Korean New Year always includes a feast consisting of dumpling and rice cake soup, called Mandu Guk. “Mandu” means dumpling, and “guk” means soup. My grandparents told me that I had to eat a whole bowl every year, because the dumplings represented money bags or wealth, and the rice cakes would help luck “stick” to me. I have two sets of grandparents, so that’s two full bowls of Mandu Guk every January 1st.
Korean food is very time-consuming to make, because it requires a lot of ingredients and prep work. Here are just a few that go into the dumpling alone: glass noodles, green onions, ground pork, tofu, bean sprouts, dumpling wrappers, etc. You can also buy frozen ones at the store, but we hand made ours every year, which is like an industrial line when you have over 20+ people in your extended family! In the photo above, you can see the version I made with a dumpling, broth, shredded egg, green onion, and thinly sliced seaweed laver. This is a typical garnish for this dish, and all the hard work definitely pays off in the taste!
I tried making it alone this year, and it took me FOREVER, since each of the ingredients need their own handling before being mixed as a the dumpling insides.
I haven’t had time to write down the recipe I used, but here is a shrimp version from Maangchi.com, a famous Korean recipe blogger.