Stationed in Korea? 5 Korean frozen dumplings that are delicious

Photos by ChiHon Kim
Photos by ChiHon Kim

Stationed in Korea? 5 Korean frozen dumplings that are delicious

by ChiHon Kim
Stripes Korea

Doing almost nothing is one of the ways I’ve spent recent weekends and holidays. But there is always one thing I accomplish: Satisfying my hunger.

In times like these when going out for dinner isn’t a smart option, frozen dumplings are an easy microwaveable meal readily available at the grocery store. Plus, there are many varieties to try, so my go-to meal never gets old. Below, I’ve gathered a small list of the frozen dumplings brands I reach for when I do my pre-lazy day shopping. Give them a try!

Gohyang mandu: Launched in the late 1980s by HAITAI Confectionery and Foods, this item spearheaded the frozen, ready-made dumpling industry in Korea. These are what most Koreans think of when they think of frozen dumplings. You’ll find them in the freezer in green and red packaging.

The unique taste of these dumplings has stayed the same for over 30 years. This classic item is stuffed with pork (13%), tofu, onion, chives, cabbage, glass noodles, sugar, sesame oil, and more. Compared to others, these dumplings tend to have thicker wrappers and the filling is a bit underwhelming. If you prefer thinner dumpling skin, this might not be your pick, but the price is what makes these popular.

Bibigo mandu: Bibigo is a famous food brand in South Korea launched by food company CJ Cheil Jedang. Bibigo dumplings come in many varieties but my go-to item is the wang gyoza that has a good amount of protein (25.41%) and seven assorted vegetables. Another favorite from this company is Bibigo’s kimchi wang gyoza. While other companies use fermented kimchi, this brand’s kimchi is fresh and gives a clean taste with a pleasant texture.

Pulmuone yalpi mandu: These dumplings appeared on shelves in early 2019 and have grown to become big sellers. The secret to Pulmoune’s success is the generous filling and chewy, delicate wrapper. At 0.7mm thick, the wrapper on these dumplings is the thinnest on the market.

I love these not only because they have the most meat comparted to other brands (33.22%), but also because the filling includes a wide variety of nutrient-dense ingredients like king oyster mushroom, cabbage, onion, garlic, pumpkin, and ginger. Also, there are no sketchy ingredients hiding in here and no MSG. I highly recommend these dumplings, but please stay away from the chili dumplings from this company that are full of crazy spicy chili. Even if you’re good with spicy food, you’ll want to be careful with these.

Chungjungwon minsok sonmandu: If you’re looking for average dumplings at a reasonable price, then these are for you. They’re not bad but they’re not great. These will get you a good quantity for a good price, but don’t expect quality.

HongKong Banjum mandu: HongKong Banjum’s seafood kyoja mandu is made with pork (21.56%), chicken meat, shrimp, squid mixed with cabbage and green onions. The filling also contains oyster sauce and some flavor enhancers. If you don’t mind some artificial seasoning, this is a good mid-range choice in both price and quality.

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