Filled with shrimp and lots of healthy vegetables, these dumplings are easy to make, juicy and flavorful!
Happy New Year! I’m kicking off the New Year with these delicious shrimp dumplings, saeu mandu (새우 만두). Filled with shrimp and lots of healthy vegetables, these dumplings are easy to make, juicy and flavorful! This recipe also includes how to make homemade dumpling wrappers as an option for you to try.
You can always use store-bought dumpling wrappers for convenience. They come in refrigerated or frozen, and are available at Korean/Asian markets or even at your local grocery stores. When I make dumplings, I make a lot of them to freeze, so I often use store-bought ones to save time.
However, it’s really not that hard to make wrappers at home. All you need is good old all-purpose flour, salt and water. Homemade wrappers taste much better. They are also more resilient and durable to work with.
Be aware that 1 cup of all-purpose flour can weigh quite differently depending on the flour and how you packed the cup — anywhere from 120 grams to 140 grams. Also, depending on the flour, the amount of water needed can vary. So, it’s important to feel the dough and adjust the moisture level as necessary by adding a little more water or flour as necessary. The dough should be slightly stiff. It will relax after resting for easy rolling.
You don’t really have to roll the dough to perfect rounds, but feel free to use a round cutter if you have one.
Lately, I’ve been having fun creating colorful doughs. The green dough in this post was made with spinach. You can also use garlic chives. Beets are great for pink/red dough, and carrots for orange dough. Simply cook the vegetables, puree, and strain to make colorful liquid for the dough. Try the same to make colorful homemade noodles for kalguksu (knife cut noodles).
In addition to shrimp, I also used green cabbage, mushrooms and onion. You can swap out some shrimp with minced pork if you want. Also, garlic chives or scallions are all great additions to the filling. Feel free to use any vegetables you want or to adjust the amounts of vegetables.
You can coarsely chop the shrimp or as finely as you want. For a smooth texture of the filling, however, I finely chop the vegetables. It’s, of course, fine to use a food processor if available, using the pulse function.
How to fold dumplings
The easiest folding technique is a half-moon shape, which you can do by simply folding the wrap in half over the filling and sealing it by tightly pinching the edges together. Once you get the hang of filling the dough and crimping, add some pleats before pinching the edges together.
Wet the edges if using store-bought wrappers so they can be glued together. This is not necessary for homemade wrappers.
More dumpling recipes
Shrimp dumplings (saeu mandu)
For the wrappers (about 33 wrappers) – or use store bought ones
If making green dough
Blanch the spinach in boiling water, puree in a food processor. Run it through a sieve to extract green juice, about 2/3 cup. Follow the same steps for the wrappers above.
For the filling:
Coarsely chop the shrimp or pulse several times in a food processor. Finely chop the cabbage. Mix with 1 teaspoon of salt. Let sit for 5 – 10 minutes. Squeeze out excess water. (If using a food processor, add salt with the cabbage before pulsing.) Finely chop the onion and mushrooms. Combine all the filling ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well by hand.
Place a tablespoon of the filling on a wrapper. You don’t need to wet the edges of the homemade wrapper. Seal tightly (pushing the air out with your fingers) into a half-moon shape. (You can add pleats if desired.) Dust the bottom of the dumpling with flour to keep it from sticking as the skin absorbs the moisture from the filling. Repeat this process until all the filling/wrappers are used.
Steaming: steam the dumplings for about 10 minutes in a steamer (longer if frozen). Make sure to line the steamer with a wet cheesecloth or paper towel to prevent the mandu from sticking.
Boiling: bring a pot of water to a boil. Add mandu (stirring gently so they don’t stick to the bottom of the pot), a few at a time, and cook until all of them come up to the surface. Continue to cook for another minute or two.
Pan frying, heat the pan with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium high heat. Add the dumplings, making sure they aren’t touching each other. Fry for 1 – 2 minutes, until the bottoms are golden brown. Add 1/4 cup of water to the pan, and cover immediately with a lid. Reduce the heat to medium low, and steam for 4 to 5 minutes. If the dumplings are frozen, cook a little longer.
Tips for freezing: Freeze the dumplings on a tray with no pieces touching for about an hour, and then store them in a freezer bag. Otherwise, the skins will get soggy from the moisture in the filling and stick together in the freezing process.
This shrimp dumpling recipe was originally posted in February 2013. I’ve updated it here with more information, new photos, a recipe card, and improvements to the recipe.