I've been searching for a good plate of vegetarian mandu for a while, and haven't had much luck. (Anyone have any recommendations?) So on a recent breakfast stop in Gangwondo, I was surprised to hear that the restaurant actually served chicken mandu.
Uncle: Try the mandu guk.
Me: No, thanks. I'll eat that kalguksu over there.
Uncle: There's no pork in this mandu. It's made of chicken.
Me: Chicken? *shoots incredulous look*
Uncle: Ajumma! What's in the mandu?
Ajumma: Kweong (꿩).
Me: What's kweong?
Uncle: It's chicken.
Me: No, it's not.
After multiple (failed) attempts to
Ohhh, "kweong" = pheasant!
Googled results tell me that kweong was originally used in ddeok mandu guk but these days, wild pheasant meat is used mostly on special occasion.
Personally, I'm a fan of tofu and veggie mandu, which I like to make at home. At Trader Joe's, it's easy to find chicken gyoza, which is pretty decent, and of course, a wide variety of frozen mandu is available at any good Korean grocery store. What's your favorite mandu filling?
"Netherland Kweong Mandu"