Chinese money bag dumplings (sometimes called beggar’s purses) are as delicious as they are cute. Little bites of juicy deliciousness, these dumplings are traditional Lunar New Year food typically enjoyed throughout the Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) as a way to represent and bring good luck and fortune in the coming year. The purses (wrappers) are usually yellow to represent bags of gold and can be filled with just about any kind of dumpling filling you enjoy.
Pork and Chive Money Bag Dumplings
For this recipe, I’ve used fatty house-ground pork, chives, sautéed Nappa cabbage, and carrots (for a little added natural sweetness), plus a mix of ginger-infused Shaoxing wine, soy, sesame, and white pepper. Since it’s not currently Chinese New Year, I’m using store-bought wonton wrappers instead of making them from scratch because I had a pack in the freezer I needed to use up. Sometimes convenience is everything. However, if you want to make these dumplings 100% from scratch, check out our 2-ingredient dumpling dough, or homemade wonton wrappers which are a nice shade of yellow — they’re both really easy to make, but take just a bit more time.
For anyone who may be new to making dumplings or for kiddos helping out in the kitchen, we’ve included step-by-step recipe photos at the end of the post.
How to Make Better Pork Dumplings at Home– Tips + Techniques
Money Bag dumplings and wontons can be filled with a mixture of seafood, meat, or veggies (or all of the above) and they can be vegetarian, or even vegan depending on your preferences. There’s no right or wrong filling, but there are a few techniques and tips that are key to getting a tender, flavorful, juicy filling when working with meats like pork or chicken. When making dumplings at home, homemade wrappers reign supreme because they’re delicious and you can make the dumplings as thick or thin, or as large as you like and are a must if you want to make xiaolongbao (Shanghai soup dumplings). But your family isn’t going to mind if you use storebought wrappers instead.
When seasoning dumpling fillings, balance is key. And it helps to have a well-stocked Chinese pantry, but having even just a few basic ingredients will render delicious dumplings with a helpful few hints. Below are some of our favorite tips and techniques I’ve learned from some very talented Chinese chefs, friends, and family while living in Chengdu and they’ll definitely help elevate your dumpling-making skills.
- When making pork dumplings, grind or chop your own fatty cuts of meat (like pork belly and pork shoulder) using a cleaver, food processor, or food grinder for better-tasting fillings. If this isn’t an option for you, buy (at the very least) an 80:20 ratio of pre-ground fatty ground pork. A 75:25 ratio is even better. The fattier the pork the more flavor and juiciness the filling will have. If you have to use lean cuts, add additional fat to the filling (like pork fat, vegetable oil, or even olive oil (for plant-based dumplings).
- Thoroughly beat the liquid seasonings/sauces into the meat mixture in one direction only (clockwise or counterclockwise) using chopsticks or a fork until it’s bouncy, fluffy, and looks visibly lighter and almost paste-like (this is a process called Daxian (打馅) which means “beat the filling”. Don’t simply mix it all together and call it a day. This process of mixing the pork until it reaches the right consistency works the proteins in the meat and helps give dumpling fillings a springy pleasant “bite”. If you’re doing this by hand it usually takes about 8 to 10 minutes to reach the right consistency, but if you’re mixing it with the paddle attachment in a stand mixer, it takes about 5 minutes.
- Add enough liquid to your dumpling filling to help make it moist and juicy. Dumpling filling should never be wet with visible liquid in the bowl because excess moisture causes wrappers to tear open. However, the filling should have enough absorbed liquid whipped into it that when cooked, they have a nice light, juicy “bite” to them a. You can use chicken stock, vegetable stock, water, or ginger-infused water if the total amount of your liquid seasonings (i.e. oyster sauce, Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, etc.) isn’t sufficient.
- If you don’t want to bite down on ginger when eating dumplings, do what my Sichuanese friends do and first infuse the seasoning liquid with julienned (or sliced) ginger for 20 minutes or more then remove the ginger pieces before combining the rest of the dumpling seasoning ingredients. I’m not sure why this method had never occurred to me before, but it’s a brilliant tip. I’m not a huge fan of eating discernable bits of ginger in my dumplings, nor do I want them to be overly flavored like ginger. So for me, this is the best way to add perfectly balanced ginger flavor to dumpling fillings. Also, it’s easier than grating ginger on a Microplane.
- Add any vegetables like cabbage, carrots, scallions, etc. to the seasoned dumpling filling as the last step just before filling the dumplings (and after the seasoned pork mixture has marinated for some time to allow the flavors to meld together). It’s important to allow the seasoned pork mixture to rest in the fridge for a while which will give it the best flavor. However, when the dumpling filling consists of additional vegetables (which often contain moisture), it’s best to add these components just before filling and cooking (or freezing) the dumplings so you never have to worry about excessive moisture leaking out and potentially softening or tearing the wrapper.
