The Best Mandoo For You in Hawaii

Hawaii Mandoo
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Mandoo is a popular food in Hawaii that you’re sure to encounter on your vacation here. But what should you expect if you see these at markets or restaurants? Here’s our quick intro to Mondoo (and where to find the best in Hawaii). 

What is Mandoo

Mandoo are Korean dumplings that can be boiled, steamed, or fried. They’re called Mandu in Korea, but in Hawaii you’ll see them named mandoo

You may find small pieces as appetizers or larger servings as a meal.  They are traditionally filled with a stuffing of pork, beef, or chicken. Some filings combine meats with items such as cabbage, onion, or small clear noodles.

These tasty dumplings are a part of the plate lunches sold at Korean food places in Hawaii, much like an egg roll accompanies a meal of Chinese food. 

Types of Mandoo

Hawaii has lots of variations on the traditional mandoo. One is a large option that is round shaped –  more like a manapua (round bun with filling). It is called a “wang” or “king” mandoo.

I like the fried ones because the crispy dough tastes good with the meat filling. The taste combination reminds me of Mexican fried taquitos, although the seasoning is very different. If you’re not a fan of fried food, the boiled or steamed versions are also tasty, more like dumplings.

The mandoo I buy at the University of Hawaii campus come in a in a pre-packed container with a red sauce and hot pepper flakes. However, I often see them sold with soy sauce. 

Where to Find the Best Mandoo in Hawaii

One of the best places to buy mandoo in Hawaii is the Omega Mandoo House. It’s on Nu’uanu Avenue in Honolulu, and they’ve got great options – even a Kim Chee ones.

But if your Hawaii travels won’t bring you to Honolulu, you can find great Mandoo at many Korean restaurants. In Grocery stores, look for them in the hot grab-and-go shelf.

A Bite of Fresh Dumplings

Mandoo is just one of the many foods brought to Hawaii by immigrants and promptly mixed into local cuisine. Be sure to try it if you get the chance. There is no reason to play it safe on a Hawaii vacation by eating the exact same food you do back home. It is probably more expensive here and won’t be as tasty as local favorites.