Vegan's Chronicles + [tofu]

Vegan Mandu

*Winner of the Nutritional Yeast Giveaway, please contact me!

I miss mandu. I duuu~ (hehe). I practically survived on rice and mandu during my final college months when I was drowning in my senior art show and spending all-nighters at the graphics lab. Unfortunately, now that I'm vegan, I hardly ever eat mandu. Seriously, most restaurant mandus (with the exception of Loving Hut) contain some bits of meat, or kimchi (which is made with fishsauce), and it seems like all the frozen store-bought ones contain some animal chunks and juices too, so I just steer clear...

... that is, unless I make my own! Homemade mandu is quite an undertaking, so I've only ever been an assistant in the process. One of my favorite food memories include making them with my mom or grandma. We would turn it into a fun project, stuffing them with different ingredients, and cooking them up in all sorts of different ways- steamed, fried, boiled in soup... :) and we'd always make enough to last us quite a while in the freezer.

Here's the general recipe for the mandu my mom and I made recently. Feel free to add other ingredients like mushrooms, garlic, or vermicelli noodles.

{ Ingredients }
1 package of mandu wraps
1 cup chopped chives
1 onion
1 carrot
about 1 cup steamed and chopped mung bean sprouts
1/2-1 cup chopped and squeezed kimchi
1 block of tofu
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
few dashes of black pepper

{ Method }
1. Wash mung bean sprouts and cook them in a pot until just soft and wilted. Chop them up and squeeze out some of the excess liquid. Place in a large bowl.

2. Add chives and finely chopped carrots and onions (we used a food processor here to speed things up).

3. Chop up the kimchi into small pieces and squeeze out some of the excess juice. Add to the bowl.

4. Using a cheesecloth bag, squeeze the water out of a block of tofu. Add to the bowl.

5. Add spices and sesame oil. Mix it all up.

6. Start making your mandu! Use some water to glue the edges of the dough wraps together. It might take some practice to get them to look pretty, but don't worry~ ugry mandu will still taste good.

7. Place the tray(s) of mandu in the freezer for a few hours before packing them in containers or ziplock bags. Freezing them when they're separate first, will prevent them from becoming stuck together. This will make life easier when you're ready to defrost and cook a few at a time.

8. Cook them up as you like! Enjoy~~

Close up shot.

We also made some for soups (or steaming).

We steamed a few of the big ones for dinner. Next time, we'll fry some up too.

Dip them into some soysauce and gobble 'em up! Yay, vegan mandu!