- Cook or freeze dumplings right away to avoid having the wrappers tear. Leaving filled dumplings out for too long before cooking or freezing them runs the risk of having them dry out and splitting or having the wrappers get too soft and tearing open. I like to prepare 3 small parchment-lined trays with a bit of cornstarch sprinkled over them and as I fill up the first tray, I pop it into the freezer and work on filling up the second tray. Usually, by the time I’ve finished the 2nd tray of dumplings, the first batch is almost semi-frozen enough to plop them into a freezer bag without them sticking together or losing their shape. Don’t do this too early though — if they need a bit more time to firm up, keep them on the tray until they’re good and frozen so your hard work doesn’t go to waste.
- Always cook a small amount of dumpling filling to taste it and adjust the seasonings before assembling all of the dumplings. Testing the dumpling filling by frying a small amount in a skillet means you always know exactly what the filling will taste like and it’s your last chance to adjust the seasonings.
How to Assemble Money Bag Dumplings and Wontons (Beggar’s Purses)
Whether you’re making your own dumpling or wonton wrappers from scratch or using storebought, making Money Bag or Beggar’s Purse dumplings and wontons is very easy. For 100% authentic money bag dumplings, you’ll need to use yellow dumpling wrappers like Hong Kong wrappers, yellow tofu sheets. Dumplings are filled, sealed, and tied at the tops using blanched chives, scallions, or cilantro stems. Below are the basic steps in how to assemble money bag wontons or dumplings. If using storebought round dumpling wrappers, roll each one out using a rolling pin until it’s just slightly larger which will give you a slightly thinner wrapper and more of a “top’ to your money bags.
- Place a round dumpling wrapper (or square wonton) in the palm of your hand and add about 2 teaspoons (10g) of filling to the center.
- Using your finger, brush two opposite sides of the wonton square with an egg wash or cornstarch slurry and close the wrapper at the top, and bring up all sides to the center, while simultaneously squeezing out any air around the filling to create the “money bag” or “purse”. Give it a pinch to close it in the middle.
- Tie the money bags/purses with chives, sliced scallions (green parts), or cilantro stems that have been blanched and excess water removed, and tie a knot to seal.
Pork & Chive Money Bag Dumpling Ingredients
For this dumpling filling, I ground the meat myself using fairly fatty pork shoulder steaks that I popped into the freezer for a few minutes until they were semi-frozen (making it easier to grind). However, you can buy fatty pre-ground pork to make these dumplings even easier to prepare.
FOR THE FILLING
- 1 pound of pre-ground fatty pork (OR 1 pound fatty pork shoulder meat) (450g)
- 1/2 pound (about 2 1/2 cups) napa cabbage, shredded and finely chopped (225g)
- 1/2 pound (about 2 1/2 cups) carrots, julienned (or grated) (225g)
- 7 tablespoons (2 1/2 ounces) chives (or scallions, green parts only) finely minced (25g)*
- 6 to 7 slices fresh ginger (1/2 ounce), (10g)
- 2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine (30g)**
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce (30g) (or sub regular soy)
- 2 tablespoons chicken or vegetable stock (or ginger-infused water) (30g)***
- 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil (2g)
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper (0.5g)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste (2g)
FOR ASSEMBLING THE DUMPLINGS
- 1 egg, whisked (OR 1 tablespoon cornstarch (7.5g) plus 1/2 cup of water (118g) (cornstarch slurry to seal dumplings)
- 1 package of wonton or dumpling wrappers (50 to 60ct) (300 to 400g)
- 4 scallions (green parts only), longe chives, or cilantro stems (for tying the money bags)
EASY DUMPLING DIPPING SAUCE
- 2 tablespoons regular soy sauce (30g)
- 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar, or more to taste (5g)
- 1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil, or more to taste (1g)
- 1 tablespoon warm water (15g)
- 1 teaspoon sugar (5g)
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds (3g)
- chili oil or sambal to taste (optional)
*If using scallions (which often have a more pungent flavor as compared to chives, you may want to reduce the amount by half or according to your taste.
**If you use high-quality unsalted Shaoxing wine, you may need to increase the amount of salt you add. If you can’t find Shaoxing wine, use dry sherry in a 1:1 ratio. If you’re thinking about using mirin, it’s acceptable if that’s all you’ve got (but it really has a totally different flavor than Shaoxing wine and it’s also a bit sweet).
***If using water instead of chicken stock or vegetable stock in the filling, add a few slices of ginger to the water and allow it to infuse for at least 20 minutes before using. When you test fry a little dumpling filling to check for seasonings, you may find that you need to add just a bit more salt to the mixture, or a dash of soy sauce.
How to Make Pork & Chive Money Bag Dumplings (Beggar’s Purse Dumplings)
Dumplings of any kind are easy to make at home and if you have a larger family, prepping an assembly line makes it go even faster. But if it’s just you, a bowl of filling, and a stack of wrappers, don’t worry because once you start assembling, the process moves quickly. For this pork dumpling filling, I sauté the carrots and cabbage for two reasons — to remove any excess moisture and to condense the flavors and bring out their natural sweetness (which tastes great in dumplings).
