Alien's Day Out

Vegan Mandu


I miss mandu. I duuu~. I practically survived on rice and mandu during my final college months when I was drowning in my senior art show and spending all-nighters at the graphics lab. Unfortunately, now that I’m vegan, I hardly ever eat mandu. Seriously, most restaurant mandus (with the exception of Loving Hut) contain some bits of meat, or kimchi (which is made with fishsauce), and it seems like all the frozen store-bought ones contain some animal chunks and juices too, so I just steer clear…

… that is, unless I make my own! Homemade mandu is quite an undertaking, so I’ve only ever been an assistant in the process. One of my favorite food memories include making them with my mom or grandma. We would turn it into a fun project, stuffing them with different ingredients, and cooking them up in all sorts of different ways- steamed, fried, boiled in soup… :) and we’d always make enough to last us quite a while in the freezer.

Here’s the general recipe for the mandu my mom and I made recently. Feel free to add other ingredients like mushrooms, garlic, or vermicelli noodles.

{ Ingredients }
1 package of mandu wraps
1 cup chopped chives
1 onion
1 carrot
about 1 cup steamed and chopped mung bean sprouts
1/2-1 cup chopped and squeezed kimchi
1 block of tofu
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
few dashes of black pepper

{ Method }
1. Wash mung bean sprouts and cook them in a pot until just soft and wilted. Chop them up and squeeze out some of the excess liquid. Place in a large bowl.

2. Add chives and finely chopped carrots and onions (we used a food processor here to speed things up).

3. Chop up the kimchi into small pieces and squeeze out some of the excess juice. Add to the bowl.

4. Using a cheesecloth bag, squeeze the water out of a block of tofu. Add to the bowl.

5. Add spices and sesame oil. Mix it all up.

6. Start making your mandu! Use some water to glue the edges of the dough wraps together. It might take some practice to get them to look pretty, but don’t worry~ ugry mandu will still taste good.

7. Place the tray(s) of mandu in the freezer for a few hours before packing them in containers or ziplock bags. Freezing them when they’re separate first, will prevent them from becoming stuck together. This will make life easier when you’re ready to defrost and cook a few at a time.

8. Cook them up as you like! Enjoy~~

Close up shot.

We also made some for soups (or steaming).

We steamed a few of the big ones for dinner. Next time, we’ll fry some up too.

Dip them into some soysauce and gobble ’em up! Yay, vegan mandu!


  1. Wait, what? Frozen veggie mandu have bits of meat in them? I eat them all the time, and there's no meat in the ingredients list. What am I missing? Do they leave it out in translation? I only ever read the English list of ingredients. I know some things look like meat (the little short, brown cylinders), but I've been assured those are soy protein bits. help?

  2. You had me quite worried there for a moment, I even went into the kitchen to check the ingredients on the bag of frozen mandu I have in my freezer and I couldn't find any non-vegan ingredients? I do hope it's not something that hasn't been translated properly because I LOVE those.

    I actually have a pack of mandu wraps sitting in my freezer, just haven't had the time to use them yet – guess I'll finally have to shove all excuses aside and just get to it, because your recipe looks fantastic! :)

  3. Really? What brand of mandu do you guys have? Where can I buy it? :) Maybe I just haven't been looking hard enough.

  4. aaah… your pics of homemade mandu fill me with nostalgia. memories of sitting around the table with my mom and grandmother making a million mandu.

    yours look awesome! i could never do the small round ones properly. anyway, now i'm inspired to finally make some of my own again. i promised my husband. :)

    thanks for the motivation!

  5. you've officially inspired me… i'm making this one night this week for dinner!

  6. Mipa, my favorite frozen brand is Saseum. Some of the others taste a little garbage-y to me (which is maybe just a psychological aversion left over from recent years, when it was found some frozen mandu-makers were using rotting vegetables–yuk).

    But, at any rate, your mandu look better than theirs, and you can put the freshest of veggies in there. One more question, though–when Koreans say "vermicelli," what sort of noodles do they mean? They look clear; are they japchae noodles?

  7. Dear Mipa,

    I'd just like to inform you as of today, the 24th of March, 2010 at 21:37, I finished watching Earthlings.

    I had no idea the film even existed until I had found your blog and scanned down your list.

    1. I have NEVER wept so hard in my entire life. Ever. Nor have sounds like the ones I made today ever come out of me when crying.
    2. You may now cross off "Get someone to watch Earthlings" crossed off your list. You were the person that first hooked me to watch it and, as a result, you were the first person I thought of when I finished watching.

    Thank you so much, too.

    Because fo' realz? I have never, EVER felt more proud of being a vegan.

    And jesus H, I will stick with veganism until the day I die.

    Thanks, Meep!

