Per the all-knowing, Wikipedia, it is defined as: a style of Chinese food prepared as small bite-sized or individual portions of food traditionally served in small steamer baskets or on small plates. Dim sum is also well known for the unique way it is served in some restaurants, wherein fully cooked and ready-to-serve. Dim sum dishes are carted around the restaurant for customers to choose their orders while seated at their tables.
|(No, I did not take a pic of the lady. I stole this off the web!)|
As with many things I've discovered in Chicago, this was completely new to me. I had never heard of dim sum & once I did, I can't say I was that interested in trying it out. However, hubs, who believes himself to be an honorary China-man, insisted we go. (Which, if you saw this man wield a pair of chop sticks you'd know why.) Once again,. . . as with many things, after I take his advice, I'm usually quite pleased ;)
Dim sum is something we eat for breakfast. They usually serve it until about 3pm, so I assume it's a customary breakfast/early day menu worldwide. At first, it didn't strike me as breakfast food. There are many meat dishes, veggie, rice, etc. However, this is food from another culture. After I acquired the taste for it, now it's something I crave...
We order several different small dishes & share them all. Some of our favorites are:
Shaomai (燒賣 siu maai): Small steamed dumplings with either pork, prawns or both inside a thin wheat flour wrapper. Usually topped off with crab roe and mushroom.
Spare ribs: In the west, it is mostly known as spare ribs collectively. In the east, it is Char siu when roasted red, or (排骨 paai4 gwat1, páigǔ) when roasted black. It is typically steamed with douchi or fermented black beans and sometimes sliced chilli.
Chiu-chao style dumplings (潮州粉果 chiu-chau fan guo): A dumpling said to have originated from the Chaozhou prefecture of eastern Guangdong province, it contains peanuts, garlic, chives, pork, dried shrimp, Chinese mushrooms in a thick dumpling wrapper made from glutinous rice flour or Tang flour. It is usually served with a small dish of chili oil.
These are just a few of the hundreds of options to choose from! Also, you have to enjoy it with some jasmine tea :)
I know it's a stretch from biscuits & gravy or eggs & bacon, but it has become a staple breakfast food in our household, & I'm on my way to mastering chop sticks!