A few weeks ago, I became an aunt! My sister and brother-in-laws are new parents to a beautiful baby girl. My husband went up to visit them recently, so I sent him up with some frozen food options to stock their freezer.
I thought dumplings would be a perfect freezer friendly meal that also doesn’t add much to the cook time. You can cook mandu straight from the freezer, no need to thaw!
This version has a mixture of ground beef, pork, and vegetables, but the recipe can easily be adapted to fit whatever you have on hand, or have a craving for.
- 1.5 cups finely chopped green cabbage
- 1 medium sized zucchini, finely chopped
- 1 (4 oz) package sliced shiitake mushrooms, finely chopped
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 scallions, white and light green pieces finely chopped, dark green pieces sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons minced ginger
- 1/2 lb ground pork
- 1/4 lb ground beef
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 packages dumpling skins (I found these in my local Asian grocery store)
Start by finely chopping your zucchini and green cabbage and adding to separate small bowls. Generously season each bowl with salt and set aside.
Finely chop your small onion, the white and light green parts of the scallions (set the tops aside for now), garlic cloves, and ginger and add to a large bowl along with the ground pork and beef, egg, soy sauce and sesame oil. Squeeze out as much water from the zucchini and green cabbage as you can before adding to the same bowl. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine.
Fill a small bowl with water.
To make the dumplings, add a small teaspoon sized amount of the filling to the center of a dumpling skin. Make sure not to over fill them or they won’t seal correctly. Dip your finger into your prepared bowl of water and wet the edges of the dumpling skin. Fold the dumpling in half and seal by pinching the edges together. You can also pick up a dumpling press to make this a relatively quick process if you’re not familiar with dumpling making.
Add the dumpling to a sheet covered in a silicone mat or wax paper and repeat with the remaining filling and dumpling skins, adding to the same sheet pan without overlapping the dumplings. You’ll end up with about 80 dumplings.
To freeze, add each sheet pan to your freezer for 1 hour. After an hour, add the dumplings to a freezer zip top bag and freeze again. (I have a VERY small freezer, so this took me a while. I kept some of the sheet pans in my fridge and moved them to the freezer when there was room.)
When ready to cook the dumplings, you can pan fry, steam, or boil the dumplings straight from the freezer. I personally like mine pan fried, so I’ve included those directions: Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add 6 dumplings to the pan, without overlapping the dumplings in the pan. Cook for 2 minutes without moving the dumplings. Flip the dumplings and cook for another 2 minutes. Very carefully add in 1/3 cup water (oil and water don’t mix and it will splatter so be careful and have the lid ready!) and cover immediately with a lid. Cook for 5 minutes. Turn off the stove and carefully remove the lid. Serve immediately. I like these dipped in soy sauce with a sprinkle of gogchugaru or red pepper flakes.
If cooking immediately, steam for 4 minutes rather than 5. Top with the reserved sliced dark green parts of the scallions.
The most difficult/time consuming part of this recipe is finely chopping all of the ingredients. My goodness, do I feel like I need to take a knife skills class after attempting to make this! Despite my incredibly poor knife skills, these came out great! I like the little bit of crunch that pan frying adds, but these would also be tasty boiled or steamed.
I hope my brother and sister-in law enjoy them!