Even if you love dumplings, there may be one variety you’re not familiar with: Korean mandu. Mandu is the Korean name for dumplings, and you’re going to want to break out the chopsticks for these tasty delights. If you think you know everything possible about dumplings, then you should give these a try.
The Name Changes
Believe it or not, the name will change on occasion. That occasion is the way that the Korean mandu is prepared. If you would like to have some grilled or fried, then you should ask for Gunmandu when ordering it, or if your host asks. If you would prefer it be steamed, then order some Jjinmandu, and in case you’re in the mood for boiled dumplings, then Mulmandu is what you are after.
Make It A Soup
Koreans are no strangers to the bitter cold of winter. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Korean mandu can also be cooked as soup. You can have this soup be the main attraction at your next meal, or have it be a sidekick accompanying a different entree. Either way, to make Manduguk (guk meaning soup), all you have to do is combine your chosen mandu with beef broth. But since they’re being boiled together, it looks like your only choice would be Mulmandu,
Much Older Than Expected
Like many other dishes from Asian cuisine, mandu are much older than you might think. One theory contends that the Mongols brought mandu to its homeland sometime in the 14th century CE. At the time, the Goryeo Dynasty ruled Korea (it’s where the name Korea was derived from!), and Buddhism was the religion of the entire kingdom. In Buddhism, eating meat is forbidden. But when the Mongols came, this ban was lifted, meaning mandu was one of the first meat-based dishes the Korean people could eat.
An alternative theory holds that mandu originated in the Middle East and then reached Korea through the famed Silk Road. No matter how mandu was created, it’s even better with some sauce on it!
The Secret is in the Sauce
Sauce, especially dipping sauce, makes everything better. Consider trying your next mandu experiment with some sauce called Chojang – it’s peppery, spicy, and sweet all at the same time.
Get All Your Asian Groceries at Lotte Plaza Market
Lotte Plaza Market is your one-stop shop for all of your Korean and Asian grocery needs. With more than 10 locations in Maryland and Virginia, this growing market is always expanding and opening new markets to serve our customers better. Opened since 1976, our goal has always been to provide the best customer service and groceries to our customers. For answers to all of your questions, email us at LottePlaza.com.