Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
Dejah

Dim sum

Recommended Posts

I am having a dinner party on Sunday...for about 16 people.

They requested dim sum as it is not readily available in our small city.

So far, I have made beef meat balls, har gow, sui mai, curry chicken in puff pastry,

chicken/lapchung/mushroom steamed buns, sticky rice in lotus leaf. I will also have ribs in black bean garlic sauce and a lomein with lots of vegetables.

Questions: Can anyone suggest a good or complimentary order to serve up these items?

What would be a good soup to serve with this? I know they would love hot 'n'sour or congee...but I feel these would be "too heavy".

How about dessert? I was thinking of red bean/lotus nut soup and fresh fruit tray?

Tea would be best?

BTW, I am new to the forum, and I am having a blast reading all the posts! Thank you :biggrin:


Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would offer congee, not hot and sour. And perhaps some roasted fowl: goose, duck, or chicken (duck would be my choice). And steamed choi sum or gai lan with oyster sauce.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I vote for congee, as well. If you're using the types of bowls usually used at dim sum, the servings will be relatively small so your guests won't get too full from it.

There is no "proper" order as far as I know. Just serve everything at once and allow your guests to help themselves. I've seen tables at dim sum where people order and eat both sweet and savoury items at the same time, so you wouldn't even have to serve dessert last.

For sweet dim sum, my favourites are coconut buns and sesame balls (the ones filled with bean paste). I also like mango pudding but I've never liked any of the ones served at dim sum. Not very mango-y.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks! Congee it is, and gai lan with oyster sauce is a favorite...

One item we CAN get here is Chinese long donuts, a must with congee!


Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see you've decided on congee, but I was going to suggest that if you didn't want to serve congee, you could consider shrimp dumpling soup.

I always like to have chicken feet at dim sum, but most of my friends don't eat it.

Crab claws are fun to eat and popular.


Michael aka "Pan

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, maybe I won't decide on the soup until Sat. night...wait for all the suggestions to come in! I was even thinking of a light soup...watercress, or winter melon.

I love chicken feet, but not sure if all my guests would appreciate the effort and time I'd take to make them :wink:

This forum is incredible. Wish I had found this sooner. There are so many "old threads" I would have loved to participate in.


Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can participate in any old thread. Just post a reply to it.


Michael aka "Pan

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, and I love winter melon soup.


Michael aka "Pan

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome, Dejah!

As prasantrin suggested, there is no particular order for dim sum. The carts roll by in seemingly random order, and you grab what you want when you can.

In San Francisco, people typically make do with egg tarts for dessert, and congee is about the only soup that you'll see at dim sum, unless you're blending dim sum in with lunch or dinner.

If you ask me (which you didn't) my must-have dim sum item is "bee's nest" taro croquettes!

Odd that you live in a town with youtiao but no dim sum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Gary, for the welcome :smile:

I live on the prairies where majority of the population is focused on meat and potatoes, Chinese buffet, pizza, etc. Our Superstore does carry a good assortment of Chinese vegetables, a few baked goods, etc. Several restaurants have tried the dim sum menu, but only a small select group of well travelled caucasians would partake. The Chinese population is small and they like to make their own;) Such thrifty people!

I would love to make the taro croquettes, at another time, after some practice IF you can give me the recipe and how-to's. Do you make custard tarts? Can you substitute any other kind of pastry recipe for the ones usually found in Chinese cookbooks. They always seem to be a lot of work :sad:

I am having my party for supper...or as Americans would say "dinner".


Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome Dejah

Congee and gai larn as suggested by ecr sounds good to me too.

Here'a a link to a recipe for taro corquettes (Woo Kok).

I haven't tried making custard tarts but IMHO the flaky crumbly chinese-style pastry works best as it seems to melt in your mouth together the wobbly custard :biggrin:.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, Dejah, I don't cook, I only eat. My wife cooks Chinese exclusively, but she's Shanghainese, not Cantonese. For us, dim sum is all "eating out" stuff.