  8. Lu,
    I'll try to find the Saseum brand the next time I go grocery shopping. :) Also, yes, the "vermicelli" noodles are the kind that are used for japchae. Those thin, glass noodles.

    wow, thank you for helping me cross something off my list! I too, bawled my eyes out when I saw it. It's incredibly difficult to sit through, and yet it's so important for people to know what is happening… It confirmed for me all the reasons why I'm vegan, and why I too, will never go back. I wish everyone could watch this film!
    Thank you again!

  9. Hi, Mipa and Matt. A co-worker recently told me that he watched "Earthlings" a while back and that it had so affected him that he stopped eating (wait for it) … MAMMALS. I haven't seen the film yet, but my reaction to that was utter confusion and under-whelm-ment (not a word, I know). I just don't get the distinctions people make in their minds; it's like each sentient animal is a new case, and he's going to have to be convinced separately that fish and birds deserve not to be eaten, too?

  10. Hi Mipa:

    Thought this post was great! Kudos to you for making your own vegan mandoo! It's labor-intensive and I never dared trying to make it while living in Korea. If you are ever in the Tae-Neung neighborhood in Seoul, Sahmyook University has some little hole-in-the-wall restaurants around campus, and I remember them selling fresh vegan mandoo in plastic-wrapped packages of 10 or so as well as in soups. Sooo good!! In fact, those restaurants are generally vegetarian friendly, to my recollection. Good luck and happy eating!!

  11. is the official website of the Rep. of Korea. For our “Blogging on Korea” section on our webpage, we pick nice and appropriate blog posts and introduce them to our visitors.
    Any blog posts about Korea (Korean food, life, people, festival etc), we read thoroughly and feature it on our web for a couple of days.

    We’d like to outlink your blog post “Vegan Mandu” on our web, so we can share it with our visitors. Thank you for your source, and please visit our website and other official social networking channels.(see the links below)

  12. Hi, Happened to stumble upon your blog, it and liked your recipe. It is like something I make here in Malaysia.We call it "chai kueh" meaning vegetable cake or tteok. There are only 3 ingredients, sweet yam, carrots and chives and yet it tastes delicious eaten with a type of chilli sauce made from ground chillies, garlic, sugar, salt and vinegar. The method of making it is the same like yours. You should try using sweet yam in your mandu.I am no vegan but I love vegetables so I always enjoy eating this Malaysian tteok. I'm going to try your recipe one of these days.

  13. Ok call me heartless, I watched Earthlings,..yeah it's sad but I still love meat regardless.

  14. I made this today with the addition of napa cabbage, shiitake mushrooms, vermicelli (although they weren't the korean ones), and garlic (I didn't have kimchee at home). Deelish, and very korean-tasting.thanks for the awesome recipes!

  15. I am going to try making it next week. I've been eating those frozen mandu all last week. Thanks for sharing this recipe. BTW, your soy bulgogi link is link to the japchae. Could you check that again? I am interested in how you make bulgogi without gogi :-)
    Thanks again!

  16. oops, my bad. it's fixed now. :)

  17. Can you boil them like 물만두? How long would it take to cook them up? I unfortunately don’t have a steamer here… :( Since there is no egg or any meat you don’t need to cook them just heat them up correct?^^ I want to make these when I have some time… maybe next weekend~^^

  18. Yes you can definitely boil them. It won’t take too long… maybe 10 minutes? They will be done when they start floating on the top. You will want to cook them (not just reheat) because the dough will have to be cooked and the veggies (onions, carrots, etc) will be raw. hope that helps! good luck with your mandu-making!

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  20. Hi Mipa. One of my friends had the sudden crave attack middle of the night for Hongdae Mandu. I googled and came across your recipe. I gave it a try today (I did the non-vegan ones). Its so delicious. Thank you so much. *^^*

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  22. Mipa,

    We were busy bees this weekend. This was the third of your recipes we made this weekend. We didn’t add the kimchi, because we put the last of it in the kimchi jjigae, but we added some dangmyun and about 1.5c of rehydrated tvp. They turned out amazing!!! I did a side by side taste test with the ones from Loving Hut and it put them to shame. We’ll do a triple batch next time. FYI, for those who attempt, if we hadn’t over-stuffed the first few, we would have needed two packages of wrappers. Do you use instagram? I’ll tag you in the pictures.

    • Hi Jason,
      Wow, thank you so much for all your feedback! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the recipes and trying Korean cooking. Keep it up~~~! :) You motivate me to share more recipes. hehehe.

  23. Now all we need is a vegan mandu jjigae recipe to use up all of this mandu in our freezer!

  24. Amazing recipe!!

    2 quick questions:

    1) Did you buy firm, medium or soft tofu?

    2) How long do you boil or steam the mandus for?

    I’ve been craving chive mandus, really appreciate you sharing this!!
    Thank you so much!!!

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