Mapo tofu mandu

When I was coming up with creative new dumpling ideas, I wanted to do something with mapo tofu. Upon doing a little research, I found out that Korea’s national dumpling, the mandu, actually contains kimchi and tofu in it! I knew right away that I could sub out the kimchi with spicy bean paste, and then we would be in business. For the garnishes, I went with an XO sauce vinaigrette as well as a mapo tofu puree, taking the same seasonings inside of the dumpling and lightening them up by pureeing them with tofu. The filling itself is pork based, but combined with soft tofu as well as my take on a spicy bean paste, just to give it a lot of flavor.

For the wrapper:
1 cup all-purpose flour and more for rolling
1/4 cup cold water
a pinch of salt

Combine ingredients into a dough and knead until glossy and smooth. Divide into roughly 16 pieces. Roll out on a floured surface each piece into a flat disk.

For the pork and tofu filling:
16 oz ground pork
8 oz soft tofu
1/4 cup minced scallions
3 tablespoons spicy bean paste**
1 tablespoon grapeseed or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
black pepper

Combine mixture into a paste and press about a 1 1/2 oz ball of the filling into each dumpling wrapper. To fold, pinch the sides together around the filling to from a half moon. Crimp the sides, then take the ends of the dumpling and pinch them down around the curvature of the filling to form a little halo or crown. Steam these on parchment for at least 15 minutes.

For the spicy bean paste
1/4 cup fermented black bean paste
1 teaspoon ground Sichuan peppercorns
1 tablespoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 clove black garlic, smashed into a paste
1 tablespoon miso

Toast off the pepper, Sichuan pepper, salt, and black garlic paste until fragrant. Combine with the other ingredients to form your paste. You will be using this for the filling and the puree.

For the mapo tofu puree:
4 oz silken or soft tofu
1 1/2 tablespoons spicy bean paste
a pinch of salt

Literally puree these together until they form a smooth mixture.

For the xo vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons XO sauce
a pinch of salt

Combine together.

For garnish:
Scallions, cut on a bias


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Virginia L. says:

    I make Mapo Tofu often, but never put them in the dumpling fillings. Very innovative and interesting idea with the Korean infusion!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jim says:

    I really do need to try and makes these Fred!

    Liked by 1 person

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