It seems like you've got a grip on making dim sum aleady. No taro croquettes (aka taro "puffs") in your source materials? I may have a recipe around for the bee's nest taro, I'll look for one. I buy Chinese cookbooks mostly to stare at the pictures, so I'm not sure if it'll be in English.

BTW, where I grew up dinner was also called "supper" and lunch was called "dinner".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you want another starchy dish with less meat, how about turnip cakes? These have a little pork in them. These are a favorite of mine at dim sum but I don't know too much about them. Does anyone have a recipe for these? Does one use preserved turnips?

Thanks


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I live on the prairies where majority of the population is focused on meat and potatoes, Chinese buffet, pizza, etc. Our Superstore does carry a good assortment of Chinese vegetables, a few baked goods, etc. Several restaurants have tried the dim sum menu, but only a small select group of well travelled caucasians would partake. The Chinese population is small and they like to make their own;) Such thrifty people!

With the Superstore comment, I would have guessed you were from Winnipeg but since you lack dim sum in your area, I thought maybe somewhere in Saskatchewan :smile: .

I forgot to mention my favourite dim sum offering, which is hum sui gok. The dough is made from glutinous rice flour (I think) and is every so slightly sweet. It is filled with a ground pork mixture, then deep fried. I can't find a recipe by Googling, but there's a description of it here. In Winnipeg restaurants often refer to them as "deep fried Chinese perogy", which in my opinion, they are nothing like.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is a link to an incredible dim sum place in San Francisco. Note that they say dessert items are to be eaten along w/ savory items. No recipes, but lots of mouth-watering pictures in the photo gallery at the bottom. They don't have it, but in addition to my favorite sweet-the egg tarts- I am also fond of little cubes of what I think is almond jello in a sweet sauce. Sometimes it has a little canned fruit in it. It is always served very cold, and it is very refreshing.

PS Please do just reply to the old threads. I haven't been here that long, and I love it when old threads pop to the surface.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: turnip cake

Rhoda Yee gives an excellent recipe in her dim sum book.

She insists on Swan's Down(sp?) cake flour.

This recipe always works for me (and company.)

You can easily substitute sausage for the roast pork.

BB


Food is all about history and geography.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Re: turnip cake

Rhoda Yee gives an excellent recipe in her dim sum book.

She insists on Swan's Down(sp?) cake flour.

This recipe always works for me (and company.)

You can easily substitute sausage for the roast pork.

BB

Thank you very much! Now don't have to limit myself to having this during dim sum visits...


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

May I come to your party?? LOL!

I'm new here, too, and I fully understand about finding this goldmine! Going over all the old threads is like being a kid in a candy store!

If you can get the You Tiao, they would be great with congee. Cut into little pieces, along with peanuts and slivered Sichuan pickle, and I would be in comfort food heaven. An easy light , light soup would be Chicken & Watercress, but as someone pointed out, it is not a soup you would see.

When I've done a Dim Sum meal, I've sometimes gone off the track and served Brownies laced with fresh orange/ tangerine peel and crystallized ginger. It is offered with a bowl of canned Chinese fruits - longan, loquat, lychee, mandarin oranges, pineapple, etc, and some fresh strawberries.

My must, when I do Dim Sum are Pot Sticker done Hugh Carpenter' style --- (Santa Barbara) Rather than add water to the fried dumplings, a mix of chicken broth, grated orange, some hoisin, oyster, and soy sauce is added. The end result is really tasty, and no need for a dip. (But this is just me ----- your selections are already great.)

About tea --- Whatever suits you. Dragon Well is good, as well as Jasmine. I like Ti Kuan Yin (Te Guan Yin) and I have been served Pu-Er.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What about cheung fun or in English, rice rolls stuffed with shrimp, pork or beef? Alternatively, cheung fun can be "vegetarian" with green onions dried shrimp. To me the corner stone of dim sum dining must include har gow and the cheung fun, my two favourites.

Your meal sounds great so far. I would even suggest maybe egg drop soup if you want to go for something lighter than congee. But then again, congee is a favourite of dim sum dining.

