitake and mung bean noodles. The buchu packs a garlicky punch and pairs perfectly with black vinegar. 

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Ingredients

WRAPPERS

200g all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
100g boiling water
1 tsp salt 

 

TOFU FILLING

1.5 lbs tofu
3 oz mung bean noodles
5 dried shiitake
½ onion
6 cloves garlic
2 cups buchu (Korean chives or Chinese chives)
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp soy sauce
3 tsp sesame oil
¼ tsp white pepper
salt to taste
Optional: 2 tsp fish sauce

Instructions

WRAPPERS

1. Combine flour and salt. Add boiling water and mix with a spoon. 

2. When dough is cool enough to handle, knead until flour is incorporated. Some dry spots are okay. Wrap dough in plastic and let rest at room temperature for 10 minutes. 

3. Knead a second time, until dough forms a smooth ball.

4. Divide dough in half, and roll into two 12 inch logs. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 1-4 hours.

5. Flour your work surface. With a knife or bench scraper, cut logs into 15-17 pieces each, with a total of 30-35 pieces. 

6.  Roll each piece into a ball, and then flatten into thin round wrappers using a rolling pin. Continually dust work space and wrappers with flour to avoid sticking. Stack wrappers, dusting generously with flour between each layer. Cover with plastic and set aside.

 

FILLING

1. Wrap tofu in a towel and press with a heavy pan for about one hour. Crumble the dehydrated block. 

2. Soak shiitakes and mung bean noodles in hot water for about 5 minutes. Squeeze out excess water and mince.

3. Mince ½ onion, 6 cloves garlic, and 2 cups buchu (or chives). Mix with tofu, noodles, and shiitakes in a big bowl. 

4. In a separate bowl, mix the sugar, soy, sesame oil, and (optional) fish sauce.

5. Pour the seasoning over the dumpling filling and mix thoroughly. Season with ¼ tsp of white pepper, and salt generously.

SHAPE & COOK

1. Place 1-2 teaspoons of filling in each wrapper. Wet the edges with water and fold over to make a tight seal.

2. Heat skillet on high, then lower to medium and add 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Fry mandu until at least one side is golden brown. 

3. Pour ¼ cup of water into the pan. Immediately cover and lower heat. Cook 5-6 minutes, until water has evaporated and filling is cooked. Optional: Add 1 tablespoon of sesame oil as the mandu finish cooking, uncovered.

 4. Remove from heat and serve with vinegar or a mix of black vinegar and soy sauce. 

Recipe by Katie Yun

“There are so many varieties of mandu. Replace the tofu with ground pork or shrimp! Put some kimchi in it! Mandu from scratch do take time, but the result is really worth it. I always double or triple the recipe so I can freeze the extra. Find yourself stuck with leftover dough? Make sujebi – Korean hand-torn noodle soup! Just tear off pieces of the dough into a soup, and in 1-2 minutes you have noodles. Need another soup idea for the winter? Try mandu guk, a dish my father has down to a science. His recipe calls for a box of beef or chicken stock, a couple of garlic cloves, and a bit of fish sauce. He boils everything together in a pot and throws in frozen mandu—and if I’m lucky, some tteok. At the last moment, he streams in some beaten egg, and serves it with a bit of sesame oil roasted seaweed. It’s perfect.” Editor’s note: Use the same dough to make pork gyoza.

KATIE YUN is a Brooklyn-based cook who has worked as a printmaking apprentice, dreamweaver, calligrapher, and barista, all while cooking and hosting events, and creating Katie’s Kimchi. Yun and collaborator Sachi Nagase are the co-founders of both/&, an art collective turned cooking practice celebrating the Japanese and Korean cuisine of their childhoods.

May 29, 2020. Photo by Angeline Gragasin.

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