Ring in the Lunar New Year with these Money Bag Dumplings for Abundance and Good Fortune
These steamed golden dumplings are a Lunar New Year specialty.
A family of food bloggers see the Lunar New Year as a time to reflect on the deeper meaning of their meals.
Sarah Leung, who started Woks of Life as a culinary genealogy with her sister Kaitlin in 2013, helped “Good Morning America” kick off the Year of the Tiger with a taste of their traditions and recipes.
“Lunar New Year foods are filled with symbolism and each dish represents a wish or hope for the year ahead,” she explained of the holiday which begins February 1 with celebrations that span on the first 15 days of the first month. “Dumplings, for example, symbolize wealth and prosperity as they look like Chinese silver or gold ingots.”
Leung shared a full recipe below for their “money bag dumplings,” which she says take the holiday cooking tradition one step further.
“They look like little golden pouches and the shiny vegetables in the filling look like jewels peeking through the thin, slightly translucent wrappers,” she said. “We always cook dumplings for Lunar New Year and usually serve them for breakfast or lunch while we prepare the evening feast.”
Although the ravioli only take 15 minutes to steam, read the recipe ahead of time to make sure you allow plenty of time to prep the ingredients and soak the mushrooms before assembling and cooking.
Steamed Money Bag Dumplings
Preparation time: 2h
Cooking time 15 minutes
Makes: 16 meatballs, 4 meatballs per serving
2 ounces dried shiitake mushrooms (soaked overnight or in hot water for at least 2 hours until rehydrated; save soaking water)
2 teaspoons ginger (chopped)
1/2 cup carrots (finely diced)
1 cup bamboo shoots (finely diced)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons of Shaoxing wine
4 teaspoons light soy sauce
2 teaspoons vegetarian oyster sauce (or regular oyster sauce, if the dish doesn’t have to be vegetarian)
2 tbsp green onions (mostly green parts, finely chopped)
16 stalks cilantro (each about 5 inches/13 cm long; substitutions include spring onions, chives, and garlic chives)
16 wrappers of Hong Kong-style yellow dumplings (substitutions: tofu skin, soaked tofu leaves, blanched yellow napa cabbage leaves)
Take your rehydrated shiitake mushrooms, squeeze out the excess water and cut off the tough stems. Finely chop and set aside. Also prepare chopped ginger, carrots and bamboo shoots.
Heat your wok over medium-low heat and add the oil. Cook the ginger and carrots for about 1 minute. Add mushrooms and bamboo shoots, increase heat to medium and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
Add Shaoxing wine, light soy sauce and vegetarian oyster sauce. Stir to combine and cook the mixture until the mushrooms are tender and there is no standing liquid. Stir in green onions, remove from wok and let cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the ties for your money bags. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and prepare a medium bowl of cold/ice water. Blanch the cilantro stalks for 5-10 seconds and immediately shock them in cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain them and squeeze them gently, taking care to keep the stems intact.
Open the bundle of dumpling wrappers and cover them with a damp towel to make sure they don’t dry out. Roll out each dough so that it measures about 10 cm (4 inches) in diameter. Add a tablespoon of filling in the middle, making sure there is enough slack to attach the money bags.
Gently close the wrapper over the filling, pinching the wrapper but leaving the top of the bag fanning out. Use one of the cilantro “strings” to tie it.
Repeat until all the filling is used. You are now ready to steam. A bamboo steamer works best here, as it allows steam to escape and won’t cause excessive condensation to make your moneybag dumplings soggy (which can happen with glass steamer lids or made of metal.)
Line the bamboo steamer with parchment, cabbage leaves or cheesecloth to prevent them from sticking. Arrange the meatballs in the steamer, about 1 inch apart.
Place the steamer in a clean wok filled with boiling water (read our article on using a bamboo steamer) and steam for 3 minutes. You can also pan fry them, following the same process we use for our Japanese gyoza.
If using tofu sheets, tofu skins, or Napa cabbage as wrappers, increase the steaming time to about 15 minutes.