Kohlrabi Ginger Mandu

img_1008Every week we get a delivery from a local CSA share (Gachi CSA), so frequently previously unknown veggies will show up on our doorstep and we get to be inventive. We first got kohlrabi a few months ago and our friends shared a recipe for veggie pancakes. However, we had a lot of leftover mix and used a bit of the veggie pancake mix as dumpling filling. This time we went straight for the dumplings, using Korean mandu wrappers bought at the grocery store.

img_0996We used one kohlrabi and two fingers of ginger, starting by peeling the kohlrabi and ginger then using the grater. Being impatient, I ended up peeling most of the kohlrabi into little pieces with the peeler, but they ended up a bit too big for dumpling filling. Next time we’ll stay patient and grate it all. img_0997This time we sautéed the ingredients a bit before filling the dumplings, but a lot of the time we just fill it with raw ingredients. We added one pack of tofu and half of a chopped onion to the kohlrabi and ginger and a bit of cajun seasoning and salt and sautéed it in olive oil on medium for about 5 minutes.

img_0998After the veggies softened up a bit I went to fill the wrappers (mandu-pi or 만두피) which I had taken out of the freezer about two hours before – any less and they stay frozen and stuck together and any more and they get way too mushy and gooey. They should just peel easily off the frozen bunch.

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I fill the center of the wrapper with just a spoon-full of filling. I’ve been tipped off that the hardest part is being tempted to over-fill the dumpling. They won’t stay together if they’re too full, but I always think one spoonful won’t be enough. Now I’ve learned though; if I can’t easily seal it I stop and take a little of the filling out so it’ll stay together when cooking.

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img_1003Next I dip my little pinky into some water and line the edge of the dumpling. This makes it really easy to seal the dumpling; without the water they hardly stick. I go with the simple fold-over. For some reason I can’t figure out the folded dumpling. It just doesn’t seal all the way. After watering the edge just fold and squeeze.

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I always undercook the mandu; Ryan does a better job of patiently waiting for them to fry until they’re golden on both sides and the insides are evenly cooked. They turn an even golden-brown on the finished sides. The mandu can also be steamed but we haven’t tried that because… fried food is good.
img_1006 Of course, we took the extra filling and made pancakes this time. img_1007

We were also left with a bunch of leftover mandu; we fry them (or you can steam them!) before keeping them in the fridge or freezer. You should do that – they get weird and gooey if they’re saved uncooked, but make fantastic leftovers for a quick meal if they’re cooked.

img_1008On a sidenote, this week we also received a ton of chard AND lemons, so we got creative and made a chard salad with lemon juice and olive oil sprinkled with some lemon pepper as a side for our mandu. It was awesome.

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