Monday, November 28, 2011

Ravioli Using Eggroll Wrappers

Ravioli dough is pasta dough made from flour, eggs and a wee bit of water and salt.  Egg roll or mandu dough is made from (rice) flour, eggs, water, and salt.  The proportions are different; pasta dough has more egg and less water than mandu dough.  However, the distinction is not noticeable when substituting mandu wrappers for fried ravioli.

It was so delicious that I bought two packs of ravioli and ventured down the path of plain ravioli from mandu wrappers.  With plain boiled ravioli, I can definitely taste that they're mandu wrappers and not ravioli dough, BUT I really do think it tastes delicious and a little less heavy than pasta dough.  For those without a pasta machine to roll out beautifully even sheets of pillowy, fresh pasta, there are mandu wrappers.

My first attempt at boiling mandu wrapper ravioli was delicious but awkward - like many well-intended acts attempted for the first time....*day dreaming*  I made the ravioli the same size as the fried ravioli, and they were just too big.  I don't mind taking a fork and cutting the ravioli, but to make ravioli a square shape wastes a lot of the mandu wrapper.

 When boiled, they seriously look like mandu.  If I had plunkered down and dunked them in soy sauce, I may have been able to close my eyes and imagine I was in 김밥천국 (Kim-bap Chun-gook).  Lucky for me, I slathered them in a punchy tomato sauce.

 To make the filling, I took some ground beef seasoned it with Italian herbs (oregano, thyme, marjoram, and basil) and some salt and pepper.  Then tossed it with some herbed ricotta salata.

To assemble the ravioli, you'll need the following:

a small bowl of water
package of egg roll/wonton/mandu wrappers (2,000 won each or $2 at local supermarket)
ravioli filling (spinach and cheese, seasoned beef, butternut squash, blend of cheeses, etc.)
sauce (pair with the filling - obviously a tomato sauce for beef and a cream sauce for butternut squash)
some fresh herbs to sprinkle on top (optional)

To start, thaw the mandu wrappers.  I throw them on my ondol (heated floor) to defrost for a few hours.  Don't submerge them in water.  The seals aren't waterproof and you'll end up with a soggy mass of dough glop.  Also, don't microwave them, the wrappers will meld together into a one doughy mass.  Also don't try to use them when they're not fully defrosted.  The first couple of wrappers may be fine but as you get closer to the frozen center, the wrappers will start to rip as you try to separate them.  Just have some foresight and defrost them slowly and gently for a few hours.

As you're working, it's important to keep the mandu wrappers covered and somewhat moist in order to prevent them from drying out.  I keep a few damp paper towels over them as I'm assembling the ravioli.

If you can get your hands on some square wrappers, that'd be ideal in terms of shaping.  If not, deal with the circular ones.

To start, slice the wrapper in half.  Then, brush the entire surface of the dough with water using either a pastry brush (1,000 won or $1 at Daiso) or your fingers (free).

Make two mini piles of filling onto one half-circle.  I guess it'd be about 1/2 - 1 teaspoon of filling.  A very small amount.

Then carefully airlift the other side of the severed wrapper onto the filling piles and press down along the edges and the center cleavage of the ravioli.  (Yeah, cleavage has other meanings than just boob crack.)

To do this without spilling and disturbing the little piles of filling and at the same time, creating a tight seal so the ravioli doesn't burst, you need to manipulate the dough a bit.  It's stretchy to some degree so anchor it down in the middle with one finger and use the other hand to press it down along the edges then use both hands to pinch and press down to create a seal.  As you're sealing, try to get as much of the air out as possible, and create a tight seal.  Burst ravioli are never as fun to eat as perfectly intact ravioli.

Cut the ravioli in half.

Repeat on all the remaining wrappers.  It makes enough for three fat/hungry people (i.e. me, Noel, and sister).

Bring a pot of salted, oiled water to a boil.  Throw them into the pot in manageable batches so they don't stick together or affect the water temperature too much.  Boil each batch for five minutes.  Keep the cooked ravioli under a towel so they stay warm while you cook the rest of the ravioli.

Throw some sauce on.  Grate on some parmesan or ricotta salata.  Sprinkle on some freshly ripped herbs.


  1. This is ridiculous!!! Such a great idea...i just bought mandu wraps last week without any specific plan for i know...think i'm more interested in the fried ravioli...been thinking about that lately! great stuff!

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