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I love Asian cuisine. Every time I watch an anime or read manga I’m always curious about the foods they eat. I’m willing to try it whether it’s spicy, sweet, or pickled. My favorite meals involve anything: rice, noodles, or dumplings-based. Especially dumplings. I like them sweet or savory. Fluffy or dense and even sticky. So you can imagine how ecstatic I was when I was introduced to O’Food products.
O’Food offers a line of frozen, ready-to-eat, seasonings and sauces that will help you step up your Korean cooking. The red chili pepper paste also known as Gochujang is a must-have staple for anyone who enjoys Korean food and wants to add some authentic spices to their cabinets. O’Food recently launched their frozen food option: mandu which comes in both meat and plant-based flavors. Currently, they offer O’Food Plant-based Gochujang, Plant-based K-BBQ, Kimchi Pork, Kimchi Chicken and Kimchi Chicken Cheese mandu.
Mandu or Korean dumplings are everything you expect. They are delicious appetizers that come in different flavors that are perfect when paired with a sauce. I tried these flavors and prepared them three different ways and you won’t believe which one is the best way to eat them overall!
Straight out of the microwave
I first tried these by popping them in the microwave. I added a few of O’Food’s Plant-based K-BBQ frozen dumplings to a bowl for two minutes. The result was a slightly sticky-ish, dumpling with a good dumpling-to-filling ratio. The savory barbecue uses Korean traditional Bulgogi but without the meat. This is an ideal snack or appetizer for people who are plant-based or looking to eat less meat in their diet. You can eat it alone but adding rice or ramen makes it a full meal. It’s quick and easy and even when microwaved, you won’t feel like you’re losing too much of its authentic flavoring.
In the Air Fryer
My family loves these in the air fryer. Out of all the dumplings, the Kimchi Chicken and Cheese and the Gochujang dumplings were my favorite. While they were less sticky than the microwave, the dumplings themselves were more fluffy and the skin had a slight crunch to it. That extra crunchy made these mandu puffs even more delicious. We ate these as appetizers and sides. They even paired well with fries and soups.
The skillet is the best of both worlds to me. After cooking on the stove you still have some of the sticky feels of the dumplings itself but the filling tastes so divine! It tastes fresher and if you add a little sesame oil to your skillet pan as you cook it, you’ll really bring out the spices of the dumplings. My favorite flavors on the skillet are the Kimchi Chicken and the plant-based Gochujang mandu. The chicken mandu has vegetables in them and they are made for dipping.
Overall, the skillet is my preferred way to cook and eat these followed by the air fryer and the microwave. While they are all delicious, the skillet gives me overall better satisfaction with the Korean dumplings. The skillet has a fresh, fried taste and the dumplings are slightly cooked more. It’s the perfect balance of the doughy, sticky texture from the microwave and that fluffy crunch from the air fryer.
Now, if I can find a way to make those buns that Usagi eats…