- Steep the ginger in the pork filling seasoning. Add the Shaoxing wine, light soy sauce, and ginger to a small bowl and allow the mixture to infuse for 30 minutes or up to an hour while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- Grind the pork (or use pre-ground pork). Place the pork into the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes to firm up and make it easier to slice and move through the grinder but do not let it freeze solid. Cut the pork shoulder into 2-inch cubes. Attach the KitchenAid food grinder attachment with the larger die, and start adding the meat and grinding. You may choose to grind the meat a second time, but I typically just give it all a quick chop with a knife on the cutting board to make sure all the pieces are nice and small.
- Sauté the cabbage and carrots. Add 1 teaspoon (5 g) of extra virgin olive oil to a skillet set over medium heat, add the chopped cabbage and carrots, a pinch of salt, and cook until the vegetables are tender and no moisture remains in the pan (about 20 minutes). Remove the mixture to a bowl to cool completely.
- Blanch the money bag “ties”. Bring a small pot of water to boil and add chives or sliced scallions or cilantro stems and blanch them for about 45 seconds. Remove them to a bowl of ice water to chill and stop them from cooking. When cooled through, squeeze out all of the water from the stems and place on a kitchen towel or paper towel until ready to use.
- Make + chill the pork filling. Remove the ginger from the pork filling seasoning and add the white pepper and toasted sesame oil and stir to combine. Add the ground pork and salt to a large mixing bowl with the pork filling seasoning and 2 tablespoons of chicken stock (or ginger-infused water or vegetable stock). Stir the mixture in one direction (clockwise) with chopsticks, or a fork until it becomes visibly “fluffy” and all of the ingredients are well combined and almost paste-like (about 8 to 10 minutes). At this point, the meat should have absorbed all of the liquid. Cover and place the mixture into the fridge to chill and allow the flavors to blossom for at least 15 minutes (or up to an hour).
- Make the dumpling dipping sauce. Combine 1 teaspoon of sugar with warm water to dissolve. Add all other ingredients, adjust seasonings if necessary and set aside.
- Test the flavor of the pork filling. Pan fry a small amount of filling in a lightly oiled skillet to make sure the seasonings are just right. Adjust the salt and any seasonings as needed. Once the filling tastes just right, add the chives, sautéed cabbage, and carrots and stir well to combine.
- Assemble the dumplings. Add about 2 teaspoons (10g) of pork filling to the center of each wrapper. Using your finger, brush two opposite sides of the wonton square with an egg wash or cornstarch slurry, close the wrapper at the top, and bring up all sides to the center, while simultaneously squeezing out any air around the filling to create the “money bag” or “purse”. Give it a pinch to close it in the middle. Tie the money bags with blanched chives, sliced scallions, or cilantro stems, and place the filled dumplings/wontons on a parchment-lined tray sprinkled with a little corn starch without touching each other.
- Steam the money bag dumplings. Add a couple of inches of water to a large sauté pan or wok and bring to a boil. Line a bamboo steamer with whole cabbage leaves or parchment paper and add the dumplings and make sure they don’t touch one another. Once the water is boiling, add the steamer basket on top and cover with the lid to steam the dumplings until cooked through (about 8 minutes for fresh dumplings and 10 minutes for frozen dumplings). Be sure not to add too much water to ensure the dumplings are never in contact with any water as they steam. On the other hand, if you didn’t add enough water, just add a little more hot or boiling water to the pan as needed but be very careful because the steam can burn you. Remove the dumplings to a serving platter and serve with the dipping sauce, Enjoy!
Pork & Chive Money Bag Dumplings (Beggar’s Purse Dumplings)recipe step-by-step photos
Looking for a Few More Dim Sum or Asian-Inspired Dishes?
If you love the flavors typically found in Asian, or Chinese cuisine, or looking for new inspired dishes to celebrate the Lunar New Year, here are a few of our favorites to get you started.
- Lucky Lunar New Year Fried Cherry Pie “Wontons”
- Homemade Chinese Soup Dumplings Xiaolongbao (小笼包) (100% From Scratch)
- Easy Egg Drop Soup with Crispy Fried Wonton Strips (Danhuatang 蛋花湯)
- Thin + Chewy Homemade Chinese Wonton Wrappers
- Easy Homemade 2-Ingredient Chinese Dumpling Dough
- Takeout Style Pork and Green Bean Stir-Fry w/Glass Noodles
- Easy Pork and Chive Potstickers w/Sautéed Napa Cabbage & Carrots (Jiaozi)
- Chinese Takeout Chicken & Vegetable Stir-Fry w/Glass Noodles (a Family Favorite)
- 20-Minute Singapore Mei Fun Noodles (Shrimp Mei Fun)
- Best Ever Chicken Dumplings Recipe (Plump & Juicy Jiaozi)
- Easy and Delicious Pork Potsticker Recipe (Cantonese Style Jiaozi)
- Easy Shrimp and Vegetable Stir Fry (w/Cantonese Style White Sauce)
- Crispy Pork and Chive Spring Rolls w/Glass Noodles & Vegetables (Sautéed Napa Cabbage, Carrots)
- Hoisin Garlic-Ginger Oven-Braised Pork Ribs
- Steamed Pork & Chive Money Bag Dumplings (Beggar’s Purse Dumplings)
- Easy Chashu Pork チャーシュー(Marinated Braised Pork Belly Recipe For Ramen )
Let’s get started!Print