|Place of origin||Korea|
|Associated cuisine||Korean cuisine|
Korean royal court cuisine
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Mandu (Korean: 만두; Hanja: 饅頭), or mandoo, are dumplings in Korean cuisine. Mandu can be steamed, boiled, pan-fried, or deep-fried. The styles also vary across regions in the Korean Peninsula. Mandu were long part of Korean royal court cuisine, but are now found in supermarkets, restaurants, and snack places such as pojangmacha and bunsikjip throughout Korea.
The name is cognate with the names of similar types of meat-filled dumplings along the Silk Road in Central Asia, such as Uyghur manta (مانتا), Turkish mantı, Kazakh mänti (мәнті), Uzbek manti, Afghan mantu and Armenian mantʿi (մանթի). Chinese mántou (馒头; 饅頭) is also considered a cognate, which used to mean meat-filled dumplings, but now refers to steamed buns without any filling.
Mandu can be divided into gyoja (교자; 餃子) type and poja (포자; 包子) type. In Chinese, the categories of dumplings are called jiǎozi (饺子; 餃子) and bāozi (包子) respectively, which are cognates with the Korean words. In Japanese, the former-type dumplings are called gyōza (餃子), which is also a cognate. In Mongolian, the latter-type dumplings are called buuz (бууз), which is also a cognate.
Mandu are believed to have been first brought to Korea by Yuan Mongolians in the 14th century during the reign of the Goryeo dynasty. The state religion of Goryeo was Buddhism, which discouraged consumption of meat. The Mongolian incursion into Goryeo relaxed the religious prohibition against consuming meat, and mandu was among the newly imported dishes that included meat.
Another possibility is mandu came to Korea at a much earlier period from the Middle East through the Silk Road. Historians point out many cuisines based on wheat, such as dumplings and noodles which originated from Mesopotamia and gradually spread from there. It also spread east along the Silk Road, leaving many versions of mandu throughout Central and East Asia.
A Goryeo-era folk song, "Ssanghwajeom", tells a story of a mandu shop (ssanghwa meaning 'dumplings', and jeom meaning 'shop') run by a foreigner, probably of Central Asian origin.
If the dumplings are grilled or pan-fried, they are called gun-mandu (군만두); when steamed, jjin-mandu (찐만두); and when boiled, mul-mandu (물만두). In North Korea, mandu styles vary in different regions of the country. In particular, Pulmuone is releasing cheese dumplings, sweet seed dumplings with sugar and spicy dumplings.
Manduguk is a variety of Korean soup (guk) made with mandu in beef broth. In the Korean royal court, the dish was called byeongsi (餠匙) while in the Eumsik dimibang, a 17th-century cookbook, it was called "seokryutang" (석류탕).
In Korean cuisine, mandu generally denotes a type of filled dumpling similar to the Mongolian buuz and Turkic mantı, and some variations are similar to the Chinese jiaozi and the Japanese gyoza.
They are similar to pelmeni and pierogi in some Slavic cultures.