Recipe: Tofu Kimchi Dumplings

updated May 2, 2019
Tofu Kimchi Dumplings (Korean Mandu)
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(Image credit: Emily Han)

Time seems to speed up this time of year as we near the holidays. In preparation, I like to make and freeze a big batch of

Asian dumplings

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

This bold and savory recipe comes from my mother-in-law, who fills dumplings with a perfectly balanced mixture of tofu, cabbage kimchi, carrots, and bean sprouts, plus a little ginger and a lot of alliums – garlic, onions, leeks, scallions, the works. Toasted sesame oil and a couple of eggs bring it all together. (If you or your guests are vegetarian, make sure you make or buy kimchi without fish or shrimp.)

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

You can use store-bought mandu or gyoza wrappers or make your own using the recipe in Andrea Nguyen’s

Asian Dumplings

CHOW; for gluten-free dough, see Andrea Nguyen’s recipes at
Viet World Kitchen.) Mom-in-law generally uses larger wrappers, about four-and-a-half inches in diameter, but the ones in these photos are a bit smaller. Fold the dumplings into half-moons and fry, steam, or boil in soups. I think they are really best fried, and served with a seasoned soy sauce for dipping.
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Tofu Kimchi Dumplings (Korean Mandu)

Makes about 48 dumplings

Nutritional Info


For the filling:

  • 12 ounces

    soybean sprouts (can substitute mung bean sprouts)

  • 4

    carrots, peeled and grated

  • 2 teaspoons

    toasted sesame oil, divided

  • Salt

  • 1

    (14-ounce) block firm tofu

  • 2 cups

    cabbage kimchi

  • 2

    scallions, thinly sliced

  • 1

    leek, thinly sliced

  • 1/2

    white onion, finely minced

  • 2 tablespoons

    finely minced garlic

  • 1 teaspoon

    finely minced ginger

  • 1 teaspoon

    brown sugar

  • 1/8 teaspoon

    black pepper

  • 2

    eggs, beaten

For the dumplings:


  1. Boil the bean sprouts with 1 cup of water until tender, about 15 minutes. Rinse under cold water and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Coarsely chop and squeeze out any excess liquid.

  2. While the bean sprouts are boiling, prepare the carrots, tofu, and kimchi.

  3. Sauté the carrots with 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and a pinch of salt until tender, about 2 minutes.

  4. Place the tofu in a cheesecloth or dish towel and squeeze out the excess liquid.

  5. Coarsely chop the kimchi and squeeze out the excess liquid. (Don't let the kimchi juice go to waste; save it for soups, marinades, or sauces.)

  6. In a mixing bowl, combine the bean sprouts, carrots, tofu, kimchi, scallions, leek, onion, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, black pepper, a pinch of salt, and the remaining teaspoon of sesame oil. Mix and mash together (hands work best), taste, and adjust seasonings if necessary. Add the 2 beaten eggs and mix well.

  7. To assemble the dumplings, place about 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of each wrapper. (Make sure not to overfill, or the dumplings may leak in cooking.) Dip your fingertip in the beaten egg and trace the edge of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper over to make a half-circle and pinch the edges together to seal.

  8. To fry the dumplings, heat a little sesame oil in a pan over low heat. Working in batches, place the dumplings in a single layer in the pan, cover, and fry until golden on the bottom. Turn the dumplings over, add 1 teaspoon of cold water to the pan, and cover tightly. Continue cooking until golden on the other side. Serve with yangnyeomjang (Korean seasoning sauce) for dipping.

  9. Dumplings can also be steamed or boiled in soups.

  10. To freeze, place uncooked dumplings in a single layer on a tray and freeze until firm. Turn the dumplings over and return to the freezer until completely frozen, then transfer to an airtight container or bag.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

(Images: Emily Ho)