The Secret Korean Foodie Life > Hongdae

[Hongdae] The Secret Korean Foodie Life #78 - Mapo Mandoo (마포만두)

The recent “Mandoo (Korean Dumplings)” trend in Korea is “Galbi Mandoo,” which obviously is a “Mandoo” that has “Galbi (grilled marinated pork or beef)” inside it. Now just about any street food franchise or Kimbap franchise sells these “Galbi Mandoos” but the start was all from here at “Mapo Mandoo.” “Galbi Mandoo” existed from a long time ago, but two TV starring got it’s popularity up in the sky now that even ready-to-eat frozen “Galbi Mandoo” can be found at E-Mart and Lottemart. The first starring was with Korean rap star Defconn, who ate up three pans of these “Galbi Mandoos” alone and next was the Korean actor “Song Il-guk” and his four year old triplets, who ate up eight pans of these “Galbi Mandoos…” and then everyone started screaming for “Galbi Mandoos…”

I was so curious after watching the two TV shows I tried it near where I stayed while I visited Korea when I lived in Hong Kong and the two of easily cleared three pans before we had to go eat something else… and now we are on the road to find the “Original” “Galbi Mandoo.”

Despite being the “Original” place for “Galbi Mandoo,” “Mapo Mandoo” doesn’t look very fancy and they don’t even have any signage saying that they are the “Original” like at the “Jok-bal Street.” It just stood there quietly where the only evidence of “Galbi Mandoo” was 50 or so pans of “Galbi Mandoos” being steamed over the window. As you enter, it is quite a humble place that looks like a street food store in any neighborhood, but some posters on the wall show this was the very first place for the “Galbi Mandoos.”

Now the question you are interested in… how was the taste? It definitely was no doubt tasty! We probably could have emptied three or four pans easily if we didn’t have to eat something else later during our foodie trip. The “Galbi” fillings were perfectly seasoned and also held a char-grilled scent, which they say that all the “Galbi” inside their “Galbi Mandoo” is actually char-grilled by hand. So it must be tasty… and it indeed is…

But although the “Galbi Mandoos” are really tasty, it was quite hard to distinguish them from the one I had at my local Kimbap franchise, which was equally tasty. So if you really must have these “Galbi Mandoos” at the “Original” place this is your place for sure, which you won’t regret, but if you are willing to take the “imitation” then any local “Kim Sun-Seng (a Korean Kimbap franchise)” would do the job.


5, Yanghwaro 7-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul
서울 마포구 양화로 7일 5​

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