If you want to celebrate the winter Olympics, now underway in South Korea, at the table, try your hand at these easy-to-make Korean dumplings, known as mandu in their homeland. The recipe comes courtesy of Sunny Chung, who runs the homey, excellent Yobo in Portland with his wife, Kim Lully.

Chung was born in Korea and came to New Hampshire with his family when he was 6 years old. Mandu, he said, are “one of those must-have dishes for the New Year.”

Mandu symbolize “good luck and prosperity, so if you don’t eat it during the New Year, you are going to suffer the consequences,” Chung said with a laugh.

The Korean Lunar New Year is celebrated on Monday, and good luck is, of course, apt for competing Olympians, too. The dumplings can be filled with all manner of foods. “You could pretty much put anything you wanted in there,” Chung said. He chose kimchi here, because “it’s very symbolic of Koreans.”

Even if you cannot skate like Alina Zagitova, snowboard like Red Gerard or ski like Mikaela Shiffirin, spicy, funky, delicious Korean food – and perhaps prosperity and luck – is within easy reach.



Recipe courtesy of Yobo chef/co-owner Sunny Chung. Find kimchi at local Asian markets. To make the recipe vegetarian, substitute firm tofu for the ground pork. First, drain the tofu, then weight it for 30 minutes to remove excess moisture, and finally crumble it up into the dumpling filling.


2 cups kimchi, drained and chopped

1 pound ground pork

1 onion, finely chopped

2 scallions, chopped


4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 thumb-size piece ginger root, peeled and finely chopped

2 tablespoons sesame oil

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

2 large eggs, beaten


1 package wonton skins (approximately 30 pieces)

Oil for frying


2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon white (or rice) vinegar

Chopped scallions


Toasted sesame seeds

To make the dumplings, combine all ingredients except the wonton skins and oil into a large bowl and mix by hand.

Place 1 tablespoon of filling into the center of each wonton skin. Brush or use your fingertip to apply water to the edge of the wonton skin, fold in half and seal the dumpling. Repeat to make as many dumplings as you choose.

At this point, the dumplings can be steamed or pan-fried. To steam them, you’ll need an Asian steamer, in which you cook the dumplings for 10 minutes. If you are pan-frying, add oil to a non-stick pan on medium heat. Once it is hot, add the mandu, taking care not to crowd the pan. Brown on one side, turn the mandu and add ¼ cup water. Cover the pan and cook until the water has evaporated, 5-10 minutes altogether. Serve with dipping sauce.

To make the dipping sauce, combine the soy sauce and vinegar. Garnish with the scallions and sesame seeds.

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