One of the famous dishes of the Chinese culture is the dim sum. Dim sum does not only pertain to a single meal or a dish. In fact, there are numerous dim sum meals available in the market and they are truly delicious. To be able to fully appreciate dim sum, you should not only consider its taste but also other things surrounding the wonderful favors of Asia.
Here are some things you need to know about Dim Sum.
What Is Dim Sum?
Dim sum, as mentioned above, is a famous Chinese meal that is served in small plates. These are bite-sized foods that are usually eaten during brunch and are eaten with a lot of tea on the side. There are different ways Dim Sum is prepared: baked, steamed or fried. The dishes usually consist of ‘wraps’ made from different ingredients. Stuffing of dim sum dishes can be fish, seafood, meat and vegetables.
Where It All Started
The term dim sum literally means “touch the heart” and is often associated with the Cantonese phrase “yum cha” which means “to drink tea”. The idea started hundreds of years ago, when travelers would pass through the popular Silk Road and tired farmers come to local teahouses to rest and socialize as they sip on their tea.
During the early 20th century, dim sums were much larger and starchier which was intentionally made for workers who need a lot of energy to finish their jobs during the day. Eventually, the traditional dim sums evolved and became smaller and bite-sized but still stuffed with energy boosting fillings.
How To Order Dim Sum
You can find a good Asian or Chinese restaurant anywhere today. Though dim sum dishes are usually eaten at midday, there are a lot of restaurants offering it during breakfast and all throughout the day.
To order dim sum meals, you have to choose a tea and choose your dim sum. If you are not sure which one to order, you can observe other tables or ask the waiter for the house special. Usual dim sum meals comprises of roast pork buns, glutinous rice dumplings, beef noddle rolls and fried sesame balls for dessert. Meals are typically served three to four servings and are placed in a steam plate or in bamboo steamers.
What Are The Varieties Of Dim Sum?
There are different dim sum varieties or dishes to choose from that it can be quite overwhelming. For those who are not very familiar with dim sum, here are the most popular dishes grouped into four.
- Steamed dumplings – prawns, pork, a mix of both and any of the following with broth are the usual fillings of dumplings. These ingredients are enclosed in a wrapper made out of wheat starch and tapioca flavor.
- Buns – similar to dumplings that have delicious fillings, buns on the contrary are made out of bread with the fillings marinated in special sauce and are baked to perfection.
- Fried or baked – dumplings and buns can also be fried or baked still with delicious filling inside.
- Rice, noodles and wraps –aside from culture, Asia is also a continent that is gifted with agriculture products which is why rice is a staple food for most of the countries in the continent.
Foods Best Paired With Dim Sum
As mentioned earlier, tea is traditionally the best partner for dim sum meals and the most recommended tea are Jasmine, Chrysanthemum, Sau Mei (white tea), Oolong and Bo Lei (black tea).
Best Place To Eat Dim Sum
There is no best place or best time to eat dim sum meals. As long as the dim sum is carefully prepared and cooked right, you will never go wrong. You can also opt to have it delivered where you are. Asian restaurants are also famous for takeout and delivery services.
How To Make Dim Sum
The delicious tastes of dim sum comes with a price as it is very hard and complicated to prepare. It requires a lot of effort and is best done by professionals.
There are six stations when it comes to preparation and cooking dim sum dishes. A) Preparation area, b) where rice noodles will be rolled, steamed and filled with meat, C) steamed, D) fried deeply, E) fillings, and a station for filling and wrapping ingredients.
After the preparation, it is now up to you if you prefer your dim sum to be fired, baked or steamed.