I'm talkin' 'bout this:
The Korean word hwadeok means "oven," so hwadeok mandu are essentially oven-baked dumplings, in which the oven, bizarrely enough, is a tandoor, and the dumplings are cooked naan-style, stuck to the inner walls of the tandoor. I saw a hwadeok manu-jip this past Chuseok, when I was in Incheon's Chinatown with my buddy Tom, Tom's wife, and Tom's buddy Angelo. We ended up eating lunch at a Chinese restaurant that served typically Korean-style Chinese fare, which was a bit disappointing, but I vowed that I'd go back to Chinatown to try out those hwadeok mandu, which looked amazing.
These luscious, meat-filled dumplings look as though they have more in common with a Cornish pasty than they do with their smaller East Asian cousins, i.e., standard Korean mandu, Japanese gyoza, or Chinese mantou/jiaozi. The restaurant that I saw in Chinatown sells these babies for W2,000 per single mandu; each mandu is huge. Since I had paid about W8,000 for my rather bland lunch of white jjajang-myeon last time, I know I can spend W8,000 on four big, fat oven dumplings and enjoy an even more rib-sticking meal.
So that's the plan for Friday: head out to Incheon's Chinatown in the morning, eat an enormous mandu lunch, then head back to the Dongguk office to do a good bit of paper-grading. No one's keeping me from my fulfilling my culinary destiny.