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Kimchi Mandu Guk - Korean Vegetable Broth with Mushroom Dumplings

Serves 4 people 
Takes 45 minutes 

This is a light and delicious Korean dish consisting of a beautifully flavoured broth – it tastes complex but is a doddle to make – studded with mushroom dumplings, vegetables, and a light cabbage pickle 

This recipe normally uses beef stock, but we’ve found that it works incredibly well with a mixture of chicken and vegetable stock – or all vegetable stock if you don’t eat meat. Traditionally the dumplings (the mandu) are stuffed with minced pork, but we like them made with mushrooms. 

The gyoza wrappers are like filo pastry discs 8cm in diameter, except they are a lot more forgiving to work with. You can get them fresh or frozen - we buy ours from the Wing Yip, but they are also available online. Pointed Spring Cabbage works well as a substitute if you can’t get hold of Chinese cabbage 

For the kimchi (pickled cabbage) 
250g Chinese cabbage, sliced into 2.5cm pieces 
2 tbsp groundnut or sunflower oil 
2 tbsp rice vinegar 
2 teasp caster sugar 
1.5 cm piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped 
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped 
2 tbsp soy sauce 

For the mandu (dumplings) 
24 gyoza wrappers 
40g fresh shitake mushrooms, very finely chopped 
5g dried shitake mushrooms, soaked in a small amount of water for 30 minutes, then drained and very finely chopped. (Reserve the water to add to the soup) 
2 spring onions, finely chopped 
2 tbsp soy sauce 
½ teasp sesame oil 
½ teasp truffle oil 
1 small egg, beaten 

For the soup (guk) 
1 litre home made chicken stock 
½ litre vegetable nage 
Large thumb of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced 
1 red chilli, halved and de-seeded 
1 tablespoon soy sauce, plus extra to serve 
½ teasp sesame oil 
1 tbsp sweetened rice vinegar or Merchant Gourmet’s Spiced Rice Vinegar 
3-4 heads of bok choi cut in half 
1 large carrot, cut into julienne strips 
2 spring onions shredded and soaked in cold water to curl (optional) 

  • First of all make the kimchi; this can be served immediately or made in advance and stored in the fridge. Blanch the cabbage in boiling water for 30 seconds. Drain and refresh under cold running water. Drain well and pat dry
  • In a medium sized bowl mix together all of the remaining kimchi ingredients to make a dressing, and the toss the cabbage well. Set aside 
  • Next make the mandu dumplings, by mixing the mushrooms, spring onions, soy sauce, sesame oil, and truffle oil together until well combined. Season well with salt and pepper 
  • Take a gyoza wrapper and place a heaped teaspoon of the mushroom filling in the centre. Wet the edges with a little of the beaten egg, fold one half over and pinch along the edges to seal. Bring the ends together and bind with more egg so they look like Italian tortellini. Repeat until all dumplings are finished. Set aside
  • To make the soup, put the stocks, ginger, chilli, soy sauce, the water that the mushrooms were soaked in, and sesame oil in a large pan and bring to the boil. Add the sweet rice vinegar/spiced rice vinegar and season well with salt and pepper. Once gently simmering, add half of the dumplings and cooked for 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, and keep warm. Repeat with the remaining dumplings. Place the cooked dumplings in individual soup bowls. Meanwhile, add the bok choi and carrot to the soup and cook for 4 minutes until al dente
  • Ladle the soup and vegetables over the dumplings. Sprinkle over the spring onions. Serve with the kimchi in a side bowl, which can be either eaten on its own or added to the soup to add piquancy