Mandu (만두; 饅頭) are dumplings in Korean cuisine. They are similar to pelmeni and pierogi in some Slavic cultures. The name is cognate with the names of similar types of meat-filled dumplings along the Silk Road in Central Asia, such as Turkish manti, and Kazakh manty. Chinese mantou is also considered a cognate, which used to mean meat-filled dumplings, but now refers to steamed buns without any filling.
In Korean cuisine, mandu generally denotes a type of filled dumpling similar to the Mongolian buuz and Turkish mantı, and some variations are similar to the Chinese jiaozi and the Japanese gyoza. If the dumplings are grilled or fried, they are called gun-mandu (군만두); when steamed, jjin-mandu (찐만두); and when boiled, mul-mandu (물만두).
Mandu are believed to have been first brought to Korea by Mongolians in the 14th century during the Goryeo Dynasty. The state religion of Goryeo was Buddhism, which discouraged consumption of meat. Mongolian incursion into Goryeo relaxed the religious prohibition against consuming meat, and mandu was among the newly imported dishes that included meat.
Another possibility is mandu came to Korea at a much earlier period from the Middle East through the Silk Road. Historians point out many cuisines based on wheat, such as dumplings and noodles originated from Mesopotamia and gradually spread from there. It also spread east along the Silk Road, leaving many versions of mandu throughout Central and East Asia.
- Mul-mandu (물만두), the word itself means “water mandu” since it is boiled.
- Gun-mandu (군만두) is pan-fried mandu, it’s derived from guun-mandu 구운만두=>군만두 to mean “panned” dumplings. It’s sometimes called by its Japanese name, yakimandu.
- Jjin-mandu (찐만두) is steamed, either in a traditional bamboo steamer or modern versions.
- Gullin-mandu (굴린만두), or called gulmandu is a variety of mandu in a ball shape without a covering. It is mainly eaten in summer.
- Wang mandu (왕만두), is a bun stuffed with pork and vegetables, similar to the Chinese baozi.
- Pyeonsu (편수), mandu stuffed with vegetables in a rectangular shape. It is mainly eaten in summer and a local specialty of Kaesong, North Korea.
- Eo-mandu (어만두), mandu wrapped with sliced fish fillet. It was originally eaten in Korean royal court and yangban (noble class) families.
- Saengchi-mandu (생치만두), mandu stuffed with pheasant meat, beef, and tofu, that was eaten in Korean royal court and in the Seoul area during winter.
- Seongnyu-mandu (석류만두), literally “pomegranate dumpling” because of the shape 
- So-mandu (소만두), mandu stuffed with only vegetables, that was originally eaten in Buddhist temples.
- Gyuasang (규아상), mandu stuffed with shredded cucumber and minced beef in the shape of sea cucumber. It is mainly eaten in summer.
- Kimchi-mandu (김치만두), the stuffing contains kimchi. The addition of kimchi gives it a spicier taste compared to other mandu.
Dishes made with mandu
Manduguk is a variety of Korean soup (guk) made with mandu in beef broth. In the Korean royal court, the dish was called byeongsi (餠匙) while in Eumsik dimibang, a 17th-century cookbook, it was called “seokryutang” (석류탕).
In popular culture
- In the 2003 South Korean film Oldboy, the protagonist Oh Dae-Su is fed a steady diet of fried mandu, the food that he detests the most, while he is imprisoned. After he is released, he visits various restaurants serving the dish to get clues and determine where he was held captive.
- Wonder Girls‘ member, Ahn Sohee, is often referred to as Mandu due to her cheeks resembling the shape of mandu.(wikipedia.org)
- 2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup for dusting
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup of water
- Combaine all in mixing bowl with spoon and then knead by hand for few minutes until tha dough get a little softer.
- Put in plastic and let it for 20-30mnts, knead it again with hand until smooth n elastic and put in plastic bag again and let it for 5-7 mnts.
- Cut 2 pieces the dough, put 1/2 dough in plastic bag n cut for 8-10 pieces then put in plastic too. Roll each piece out with a rolling pin into 5½ to 6 inch round circle disks. They should be a little thinner on the edges than in the middle, because we’ll eventually be pinching the edges together when we make mandu, so you don’t want them too thick and doughy.
- Take the second half out of the bag and make mandu wrappers out of it using the same method. Use them right away to make mandu, or freeze them for later.
- To freeze:
- Cover a large platter with plastic wrap and put the wrappers on it. Place them so they don’t touch each other, and separate layers of skins with sheets of plastic wrap.
- When it’s full of skins, cover the entire tray with plastic wrap and freeze it for up to 1 month.
- How to use frozen mandu skin: Thraw out at room temperature for 10 to 20 minutes before using them to make mandu.
- Filled with meat, carrot, tofu, green onion, gochujang, salt, sesame oil, garlic (put in mixbowl n mix all with your hand). Put some of the filling mixture into the center of a mandu skin. Use your fingertips to apply a little cold water to one edge of the skin. This will act as a sealant when you fold it over. Fold skin in half over filling and press edges together to make ripple shape.
- Then put in freezer or steamed until cooked, nice cooking…