King Mandu!

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Oh my GOD. I DID IT. This has to be one of my all time favorite Korean food, 왕만두. It essentially is a steam pork bun but it’s called “King” since they are so freakishly large. Many times, it’s referred to as Wang Mandu (cue innapropriosity) but I prefer not to call them that.

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It’s a savory, garlicky, juicy filling inside a puffy and chewy outer “bun.” This was was far easier to make than I thought it was going to be. With very basic ingredients, you’ll be eating this in no time!

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Prep time: 2 hours

Servings: 10 large buns

Ingredients:

Bun:

1 cup warm water (hot enough that you can stick your finger in but want to take it out)
1 packet yeast (approx. 2 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2-3 cups all purpose flour

1. Place all ingredients except flour in a large bowl. Mix well. Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.
2. Take 2 cups of flour and mix into above bowl of ingredients.
3. As you mix, add more flour until dough starts pulling off from the sides and is not sticky.
4. Start kneading your dough on a clean surface, adding more flour as needed. Knead for 5 minutes.
5. Place in a bowl and cover with a towel or saran wrap. Let rise for 1 hour.
6. After 1 hour, knead your dough for 1 minute. Place back in bowl again for 30 minutes and begin making your filling.

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Filling:

1 pound fresh ground pork
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 cup finely chopped napa cabbage
2 stalks scallion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
kosher salt

1. Take your chopped onion, cabbage, garlic, and scallions and place in a bowl. Sprinkle with kosher salt and mix. Let sit for 5 minutes.
2. Take your ground pork and in a bowl, add soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and ground pepper.
3. With your hand (deal with it), mix in one direction (I go clockwise) for 1 minute. The meat will bind together well.
4. Squeeze excess water out of your vegetables that have been covered in kosher salt. Place the squeezed vegetables in the bowl with pork.
5. Mix again (in the same direction) to combine thoroughly.

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Bun assembly:

1. Cut your dough into tennis ball sized pieces.
2. With a rolling pin, roll out your dough into a circle, about 7 inches wide.
3. Place 3 tablespoons of filling in the center and start pinching the edges together. Make sure it is completely sealed.
4. In a steamer, place a couple cups of water and on the rack, cover it with parchment paper (or use cupcake liners).
5. Place buns on the paper; make sure they are placed at least 1 inch apart. They will expand a LOT while cooking. I made that mistake today..
6. Let the buns sit (before steaming) for 20 minutes.
7. After 20 minutes, start steaming the buns over medium heat. Cook for 20 minutes.
8. Enjoy with soy sauce!

Extras:

1. I would definitely add fresh ground ginger to the filling; todays selection of ginger at Walmart looked like little pieces of dried cat poop.
2. You can definitely add some spice to this, using something like chili oil in the filling.
3. Any other vegetable would taste great in the filling, such as mushrooms, carrots, zucchini, mungbean sprouts, etc.

 

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They aren’t the prettiest things in the world. Honestly, they kind of look like used baby diapers. And do make you have garlic breath but it’s worth it. No one will want to talk to you but at least you have a steamed pork bun to eat.

 

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