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Thai Pork & Prawn ‘Money Bags’

Money bags are a traditional food used to celebrate Chinese New Year. These little fried parcels of pork and prawn are great finger food for a party at any time of year, served with a sweet and sour dipping sauce that you can make ahead and keep in the fridge for up to two weeks.


Thai Pork & Prawn ‘Money Bags’

20 minutes
15 minutes
Makes 20

16 stalks of spring onion/scallions (green part only)

300g (10.6 oz) pork mince

150g (5 oz) prawn meat, roughly chopped

100g (3.5 oz) diced water chestnuts

¼ tsp ground white pepper

2 tsp light soy sauce

1 tsp sea salt

20 spring roll wrappers (11 x 11cm/4 x 4 inches)

vegetable oil for deep frying


Dipping sauce:

1/3 cup white vinegar

½ cup white sugar

2 tbsp fish sauce

1 long red chilli, finely sliced

  • Step 1

    For the dipping sauce, combine vinegar, sugar and fish sauce in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until sugar dissolves. Allow to cool and stir through chillies.

  • Step 2

    Prepare spring onions by pouring boiling water over them and soaking for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

  • Step 3

    In a large bowl, combine the pork mince, prawns, water chestnuts, white pepper, soy sauce and sea salt. Mix vigorously until a smooth paste forms.

  • Step 4

    Spoon a heaped teaspoon of mixture into the centre of a spring roll wrapper. Pull edges together to form a purse. Use a spring onion stem to tie and secure the purse. Trim excess spring onion ends.

  • Step 5

    Heat enough oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat to deep fry (about a depth of 10cm). When the oil is hot enough (it’s hot enough when a wooden spoon dipped into the oil causes little bubbles to form), cook money bags for 3-4 minutes or until golden and just cooked through. Drain on kitchen paper.

  • Step 6

    Serve warm with dipping sauce.

What is in a Thai money bag?

Thai money bags are traditionally filled with a mixture of pork and prawns. They also normally contain water chestnuts for an additional crunch factor! These deep fried morsels of goodness make the ultimate appetiser or snack to take along to your next gathering!

Why are they called money bags?

Thai money bags are aptly named due to their resemblance to an old style purse. Normally eaten during the Chinese new year celebrations, they are shaped to resemble ancient coin purses – bringing wealth and prosperity in the new year!

Where do money bags originate?

Money bags originally hailed from China, during the Chinese new year celebrations. However they are now commonly found throughout Asia, making numerous appearances within Thai cuisine, and solidifying themselves as an ultra popular appetiser throughout Asia and into the West!

Can I freeze Thai money bags?

You absolutely can! You can freeze your money bags before cooking, and then simply fry them as needed! Just ensure they are thoroughly cooked through before devouring them!

Marion's Kitchen is for everyone who finds joy in flavour and happiness in every bite. Marion's Kitchen is for everyone who finds joy in flavour and happiness in every bite.

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