When I go long periods of time without cooking I get this sudden urge of making something big, and filled with memories and flavors that I love (and my boyfriend does because everything I cook, he eats as well). I spent 4 days in Barcelona with my family and it was really a great time there but I couldn’t cook as much – which is fine by me if it’s temporary – but when I came to Paris I had this urge of making something awesome and something I had never done before. And so I did, and I did an awesome, super spicy Korean Mandu and Kimchi Stew.
I don’t want to be that stereotypical person that says “my year abroad changed my life so much”, but on this specific stereotype, I got all the boxes checked. The year in Korea did change my life, I met my SO, I dediced to change for the better and I also fell in love with cooking even more (mainly because I couldn’t cook for an entire year, so the lack of cooking made me realize how much I loved cooking). When I was there, my go-to meal was this kimchi, tofu and mandu (dumplings) stew. It was basically my diet. I ate that thing at least 5 times a week and I do not regret doing that nor the weight I took because of my not-so-healthy and balanced diet. I enjoyed every bite, every mandu and every spoon I had of that stew and funnily enough, I have never tried doing that recipe after I left Korea (and it’s been more than 5 years). So, logically, I had to change the situation and I did my favorite korean dish ever (or an approximation of it).
|Difficulty : 2/5||Prep time : 5 minutes|
|Type: One pot meal, korean||Cooking time: 30-40 minutes|
Korean Mandu and Kimchi Stew : Method
Serves 3 people (2 full portions and 1 tupper)
For the stew:
- 300g of tofu
- 1 pack of enoki mushrooms
- 1 pack of asian mushrooms (white) and 1 pack of asian mushrooms (brown)
- 350g of kimchi
- 10 mandus (Mandus are korean dumplings, they have different fillings. I bought mine at the closest k-mart I have to my place and they are filled with vegetables and kimchi).
- 4 cups of dashi broth (For this you need dried kelp or kombu and water)
- 3 green onions
To make the dashi broth: Add 4 cups of water to a pot and the dried kelp (I used 4 small pieces). Bring it to a boil and cook it for 15-20 minutes.
It is not a korean meal if there aren’t any “banchan” that go with it. Banchan is the korean word used to describe small side dishes that are served with the main dishes, in this case, the stew. I served our stew with three different banchan:
- Basic kimchi –> I used the same kimchi as the listed one above
- Cubed radish kimchi –> You can get this at the same supermarket you get your normal kimchi, or other korean foods.
- Korean Bean sprout salad (spicy) –> I bought korean bean sprouts and used gochujang, soy sauce, sesame oil and sesame seeds.
- Reheat the pot and place the kimchi & the mushrooms at the bottom. Cook for 2-3 minutes
- Add the mandus to the pot and continue cooking for 2-3 more minutes.
- Add the 4 cups of dashi broth that you have prepared. Cook for another 5 minutes
- Add the tofu (slices) and the enoki mushrooms. Cover with a lid and cook at medium-low heat for about 20-30 minutes.
I cooked mine for a total of 40 minutes. I wouldn’t recommend going more than that because otherwise the mandus start to break instead of holding its shape. Once you remove it from the heat, you can add the chopped green onions on top to add a bit of color and fun to the dish.
I served this stew with three banchan, as I have mentioned before. 2 types of kimchi and one soy bean salad. The salad is really easy to make, but it’s my own recipe, I did not follow korean traditional conventions on how to make this salad (it was still very crunchy and spicy, like I like it).
- Korean soy bean sprouts
- 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon of sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon of gochujang
- 1/2 tablespoon of sesame seeds
- A bit of the remaining green onion from the stew.
To do this:
- Fill a pot with water and bring it to a boil.
- When boiling, add the desired amount of soy bean sprouts (I cooked around 300g)
- Cook if for 7 minutes
- Drain it and rinse it with cold water.
- In a bowl, mix the soy sauce, sesame oil, gochujang well.
- Pour over the sprouts.
- Top with sesame seeds and green onion.
This meal was one hell of a meal and I still think about it. I think the reason why I haven’t done this dish before was that I knew myself too well. Now I know I can make my favorite korean dish at home and I will not know when to stop. Maybe when my SO starts telling me to stop adding mandus to every dish, or kimchi, or… spiciness. Hopefully that day never comes.
Tell me how much you enjoyed this korean mandu and kimchi stew recipe if you try it out at home in the comments !
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