Japchae Korean Dumplings (Mandu)
This week in quarantine cooking...
I accidentally unfroze a batch of clam stock that I mistook for meatballs (don't ask me how that happens) and then I saw some leftover Japchae from one of my recipes peeking out and then boom! I was inspired to make dumplings from the Japchae. I love making dumplings with random ingredients and this one came out beautifully.
1/2 lb of ground beef or ground pork
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrot, julienned thinly
2 serrano pepers, diced
3-4 leaves of perilla
1/4 cup of frozen spinach or 1 bunch fresh spinach, if you have on hand
1 medium egg for egg wash for dumpling making
1 packet of dumpling/gyoza wrappers
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp gochugaru
pinch of salt & pepper
DUMPLING DIPPING SAUCE:
In a large skillet, heat up some oil and sautéed the garlic for about a minute until fragrant. Add the ground beef and sautéed for about 4-5 minutes. Add in the rest of the veggies - peppers, carrots, spinach, and perilla leaves and stir until wilted.
Stir in the defrosted japchae and sauté. If you are cooking fresh noodles, see below for instructions.
My mom recommends soaking the sweet potato noodles in very hot water for about 20 minutes until they are softened. Then bring a pot of water to boil and boil the noodles for about 5 mins (or as directed on package). Then move the noodles into a bowl with very cold water to cool them down.
Add in all of the seasoning to the pan and combine/stir fry for few minutes. The noodles should get clear and seasoned. Taste mixture and adjust salt and pepper as needed.
Make sure to cut up the noodles with scissors so that are easier to use as filling.
Now for making the dumplings. Make your egg wash. I combine a medium egg with 3 Tbsp of water and mix. You will use this as the seal around the edges for when you fold the dumplings.
Put a spoonful of the japchae mixture into the center of the dumpling wrapper. Do not overfill as it will make it harder to seal. Lightly wet the edges of the wrapper with the egg wash with your finger tip. Make sure to push any air bubbles out as you seal the edges.
Fold the dumpling in your preferred design. There are so many ways to make a dumpling so feel free to try different folds. Here is how I learned to do it from my mother and what I've found to be the easiest.
If you want to eat the dumplings immediately (who wouldn't), heat oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat and cook them until golden brown and crispy. Then add 1 Tbsp of water and cover the pan with a lid to let it steam.
If you are like me and are going to freeze these dumplings, lay out the dumplings on a dish sprinkled with flour (stops the dumpling from sticking) and place the dumplings in the freezer until frozen. Usually takes about an hour for the dumplings to freeze and then you can place them in a Ziploc bag and keep them in the freezer for 2-3 months.
Make about 50 dumplings.