Crispy Chinese Money Bag Fritters: One of my childhood favourites, the distinctive money bag shape of these juicy golden meat dumpling fritters is deeply nostalgic of an era long past when Chinese people used to keep their money in little pouches like these!
Remove the skin from the ginger and slice it thinly
Wash the wooden fungus thoroughly to remove the sand in between the grooves and cut into small squares.
In a big bowl add in the pork, wooden fungus, water chestnut, prawns and spring onion and mix well.
Crack an egg into the mixture, then mix well until incorporated.
Leave the meat mixture in the fridge for 1/2 hour.
Cut the chives into thin strips for tying the money bags.
To soften the chives for tying, blanch them in boiling water for a few seconds, then remove the chives and plunge them into a bowl of ice water. Lay on a piece of kitchen towel and pat dry.
Cut the Japanese cucumber into 1-inch slices.
METHOD FOR WRAPPING MONEY BAG (15 min)
Place 1 tsp of meat mixture at the centre of the wonton skin.
Gather the edges of the wonton skin together and seal it with your fingers, while gently squeezing out any trapped air bubbles.
Use a strip of chives to tie up the money bag (more for presentation purposes!)
COOKING METHOD FOR CHINESE FRIED MONEY BAG (20 min)
Heat up the oil in the wok over medium high heat.
Once the oil is hot, add in the money bags in small batches (3-4 at a time), ensuring that they are standing upright with the filled portion submerged in oil.
After 1 minute, or once the wonton skins starts to brown, turn down the fire to medium low. Then continue to fry for another 1 minute.
For the last 1/2 minute, turn the money bag so that the top of the money bag is in the oil so it can also brown evenly.
Remove the fried money bags from the heat and place on a plate lined with kitchen towel to soak up the excess oil.
Repeat the process until all the money bags are cooked.
Insert a skewer through each money bag using a slice of cucumber at the bottom to allow it to stand upright. Arrange on dish and serve with chilli sauce and mayonnaise.
Be sure to press out the air pockets before sealing the money bag, otherwise the air pockets will expand during cooking and cause the money bag to burst open.
The cooking time for the money bag depends on how much stuffing is added to each wonton.
It is important to submerge the money bag in oil in an upright position, because the meat portion takes a longer time to cook. If the money bag is not upright, the top of the money bag will tend to get burnt before the meat filling is cooked through.
Once the money bag starts to brown, it is important to turn down the heat to allow the meat stuffing to cook through while ensuring the wonton skin does not get burnt. Similarly, do not add too much meat filling - 1 tsp is just right. Otherwise you will end up with partially cooked meat stuffing and/or burnt wonton skin!