Little Korean Egg Rolls: Turnip Greens & Beef Mandu

Four years ago, I shared how I made Korean mandu with turnip greens on Simple, Good, And Tasty. I’m bringing it back because it’s too good to get lost in the shuffle.

Kale seems to get all of the glory. But as far as leafy greens go, I much prefer the flavor and texture of collards, beet greens, dandelion greens, and turnip greens. Raw turnip greens can sometimes feel prickly. Once you cook them down they have a silky texture and savory, earthy flavor. They’re perfect added to these fried Korean dumplings.

I’m sure they are more authentic recipes for mandu, but this is the version I looked forward to each year at Korean Culture Camp. My parents always bought extra bags of frozen mandu at the festival on the last day. Each day, I’d pop a few in the toaster oven and ration them out as long as possible.

These Korean mandu remind me of triangle-shaped egg rolls. If you do not want to deep-fry them, you can also bake them  or fry-steam. See the notes at the end for more information.

eggroll_filling_copy

Turnip Green Mandu
Adapted from a booklet tilted Korean Culture Camp Recipes, distributed in Korean Culture Camp, Minneapolis, MN, in the early-mid 90’s. 

Ingredients:
1 lb of ground beef (or substitute another type of ground meat or meat substitute)
1 cup of onions, finely sliced (I used a mixture of green onions and small red onion bulbs)
1 cup of cabbage, shredded
Greens from one turnip, finely diced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon of salt (I used a little celery salt)
Black pepper
1 teaspoon of sesame oil
Sugar, start with a teaspoon (or substitute honey, mirin, etc.)
1 teaspoon of cornstarch
Optional: Hot pepper
Wonton wrappers
1 Egg, beaten into egg wash
Vegetable oil, for frying

Instructions:

  1. Cook the ground meat. Drain most of the fat and set aside.
  2. Saute the vegetables until tender-crisp.
  3. Combine vegetables the ground beef and season with soy sauce, salt, black pepper, sesame oil, sugar, hot pepper, and cornstarch. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
  4. Open pack of wonton wrappers. Removing one or two at a time, place a small spoonful of filling in the wonton wrapper. Smear egg wash on two edges, gently fold over, and press to seal with your fingers or fork.
  5. Place the filled wontons on a sheet tray covered with damp towel to keep the corners from drying out.
  6. Fry in hot oil and place on paper towels or paper bag to absorb the excess oil.
  7. To make the marinated cucumber: Slice cucumber.  Place in a glass container and cover with equal parts water and white vinegar.  Add grated garlic, minced ginger, and hot pepper. Season with salt and sugar. Let sit for a few hours to a day and enjoy.

*Notes on frying methods:
I fried this batch in a deep pot filled with vegetable. While I didn’t fry at an exact temperature, I made sure the wontons sizzled when placed in the oil, adding a handful at a time. Then, I drained them well on paper towels. To bake: Place mandu on an oiled cookie sheet. Spritz the top of the wontons with your choice of vegetable oil and bake at about 375 F. until crispy.  Baked mandu will not crisp the same as frying, but will be acceptable. The corners tend to brown quickly. Tucking them under might help. To fry/steam: Fry on each side of the wonton in a small amount of oil. Then add a splash in a splash of water, and cover immediately for a few seconds until crispy. Watch for splattering oil and water.

2 Comments

  1. Yum, these sound amazing!

  2. Yum. I somehow missed this recipe earlier but boy this looks amazing and easy enough that even I could make it. Love that you still have a “cookbook” from your childhood .

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