K-Recipe: Mandu Recipe Made Easy with Vegan Ingredients

by Michelle Li

One of my comfort foods, especially in this cold weather, is dumplings. I don’t know why I associate this dish with the autumn and weather seasons. Maybe because my mom would always make homemade dumplings around this time of the year 🤔 I remember her rolling the dough and having me fill and wrap as we repeat this cycle again. Then freshly boiled, ready to eat and even tastier when lightly fried the next day. 


Just like kimchi, every Korean family will have their own versions of Korean dumplings, mandu (만두) recipes. Obviously, the difference can mainly be found in the fillings. Most Korean dumpling filling can easily be turned vegetarian and even vegan. But that’s because it’s already filled with plant-based ingredients like tofu and actually very little of other protein ingredients. The tofu actually gives it a soft and tender texture. You’ll even find some mandu recipes add finely chopped vermicelli noodles into the filling to give it more of a yummy bite. 


Making dumplings takes a lot of effort especially if you are kneading and rolling out your own dough. So I thought I would share with you a very simple alternative in replacement of the dough, and that’s with Vietnamese rice paper. We’ve shown you how to make traditional Korean street food, tteokbeokki (떡볶이), a spicy rice cake dish but with rice paper in this article. The result? A even more chewy and addicting texture than rice cake itself. But it’s been trending for a while to wrap rice paper in Buldak Fire noodles or even Enoki mushrooms. Now K-netizens have been using them as dumpling wraps! I guess the chewiness of the rice paper replicates the texture of the dumpling dough pretty well. So it’s only right to share with you a recipe on it. After making it, I’m sure you can all agree with me that this comforting dish is delicious and so easy to cook up.


  • 4 Shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/4 Cabbage
  • 190g Tofu (use firm tofu for better texture 😉) 
  • 2 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Garlic, minced
  • ½ tbsp Sugar
  • Sesame Oil
  • Pepper
  • Spring Onions
  • Rice Paper Sheets
To make dumpling filling:
  1. Remove stalks from Shiitake mushrooms for easy chopping. Roughly chop head and stalks.
  2. Roughly chop cabbage into small pieces.
  3. On medium heat, mash tofu and cook in a pan. Stir until the water evaporates.
  4. Add 1 tbsp soy sauce and minced garlic into tofu.
  5. Add mushrooms and stir. Stir in 1 tbsp soy sauce and sugar.
  6. Add cabbage, pepper and sesame oil to season. Mix filling well before sprinkling in chopped spring onions.
To wrap dumpling:
  1. Soak rice paper in warm water to soften.
  2. Place hot filling in the centre of rice paper.
  3. Fold in half to create a crescent shape.
  4. Then, tuck the rest of the rice paper in and fold.

Youtube | 백조부엌: KitchenSwan

That’s it! If you would like to see how these dumplings come together, here is a video to watch. It seems like a lot of steps, but I feel like this recipe won’t overwhelm you with dough making and additional steps that other protein ingredients come with. Tofu by itself may be too soft for the dumplings so having mushrooms mixed into the filling is a great addition! In the video they also tossed in some kimchi which gives more depth of flavour, the perfect tangy and spiciness. If you haven’t tried kimchi with dumplings, it’s a must! Instead of my usual soy sauce dip, I’ve recently just been having kimchi with with dumplings. So much flavour 😋

Uyen Luu

Whenever my mom and I make dumplings, there is always enough leftovers for the next day. So if you happen to have leftovers while making this recipe, these rice paper dumplings can be fried as well. Add a tad bit of oil into the pan, just enough so the rice paper doesn’t stick to the pan. Give them a fry on medium heat on each side for a couple of minutes. Once they are golden brown and the filling is warm, it’s ready to be served! Crispy but still slightly chewy just like fried dumplings 🥟 If you are craving dumplings and want an easy and quick way out, this trendy recipe is definitely worth trying.

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