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There's nothing better than a good dumpling in soup. Joan shows how easy it is to make our own. (1:27)

Dumplings for a Sunday Night Supper

During this season of cooler evenings, mandu or wonton soup is the perfect warm food.

By Joan Namkoong

Mandu is the Korean equivalent of Chinese won ton, another favorite comfort food for many folks. It is often made by the ladies of the house who gather to shape the dumplings and chat about their families and lives. It's a wonderful communal time for sharing stories and working together to produce a delicious meal.
4073134260_e8579364f1Mandu is usually made with pork or beef or a combination of the two. Tofu and vegetables are also a part of the tasty filling with sesame oil providing a flavorful note. When making the filling, it's important to drain excess water from the tofu and the blanched vegetables. Too much water in the filling can weaken the wrapper and cause it to break while it is cooking.
Mandu wrappers are generally round and thicker than won ton wrappers. They are readily available in supermarkets. But if you shop at a noodle factory that makes wrappers of different thicknesses, examine a potsticker wrapper, slightly thinner than a mandu wrapper, preferable for a nice balance of wrapper to filling.
4073160928_0b6a684801A good well seasoned beef or chicken broth is a must for mandu. Traditional garnishes include shredded egg pancake and green onions. Adding some crumbled toasted seaweed and a slice of red pepper would complete the symbolic five color combination of yellow, green, black, red and white (the mandu itself).

For a dumpling that's a little different, try our recipe for a tofu, mushroom and watercress filling. Serve it in soup or simply cooked with a dipping sauce.

4073146016_d8c5fc2fa6-1Making dumplings take a little time but with many hands the task goes quickly. Dumplings can also be panfried and steamed like potstickers for a great meal. Or deep fry them for a crispy appetizer. Make lots of extra dumplings and freeze them – you'll be glad you did!


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Comments from Readers

  1. 62077649bf148a967695e75798e9dd88
    Amy Brown on 1/8/2010 at 1:14am

    First of all, I love wonton. Secondly, this is the best article and video I've seen on the subject and I've done a lot of reading/writing on the subject of food because I'm the author of Understanding Food. Please contact me Joan at 692-0907. Thank you.

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