Why did I start this blog? I have been having episodes of inflammation in my hands and fingers, feet and toes, and joints for some time now. I’ve consulted the doctor and have had tests done. It’s not rheumatoid arthritis and my uric acid is normal (tho at times borderline normal). In an effort to determine which food triggers the inflammation, I have been systematically eliminating certain foods from my diet and then bringing them back. After several years, I have now come to the conclusion that I seem to be reacting to animal protein in general (like some sort of allergic reaction). Different animal proteins affect me to different degrees; some cause inflammation faster than others. So I have decided to reduce my intake of meat. No, I am not going vegetarian; maybe semi-vegetarian if there is such a thing. I will be adding interesting and not too difficult recipes here as I find them. I will also include arthritis management tips that have worked for me.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Korean Vegetable Dumplings (Yachae Mandoo)

These vegetarian dumplings are easy to make and can be prepared in large quantities in advance and stored in the freezer for future use. The mixture of tofu, eggs, glass noodles, and vegetables in these dumplings have a savory taste that even hardcore meat-eaters love. If you don't like or have this combination of vegetables, then carrots, mushrooms, cucumbers, kimchi, and chives are also good filling choices. Versatile and delicious, yachae mandoo can be boiled, steamed, deep fried, pan-fried or added to soup.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Serves 6


2 eggs, beaten
1 onion, finely chopped
1 cup finely chopped Napa cabbage (about 1/2 of a small cabbage head), parboiled
1 cup tofu (2 cakes), chopped
¼ cup bean sprouts, blanched and chopped
4 oz mung bean or sweet potato noodles (aka Chinese vermicelli), soaked and chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 Tbsp sesame oil
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 package circular mandoo wrappers (or Japanese gyoza or Chinese wonton wrappers)


1. In a large mixing bowl, gently combine egg, onion, cabbage, bean sprouts, tofu, and noodles.
2. In a separate bowl, combine garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce, salt, and pepper.
3. Pour seasoning mixture over tofu and vegetables and mix with hands to combine.
4. Place about 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of dumpling wrapper.
5. Dip your finger in water and wet the outside edge of the top half of the wrapper.
6. Fold the wrapper up to close and then crimp the edges.
7. Repeat until the filling is gone.
8. Then steam, boil, fry, or sauté the dumplings as you wish.

* If you have extra dumpling wrappers, you can just cut them into slices and use them to make noodle soup.

** If you want to prepare a lot of dumplings in advance, steam the dumplings, wait for them to cool, and then freeze them. You can then use them anytime straight from the freezer without defrosting, whether you want to fry, sauté, steam, or use them in soup.

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