Yaki Mandu

When I was little we were stationed in South Korea for a few years.  I was more concerned about my purple Ked sneakers and supply of Handi-Snacks to really understand we lived overseas.  But then again I had just been born in Germany, so I didn’t even know about the United States yet.  Oh, life as a military kid.  
We had a korean nanny and one of my best memories is of her teaching us how to make Yaki Mandu, a kind of meat filled dumpling.  We had my mom’s enormous black steamer pot out, and I would be perched on top of a chair so that I could get in on the action.  I watched as they stirred the ground beef in the pan, and then I would help wet the edges of the wonton wrapper and fold it into the half-moon shape.  A good task for eager little hands.
We ate these over and over again as I grew up.  The taste is one of those family recipes that instantly makes you feel at home, cures a bad day, and makes you miss your mom.  
Yaki Mandu
Don’t hate me, I don’t really have measurements for you…I know I know then what’s the point of posting?  It’s all done to taste.  A dash of this and a sprinkle of that.  
1 pound Ground Beef
Generous drizzle of Sesame Oil
6 Baby Carrots, finely chopped
3 Green Onions, finely chopped
Garlic Powder
1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
1 Package Wonton wrappers
3 Tablespoons Grapeseed or Vegetable Oil for frying
1.  Using a food processor, chop the carrot and onion into teeny tiny bits.  Set aside.
2.  In a large saute pan, add the sesame oil andbrown the ground beef be sure to season it with salt and pepper.  
3.  Add the carrot and onion to the cooked beef and cook just until warm.  Add the garlic powder, soy sauce and re-season with salt and pepper if needed.  Remove from heat when done.
4.  Fill a small bowl with water.  Using a small spoon scoop about a tablespoon of the meat mixture into the center of the wonton.  Dot the edges with water and fold in half so that it makes a triangle.  Press the edges together and set aside.
5.  Add Vegetable oil to clean fry pan and warm to medium-high heat.  Add your wontons to the hot oil and fry for a few minutes, flip it over and cook until crispy and light golden brown.  *The first batch is always a little funky.  They will cook faster and more even as you go along*
6.  Line a plate with paper towels to place the finished wontons on.  It will absorb the excess oil.  You can also heat your oven to 200 degrees F and lay the finished wontons on a baking sheet to keep warm or just cover the plate with a towel.


  1. says

    Measuring is definitely not the point of posting, or of cooking either! No worries! I actually prefer suggestion-style recipes, personally. And these dumplings sound amazing! I could eat dumplings for days…

  2. says

    I just learned so much about you from this post! I didn’t know you grew up in a military family! Ohhhhh girl, you’ve seen so much of the world and I am jeaaaaaalous! I love ethnic food and had never heard of yaki mandu but it looks fabulous. And don’t worry about leaving the measurements out…freehanding recipes is fun and figuring it out along the way is what cooking is all about in my opinion ;) Have a great weekend!

  3. says

    I love these insights to little Abby! Did I know you were born in Germany?! And it’s about time I try making these! Think they would be good with ground turkey? I’ve been wanting to experiment with a meat I can handle, maybe this is a good start!

  4. says

    Every recipe on your site looks great, but I had to respond to this one because I lived in Korea for a year myself and my absolute favorite thing was mandu!