Money Bag Wontons

These fried dumplings, resembling golden money bags or dim sum purses, symbolise wealth and prosperity during Chinese New Year. They are so pretty and delicious though, that I make them all year round.

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The main recipe is largely based on my trusty crispy fried wontons recipe which I have been making since my school days. Since Thai cooking has a version of these money bag wontons as well, I tweaked the seasoning to include fish sauce. I think this is the most flavourful wontons I have made to date. You can also boil them for wonton soup or add them to steamboat (hot pot) instead (you don’t need to tie up the wonton with a “string” for soup). In fact, I just made a batch which is now in the freezer, ready for hot pot next week.

How to fold money bags wontons

The most time-consuming part of making this dish is the wrapping, so you can enlist the help of your family for some special bonding time. Before you check out the recipe on the next page, here’s a step-by-step pictorial guide for folding the wonton. There are actually many methods for making them and the method I used below can do with or without tying with a string – I made them so that I can keep some for steamboat during Chinese New Year the following week. Another method not shown below is to fold up the 4 corners of a square wonton wrapper and pinch together to close the filling. This method require the use of a string.

Step-by-Step Photos (How to wrap money bags)

Pandan (screw pine leaves) for folding wontons
This is optional, but the money bags do look better when tied up. My favourite vegetable seller at the wet market taught me to use pandan leaves. Soak them in hot water until softened, wipe dry with paper towels, and cut them to thin lines. You can also use garlic chives depending on which is more accessible in your area. Note: Tested with spring onions which didn’t work (too soft and break when trying to tie).

How to fold money bags wontons
Place a tsp of filling in the center of a square wonton wrapper and dampen the edges with water as shown.

How to fold money bags wontons
Fold in halfway to fold a triangle.

How to fold money bags wontons
Pleat the edges towards the centre.

How to fold money bags wontons
Tie the wonton with a piece of pandan string.

How to fold money bags wontons
Trim off the excess string with scissors.

How to fold money bags wontons
This is what the wonton made from square wonton wrapper looks like. P.S. They retain their shape without tying too.

How to fold money bags wontons
The same can be done for circle wonton wrappers. Place a tsp of filling in the center and fold halfway to fold a half-crescent. After this, plead the edges towards the centre.

How to fold money bags wontons
Secure with pandan strings. These are money bag dumplings made with circle wonton wrappers. Without tying, they don’t retain their shape as well as the ones made from square wrappers.

Money Bag Wontons Recipe

Money Bags Wontons

Instead of deep-fried, these wontons can also be steamed or boiled for soup. You don’t need to tie them with pandan string if doing so.


  • vegetable oil for deep frying
  • 200 grams wonton wrappers
  • water for sealing the wonton

(A) Meat filling

  • 150 grams minced pork (chicken)
  • 5 water chestnuts peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 8 medium prawns (about 100 grams when peeled) coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped spring onions
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1-2 pandan leaves scald with hot water to soften, wipe dry with paper towel and cut to thin (2-3 mm width) strings

(B) Seasonings

  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp chicken or ikan bilis seasoning powder
  • a few dashes white pepper powder to taste
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp corn flour (starch)


  1. In a large bowl, combine meat filling (A) and seasonings (B). Mix well and marinade for a few hours or overnight in the fridge.
  2. Place a piece of wonton wrapper on the work surface. Add a tsp of filling in the center of the wrapper and wet the edges with water. Fold down halfway diagonally to form a triangle (if using square wrappers) or a half-crescent (if using round wrappers). Press gently on the edges to seal the wonton. Pleat the edges towards the centre. Twist the top to form a nice pouch. If you like, secure each wonton by tying with a pandan “string”, and trim off the excess pandan with scissors.
  3. Heat oil in wok until 180°C (356°F), then deep fry the wontons, in batches, for about 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown. Drain wontons on kitchen towels/tempura papers before serving.

Noob Cook Tip

  1. Run leftover oil from deep frying the wontons through a sieve and store the filtered oil in an air tight container for re-use. You can re-use the oil a couple of times. If the oil becomes too black or when it smokes too soon, it shows that the oil has spoiled and should be discarded.
  2. Freeze extras (not touching one another) in a sealed container or ziplock bag. For soup, defrost overnight in the fridge. For deep-frying, deep fry them straight from the freezer.
  3. While wrapping the dumplings, cover the dumpling skins in a clean and moist kitchen towel to avoid them from drying out.