Gunmandu (Korean Vegetable Dumplings)
1 lb tofu
firm, pulsed finely in food processor
2 tsp salt
1 whole zucchini
grated mixed with 1 teaspoon salt
1/2 whole cabbage
finely chopped mixed with 1 teaspoon salt
2 tbsp rice oil
or bran/canola oil
1 whole onion
finely chopped
8 oz shiitake mushrooms
de-stemmed and finely chopped
3 whole scallions
finely chopped
1 tbsp garlic
finely minced
1 tbsp microplaned ginger
1 cup carrot
finely grated
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp salt
to season the filling
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp gochujang
Korean chili paste
2 tbsp miso paste
5 tsp gochujaru
Korean chili flakes
1 whole egg
3/4 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tsp sriracha
3 tbsp sesame oil
3 cloves garlic
2 tsp gochujang
optional for spice
1 tbsp cornstarch
mixed with 0.5 cup water
1/2 cup water
2 whole eggs
2 tbsp water
2 packages dumpling wrappers
usually contains 50 wrappers
2 tbsp rice oil
or bran/canola oil
1/2 cup water
For the Filling
Break up the 1-pound block of tofu into the food processor with your hands and chop for about a minute, stopping in between to mix the tofu. The blended tofu should have the texture of dough or ground meat and should hold together if you make a ball with your hands. Put in bowl and set aside.
In two separate bowls, generously sprinkle salt over chopped zucchini and cabbage and set aside (for at least 15 minutes) while preparing other ingredients. (This process will draw out water, soften the texture, and add flavor.) Squeeze out as much water as possible from salted zucchini and cabbage by hand.
In a medium sauté pan, heat to medium high and add oil and onion. Sauté until translucent, add shiitake mushrooms, and cook until light brown, for about 3 mins.
Add scallions, garlic and ginger and sauté a bit more until aromatics are bloomed. Turn off heat and add grated carrot, sesame oil, salt/pepper, chili paste, miso, and chili flakes.
In a large bowl, add all ingredients, the salted vegetables, the tofu, the sautéed aromatics and egg. Mix well. To taste your filling, take about a spoonful of filling and put it in a small bowl and microwave it or heat it on a pan. Add more salt and pepper if necessary.
For the Dipping Sauce
Mix the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sriracha, sesame oil, garlic in a bowl. If you prefer a hotter dipping sauce, add more chili oil or gochujang.
To Assemble
Mix water with cornstarch, this will act as a sealant, you can also use an egg-wash if you prefer. Make sure to cover dumpling wrappers with damp towel so they don’t dry out.
Place one heaping teaspoonful of the filling on a wrapper or you can use a #60 scoop. Wet the edges of the wrapper with water/cornstarch or egg/water mix and seal tightly (pushing the air out with your fingers) into a half-moon shape. Repeat this process until all the filling/wrappers are used.
To Cook
For gun mandu (pan fried), heat the pan on medium high with a generous amount of vegetable oil (about 2 tablespoons). Add the dumplings, put the lid on the pan and cook 2 - 3 minutes until golden brown. Flip over, add 3 Tbsp of water and put the lid back, cook for about 2 - 3 more minutes. When the mandu is golden brown, transfer to platter and serve with dipping sauce. (For different mandus, mul mandu is boiled and jjin mandu is steamed.)