Vegetarian Steamed Money Bags
Mains & Sides

Vegetarian Steamed Money Bags


7 February 2018


Ring in the Lunar New Year with prosperity and good health together with your family and loved ones and what better way to express it than with a dish that is symbolic of good fortune – Vegetarian Steamed Money Bags.

These steamed dumplings resemble a money bag that contains rich and refreshing ingredients that would delight every palate. You could serve these Vegetarian Steamed Money Bags on its own with a dipping sauce or in a deliciously hot vegetarian broth.

Impress everyone with this delicately beautiful dish whilst making them forget that it is meatless. A very easy dish to make, these steamed dumplings carry a good balance of freshness from the vegetables, the meatiness of mushrooms, the aroma of the herbs with a hint of umami. Also not to forget the gift of youth and a vegetarian’s source of plant-based collagen… the black fungus.

Simple ingredients, loads of nutrients, heaps of color, bursting with flavor… And that’s befitting of an amazing new year ahead.

GONG XI FA CAI, everyone!


Makes 15


  • 3 dried shiitake mushrooms (soaked and finely diced)
  • 1 small piece black fungus (soaked and thinly shredded)
  • 3 fresh shiitake mushroom (thinly sliced)
  • 2 tbsp carrot, approx...
  • ½ carrot (peeled and finely diced)
  • 1 slab hard tofu (pressed to extract moisture, cut into small cubes)
  • 2 water chestnuts (skinned and finely diced) *seasonal
  • 2 shallots (finely chopped)
  • 1 small knob ginger (peeled and grated)
  • 1 clove garlic (finely chopped)
  • 3 tbsp scallions (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil a pinch of salt and white pepper
  • 15 pieces large dumpling wrappers
  • 15 chives or Ku Chai (lightly blanched in slightly salted water and oil)
  • 1 small knob ginger (peeled, thinly shredded, some for garnish and remaining for dipping sauce)
  • 10 coriander leaves (for garnish)


  1. Soak the dried shiitake mushrooms in hot water for 15 minutes or until softened. Drain the water, discard the stem then finely dice the mushrooms.
  1. Soak the black fungus separately in hot water for 15 minutes. Drain the water and thinly slice the black fungus.
  2. Put some canola oil over medium heat in a pan then stir-fry garlic, shallots, and ginger until softened. Stir in shiitake mushrooms, black fungus, carrot, hard tofu, soy sauce, sesame oil and season to taste. Then add chopped scallions and cook in the residual heat. Scoop mixture into a bowl, mix in diced water chestnuts and combine.
  3. Spoon a teaspoon of the mixture onto a dumpling wrapper. With your finger, lightly moisten an outer ring (avoiding the edges) on the wrapper around the mixture. Gather the wrapper in folds up to form a pouch then firmly press together. Using a stand of chives, wrap twice around the pouch and tie into a knot to secure it. Continue with remaining pouches.
  4. In your preheated steamer, place a cheese cloth (or greaseproof paper or lettuce leaves) as a base on the steamer tray. Then carefully place the money bags onto the steamer tray without them touching (or they will stick). Steam for approximately 20 minutes.



  • 5 tbsp black vinegar
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Chinese rice wine (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 pinch salt
  • 2 pinch of sugarDirections


  1. Mix all ingredients together.



  • 1.5 litres water
  • 1 medium-sized piece Kombu seaweed
  • 5 dried shiitake mushrooms1 small white radish (peeled and thickly sliced)
  • 3 scallions (roughly sliced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (smashed, whole)
  • ½ head of Chinese cabbage (roughly chopped)
  • 1 small onion (roughly chopped)
  • 1 small knob ginger (peeled and thickly sliced)
  • 1 ½ tbsp soy sauce
  • Pinch of salt and white pepper


  1. Place all ingredients into a heavy pot and bring to boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer for about 45-60 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve to remove roughage, and set broth aside.


Make your dipping sauce by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl. Mix well and add in shredded ginger.

To serve, carefully place a Vegetarian Steamed Money Bag on a Chinese soup spoon. Drizzle some dipping sauce over the steamed money bag then garnish with some thinly shredded ginger and a coriander leaf. Repeat for all.


Carefully place 3 (for luck!) Vegetarian Steamed Money Bags in a shallow bowl. Spoon the hot vegetarian broth to slightly cover the steamed money bags, drizzle some sesame oil, then garnish with thinly shredded ginger and coriander leaves.