Lucky Money Bag Dumpling is an inspiration from the popular Chinese New Year food – money bag.
During Lunar New Year/Chinese New Year or any celebrations, we love to serve food that has special meaning as a way to send wishes to family or ourselves. Money bag or fortune bag (my mom likes to call it that way) is one of the dishes to make to wish exactly what the name says – fortune. The pouch-like shape looks like the money bag used in ancient times which symbolizes prosperity and luck.
There are a few versions of the money bag, one popular one is made from dumpling wrappers which are then steamed or fried. I chose the napa cabbage version for a lighter meal.
How to make Lucky Money Bag Dumpling
Step 1: Prepare the filling
The recipe is rather easy with a few chopping needed. As usual, it’s always a good idea to cut the pairing ingredients or vegetables into tinier bits so they bind well later.
I use celery and fresh water chestnuts for the crunch in the filling. I was super excited to have found some water chestnuts at the store. They were fresh and firm (probably due to the Lunar New Year season). I simply peeled off the skin and chopped them into tiny bite-sized pieces. The same goes for celery.
To keep things simple, I’m using Napa cabbage leaves (the green part only) as the wrapper and cilantro stem to tie them together.
To cook the cabbage and cilantro, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Then, add a drizzle of oil and season with salt. Quickly blanch the leaves until they turn darker, which takes about 30-45 seconds over boiling water. Carefully remove them and quickly soak them in an ice bath.
Repeat the same with cilantro stems. The stem should be bendable after blanching.
Drain out the water and gently squeeze the leaves to remove the moisture. It’s okay if you tear off some leaves, you can stack them together to make a wrapper later.
For the other filling, I’m using OmniPork Ground instead of mashed tofu which has a great bounciness that I love once cooked. Simply season with sauces before adding the chopped vegetables.
Step 2: Wrap into Lucky Money Bag Dumpling
Take a leaf and fold the outer layer to the middle in a circle to make a round wrapper. If you see any holes, try to cover them with the leaf.
Top with a spoonful of filling. Bring the sides up to cover the filling like a petal.
Set the dumpling down on a work surface to get a flat bottom. Tie the slender side with a cilantro stem to make a pouch. Top with finely chopped carrots.
Step 3: Steam and Serve
Place dumplings on a steamer safe plate (preferably with a tall side). Steam over high heat for 6-8 minutes.
As you are steaming, you’ll notice that the dumpling will start to release juice.
When ready, transfer the steamed dumplings to a new plate and reserve the juice to make the sauce.
Heat a non-stick skillet with a drizzle of oil. Sauté ginger until you get a thin crust on the side or aromatic. Add the juice and a little more water if you like it saucy.
Season with vegan oyster sauce and thicken with a thin cornstarch slurry. Spoon over the lucky money bag dumplings right before serving.
This lucky money bag dumpling
- is Easy to make
- makes a beautiful presentation for any gatherings
- is perfect for make-ahead meals
- easily customizable – feel free to use other vegetables such as carrot, bamboo shoot as the filling
If you try this recipe, I would love to hear your feedback and see your beautiful re-creation. Leave me a comment, rate it, and tag @woon.heng and #woonheng to your photos on Instagram or Facebook. Happy cooking, friends!
Lucky Money Bag Dumpling
- 20 Napa Cabbage leaves green part only
- 20 cilantro stems
- 2 packages of vegan ground pork used OmniPork Ground
- 1 celery stalk finely chopped
- 5 water chestnuts used fresh, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped carrot
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
- ½ tablespoon vegan oyster sauce plus more for sauce
- ⅛ teaspoon salt plus more for blanching
- a few slices of ginger plus more to taste
- a few shakes of white pepper
- sesame oil
- cooking oil
- thin cornstarch slurry mix 1-2 teaspoons of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water
- Empty 2 packages of OmniPork Ground into a large mixing bowl. Add the soy sauce, ½ tablespoons vegan oyster sauce, salt, pepper, and a few splashes of sesame oil. Using a pair of chopsticks, stir the mixture in one direction until incorporated. Fold in the celery and water chestnut, then set aside or refrigerate.
- Fill a bowl of water with ice and bring a pot of water to a boil.
- Add ½ teaspoon of salt and a drizzle of cooking oil. Blanch cabbage leaves for 45 seconds or so. Carefully transfer to the cold water bath. Blanch the cilantro stems for a minute or until you can bend the stem without breaking it. Remove and cool in the water bath.
- Drain out the water and gently squeeze each leaf to remove the extra liquid.
- Take a leaf and flap the side over to create a circle, covering any holes if you find some.
- Place a spoonful of filling in the middle, then bring the side to the middle to secure the mixture.
- Set the dumpling bottom on a work surface and use a cilantro stem to tie it around into a bag-like shape, then transfer to a plate (I had 8-9 per plate and steamed separately). Top the middle with chopped carrots.
- Steam for 6-8 minutes over high heat. Carefully transfer the dumpling to a new plate, reserve the juice to make the sauce.
- Heat a large non-stick pan with oil and sauté ginger until aromatic, add the dumpling juice along with 2 tablespoons of water, adding more if you like. Season with vegan oyster sauce (I used 1 teaspoon for the 8 dumplings juice above). Thicken the sauce with a thin cornstarch slurry. Repeat the same step for the rest of the dumplings. Then, spoon the sauce over the dumplings before serving. Serve immediately.
Can I use regular cabbage? The Napa cabbage where I live is weak sauce this time of year
I made this on the New Year, but I forgot to take a picture for you. We don’t have any ground pork product around here, so I used Trader Joe’s Vegan Ground Turkey. It was still delicious! I didn’t understand what the dumpling juice was, so I just winged it, and it was still delicious!
I love this! I want to serve this at great celebrations ❤
1. Is it okay to prepare a few hours ahead? (Maybe 2 hours?) To get it ready for steaming, put in fridge and do the steaming plus sauce just before serving? Or maybe not?
2. I cannot find vegan pork. What can I use instead? You mention tofu – what kind? Is soft tofu ok? Or will something else work? Can you recommend a recipe (maybe one of your own) where I could copy the filling?
Thank you so much for the allium free version. We have allium allergy (verified) in the family. Now everyone can enjoy this beautiful and tasty-looking food. ❤
Hello Jana, I’m glad you chose this recipe for celebrations. Thanks so much.
– Yes you can prepare this ahead of time, wrap them and let it set in the fridge. You’ll steam with the sauce just before serving. Please increase the steaming time if you are not thawing them to room temperature.
– You can use tofu, and I would use firm tofu. You can take a look at this recipe which is made from rice and tofu – https://woonheng.com/sticky-rice-cabbage-rolls/ If you only want to use tofu and other veggies, please make sure to remove as much liquid from the tofu as possible. Other veggies to add, carrot, peas, or other veggie stems, just make sure to chop them finely so they blend easily with the tofu.
I hope these help and good luck to you. Please let me know if you need anything else. Thanks, Woonheng