Dubu Mandu Jeongol 두부만두전골 (Tofu Dumpling Hot Pot)

When I am super hungry but lack the time and energy to make something elaborate, one of my go-to dishes is something called jeongol, a spicy stew or hot pot that is usually filled elaborately with a main protein (i.e. beef, pork, seafood, you name it) and plenty of vegetables. The great thing about this dish is you simply throw (or gently throw) everything together in a large pot along with the sauce and let it boil down until ready. For my version, I included a good dose of kimchi, mandu (dumplings), tofu, instant noodles, and black mushrooms to get a wide range of flavors and textures. Fortunately, the dish came out great and really hit the spot with a bowl of plain white rice.

A little more about jeongol: It has its origins as a royal cuisine dish, characterized by its elaborate presentation and neatly arranged plating. Over time though, the dish has basically been re-adapted and promoted as a “fancier” version of a jjigae or stew.  As you can imagine, there are many variations of this dish that differ from region to region in Korea. The best jeongol will always highlight the region’s famed ingredient. Also, this dish is ideal for the cold winter months and with large gatherings, as the dish is usually cooked in the center of the table and shared among its guests.

 

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I used plenty of kimchi, tofu, mushrooms, mandu, and instant noodles as the main ingredients. I wanted to include dangmyeong, aka glass noodles, but none could be found in the pantry.
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There’s no specific way to prepare ingredients, but bite-size pieces never fail to please my guests.
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As the base for the sauce, I used kimchi and the kimchi liquid to get things started. I also added plenty of garlic, soy sauce, sugar, and sesame oil. If you have myulchi (dried anchovies) available, boil them with the kimchi and discard before adding the “hard” vegetables.
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Boil down everything for about 15 minutes except the noodles, saving it until the remaining 5 minutes.
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I use a lot of perilla leaves in my dishes to give it a unique, minty flavoring.
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Once the noodles are ready, enjoy with a bowl of rice. As you can see, I didn’t bother arranging the ingredients for aesthetic purposes but it still came out pretty nice.
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Here’s a close-up.

 

 

Dubu Mandu Jeongol 두부전골 (Tofu Dumpling Hot Pot)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Stews, Hot Pot
Cuisine: Traditional, Royal
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 cup kimchi, chopped + ½ cup kimchi liquid
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp gochugaru (red pepper flakes)
  • 4~6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 8 mandu pieces (dumplings)
  • 1 block tofu, cubed
  • 4 mushrooms pieces, quartered
  • ½ onion, sliced
  • 4 perilla leaves, sliced
  • 1 package instant noodles (omit the sauce)
  • 1 egg (optional)
  • 4 cups water
  • ½ cup myulchi (dried anchovies; optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Boil the first seven ingredients on the list plus water in a large shallow pot, about 5 minutes.
  2. After slicing and dicing "hard" ingredients, place them neatly in sections on the pot. Or if you're like me, throw them in any which way you want. Cook for 15~20 minutes with lid partially covered on medium heat.
  3. Sample the sauce and adjust accordingly to taste preference. Add more water if necessary.
  4. Lastly, add the instant noodles, egg, and perilla leaves. Soft boil for about 5 minutes or until noodles are ready to eat.

 

 

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