Month: August 2008

That’s A Lot Of Mandoo

That’s A Lot Of Mandoo

Well today I gathered some of my good friends and set them to work. I made over 200 mandoo today and now I have a freezer full of delicious Korean dumplings.
Stuffed dumplings are labour intensive. You need to squeeze out all the water from the tofu, bean sprouts and then chop all the vegetables, mix all the ingredients and season the stuffing and then finally stuff them into dough wrappers. Overall with about four to five friends you can stuff over 200 mandoo in about 2.5 hours (yikes). Of course there was a lot of eating involved too (you need to do some taste testing to make sure the stuffing is seasoned well).
If anyone wants to try to make Korean meat dumplings here is a basic recipe I like to use.
(Just for the record, I never write out recipes. For one thing, I don’t measure. All of this is purely guess).
Good luck!

Mandoo (100 dumplings)

1lb of ground beef or pork or both
1 medium onion (yellow or white) chopped fine
3-4 scallions chopped fine
1-2 tbl sp finely chopped ginger
3-5 cloves of chopped garlic
1 package of firm tofu
2 cups of mung bean sprouts
2-3 tsp of toasted sesame oil
1 tsp of white pepper
1 tsp of black pepper
2 egg
salt to taste

100 dumpling wrappers (you can buy this at a Korean grocery store or possibly an Asian grocery market)

-boil water and cook mung bean sprouts for about 2 minutes and then strain them and rinse them in cold water
-squeeze as much water out of the bean sprouts with your hands
-chop up the bean sprouts and put into a large mixing bowl
-drain the tofu from the package and then use some paper towels and soak up the water. Squeeze as much water out of the tofu (don’t worry about it crumbling you want that to happen) add it to the bean sprouts
-add sesame oil, white and black pepper, salt, onions, garlic, scallions, 1 egg and meat into bowl then mix thoroughly.
-in a separate bowl crack and whip an egg
-take a dumpling wrapper and using your finger, rub egg on the edge of half the wrapper (like the letter C), put in about a small spoonful of filling in the center of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper in half and squeeze the sides closed.
-sprinkle some flour on the dumpling so that they don’t stick to each other.

-boil water and drop in the mandoo and let it cook for about 5 minutes. Then heat up some oil in a frying pan and pan fry the cooked mandoo (this part is optional)
-you can make an easy dipping sauce by using soy sauce, vinegar and a little bit of sugar.




So I have made a wonderful discovery: the library! I know that sounds absurd, and it kind of is, but over the past six months I have become a regular visitor and I have been reading a ton. So what am I reading? Well, I must confess that some of the stuff is pretty girlie, not too sophisticated, and with lots of plot driven excitement. To go through all the books in detail would be ridiculous but here’s a list that highlights a few things I liked about them.

Reading List

The Twilight Saga which includes: Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
I really enjoyed this entire series. My favourite was Twilight. I won’t go into too much detail but the saga is a story about a young lady named Bella Swan who falls in love with a teenage vampire named Edward Cullen. Lots of danger, hugging and teenage angst. I was impressed by how Meyer described the experience of Bella kissing Edward in the forest. My stomach was full of butterflies and my heart was racing. That NEVER happens to me when I’m reading. Anyone who likes fantasy and love stories should check it out, it’s worth reading.

The Gemma Doyle Trilogy which includes: A Great And Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels and The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray.
This is a plot-driven story about a teenage girl in the late 1800’s in England who discovers that she has a magical gift to move into another world called the realms. Sounds cheesy when I say but it was quite fun to read. Action packed and sometimes quite emotional.

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
I loved this book. It was beautiful and sad and it made my heart ache when it was over. This is Niffenegger’s first novel and she really pulls off a great concept. The story is about a man who involuntarily time travels, but during his travels he meets a girl named Clare who becomes the most important person in his life. I can’t go any further – you just need to read it.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
I know that this book is a classic. Bronte’s writing is good but it was a hard read. The language wasn’t difficult but I really found all the characters of this book unlikeable. Perhaps that was on purpose but it made it difficult to enjoy the book. Still, with that said, it’s good writing and worth reading.

The Uglies Saga which include: Uglies, Pretties, Specials by Scott Westerfeld and Extras by Scott Westerfeld and Rodrigo Corral
This is a sci-fi saga about earth 300 years in the future. It’s action packed and fun.

Lonely Werewolf Girl by Martin Millar
I have luke-warm feelings about this book. I read it because I had just finished Eclipse and was in the vampire/werewolf frame of mind. It’s about a young werewolf named Kalix living in London, England who is a drug addict and sort of a sad character. Not my favourite book.

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
This was my first graphic novel and it was a sad one. It was actually a memoir of Alison Bechdel’s relationship with her father who she finds out is gay. It was a quick read and engaging. I recommend this one.

Tom Jones by Henry Fielding: audio book radio show by the BBC
I highly recommend this particular recording. The BBC did an adaption of Tom Jones and it was delightful. It’s full of humourous sexual escapades and a lovely happy ending. The actors are great and it was a pile of fun. Check it out.

The Looking Glass Wars Trilogy which include: The Looking Glass Wars and Seeing Redd by Frank Beddor
This is a dark version of a childhood classic. Alyss Heart is the queen to be of Wonderland until her aunt Redd starts a war and all hell breaks loose. Alyss escapes to our dimension and the rest you’ll have to read to find out. Actually I’ve never read Alice In Wonderland (although that’s on my list now) but these books are for an older audience or at least readers in the teenage years and up. I have been enjoying this series and I look forward to reading the last book once it’s released.

Blood And Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause
I really didn’t like this book. It was very popular and they even made it into a movie (who knows why). Disappointing and not worth reading.

Forever by Pete Hamill
This was an interesting read. I was disappointed with the ending but very impressed by Hamill’s detailed knowledge of New York City and it’s history. The story is about a young man (17 years old) and he ends up in New York City in 1741 (I think) and becomes immortal (you need to read it to know why) and stays immortal only if he remains in Manhattan. I quite enjoyed the book even with the ending. It’s worth checking out.

Well that’s it for now. I am currently readingThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak and so far its good.

Although I have linked all the book titles to Amazon, I have borrowed all these books from the library. I never took advantage of the library in the past and I keep kicking myself for waiting so long to do it. I was a really late bloomer in the book reading thing and I have so much to catch up on. I have been discovering what kind of books I like to read and its been an adventure. If anyone out there has any great recommendations I would love to hear about them and I love reserving the books on the library website (ah the small pleasures in life). I have a huge list to get through and I have at least eight books at home to read (more on them later).

Happy reading everyone!

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