All About Food · Food Adventures · Korean Food

Adventures in Mandu (babysitting the dough)

Pre-D, or life before my son, I was cooking and blogging a lot more.  It has significantly slowed down but it is my goal to post something new once a week.  The other day, I was cruising Instagram #koreanfood and came across mandu.  I made mandu a while back when my son was just a little thing (now 20+ months) but I always bought the store mandu/dumpling wrappers.  Why?  Because they made life much easier.  But every now and then I like to challenge myself so this time I decided to make the dough.

This post isn’t so much about how to make the best mandu wrappers ever, it’s more of my first attempt at making them and how I will keep trying until I get it down!

What you will need:

2 cups of all purpose flour + flour for dusting

1/2 tsp of salt

2/3 cups hot water

A rolling pin (I like the small Chinese versions but any will work)

What you will do:

  1.  In a bowl, mix the flour, salt and water.  Mix together with a spoon until it starts to form a ball.  Then with clean hands get all the dough and clump together.
  2. Wrap in pastic wrap, set on counter for at least 20-30 minutes
  3. Remove dough from plastic wrap and on a flat surface, dust with flour and knead for 7-10 minutes (this WILL count as your workout for the day)
  4.  Portion dough into smaller balls to roll out.
  5. AND this is about as far as I am taking this recipe…to be explained later.

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Okay, so the dough started out well.  I mixed it, rolled it into a ball, let it rest/rise on the counter and then kneaded it again.  Not too bad.  I remember at this point, I thought to myself, ‘Hey! this isn’t too hard at all, why haven’t I done this sooner?’

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Not bad, right?  A nice, almost perfect circle of a mandu wrapper.

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But, after I started filling them and realized my dough had gotten a little warm from sitting out was when I started having my doubts.  They definitely weren’t as easy to fold as the store bought ones.  I mean, if this isn’t the worst mandu folds you have ever seen…then, yikes!

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Okay, so now after wrapping a few, my dough was getting sticky because it was getting warm (note to self, dust them and maybe keep in fridge until I am really ready to fill) I decided to cut my losses and make noodles.  Sure, why not?

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I just took my pile of hand rolled mandu wrappers that, by this point, has stuck together and rolled them out to a giant this sheet of dough.  Then dusted with flour, rolled it up and thinly sliced the dough into noodles.

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Well, here is the final project.  4 sad little mandu and some fresh noodles with gochujang and sesame seed garnish.  I had intended to make dozens of mandu for dinner but ended up with 4 and some noodles.  So, all in all, it was a perfect little afternoon snack.

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Why did I only end up with 4 mandu, you may ask?  Well, here’s that answer.  I had layed the mandu on a cutting board as I filled them.  I thought I should put them in the fridge until I was ready to cook them.  As I was fitting the cutting board into the fridge I hit the side of the door and they (all but my 4) fell on the ground.  HA HA HA!  I just have to laugh!

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I think today was one of those days one should not try to make homemade mandu wrappers and blog.  I should have taken a nap.  However, I did enjoy making them and learning from my mistakes.  I have a clearer sense of what to do and what not to do next time.

Despite the semi-food fail, I do still like to make my food look pretty.  And I LOVE the idea that I know exactly what is in my mandu wrappers versus the store bought ones that have 10+ ingredients that I can barely pronounce.

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I think it’s time for a nap now where I will be dreaming that my dozens of mandu turned out, ha ha!

Cheers and happy eating!!

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