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All about Dim Sum

7. Steamed Shrimp Dumplings (Har Gow)

Steamed Shrimp Dumplings (Har Gow)

Dim sum  is a style of Chinese cuisine (particularly Cantonese but also other varieties) prepared as small bite-sized portions of food served in small steamer baskets or on small plates. Dim sum dishes are usually served with tea, and together form a full tea brunch. Dim sum traditionally are served as fully cooked, ready-to-serve dishes. In Cantonese teahouses, carts with dim sum will be served around the restaurant for diners to order from without leaving their seats. The Cantonese tradition of having endless cups of tea and dim sum is also called Yum Cha, which means “drink tea” in Cantonese.

A traditional dim sum brunch includes various types of steamed buns such as cha siu bao (a steamed bun filled with barbecue pork), dumplings and rice noodle rolls, which contain a range of ingredients, including beef, chicken, pork, prawns, and vegetarian options. Many dim sum restaurants also offer plates of steamed green vegetables, roasted meats, congee and other soups. Dessert dim sum is also available and many places offer the customary egg tart. Dim sum is usually eaten as breakfast or brunch.

Dim sum can be cooked by steaming and frying, among other methods. The serving sizes are usually small and normally served as three or four pieces in one dish. It is customary to order family style, sharing dishes among all members of the dining party. Because of the small portions, people can try a wide variety of food.

 Among the standard fare of dim sum are the following:

Shrimp dumpling
Dumpling soup
Tofu skin roll
Rice noodle roll
Barbecued pork bun
Sweet cream buns
Pineapple bun
Turnip cake
Taro cake
Water chestnut cake
Steamed meatball

Spare ribs
Lotus leaf rice
Chinese sticky rice :
Deep fried squid
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