For dessert, I like Gary's suggestion of egg tarts. You can make mini ones. I was at a fine dim sum establishment a few weeks ago, where they incorporated the idea of a "bird's nest" on the egg tart. They put small dollops of clear agar jelly atop the tart (in which they used a more custardy filling). The texture was an interesting addition to the old stand-by egg tart. We also had deep fried sesame balls. And they put a fusion twist on it by augmenting it with a chocolate dipping sauce. Very innovative.

But if you are looking for a nice, light, refreshing dessert I would suggest tofu flower with fruit.

If you get really ambitious, you can make individual lotus leaf packets of chicken and rice.

The possibilities are endless.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Turnip cake is another one of my specialties, as with woo to cake (taro).

I use rice flour (NOT glutinous) in my mixture, with lap chung, mushrooms and dried shrimp. The woo kok is difficult to make, I think. I do have recipes, but Mom said they can disintergrate in the deep fryer quite easily :sad:

I am an ESL teacher at our university, (in Brandon, Manitoba, prasantrin),

and my Chinese students really appreciate these cakes:)

I'll have to check the store for nice crisp watercress...otherwise I will serve the

congee with you tiao. I love eating those just by themselves!

I have made potstickers with chicken and lots of slivered ginger. The addition of chicken stock. etc,sounds good, so I will try that for another party. In fact, there are so many good suggestions here I will HAVE to have another party:) Maybe I'll invite the students up after Xmas. They all want to learn how to make dim sum...so no work, no eat! :laugh:

Definitely, jo-mel et al, if you are close enough to Brandon, you are welcome to come "yum cha" with the gang. I have 96 sui mai, 60 har gow, 36 bao, 25 curry, 32 sticky rice and about 200 beef balls so far. I have frozen all these as I made them. Tomorrow, I will steam them as I pull them from the freezer. The curry will be baked.

The almond jelly is a substitute for tofu fa. That was ok when we couldn't have the dessert tofu that is now so available. I have made it, with milk, gelatine and almond flavoring.

You know what I miss?? Stinky tofu! Maybe I won't be able to handle it now...after being away from HK for 45 years :laugh: My older brother used to chase the vendor away when he smelled it coming!


Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Chinese population is small and they like to make their own;) Such thrifty people!

i would have expected dimsum to be the local chinese

population's occasional luxury.

it's also possible they don't think too highly of the

dimsum quality and would rather make it themselves.

I forgot to mention my favourite dim sum offering, which is hum sui gok.  The dough is made from glutinous rice flour (I think) and is every so slightly sweet.  It is filled with a ground pork mixture, then deep fried.  I can't find a recipe by Googling, but there's a description of it here.  In Winnipeg restaurants often refer to them as "deep fried Chinese perogy", which in my opinion, they are nothing like.

glutinous rice flour is right.

in areas with larger chinese populations, ham sui gauk would probably not be served as dimsum, much more likely in the chinese bakeries.

yes, they're nothing like pierogies, but most people need something to relate new things to, rather than trying it first on their own, free of perceptions, and making their own opinions.


Herb aka "herbacidal"

Tom is not my friend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Odd that you live in a town with youtiao but no dim sum.

that's interesting.

i suppose in most metro areas, dimsum would have emerged first.

but of course you tiao is just one thing, and dimsum is composed of numerous different things.

therefore, you tiao is much easier to start selling.

plus dimsum in the US is one of the lowest margin Chinese lines of business, so you really need enough volume for it to work.


Herb aka "herbacidal"

Tom is not my friend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Turnip cake is another one of my specialties, as with woo to cake (taro).

I use rice flour (NOT glutinous) in my mixture, with lap chung, mushrooms and dried shrimp. The woo kok is difficult to make, I think. I do have recipes, but Mom said they can disintergrate in the deep fryer quite easily :sad:

I've never worked up the courage to make woo gok but I've been told by them that know that the secret to a nice lacy crust is lard. I also suspect most places use taro powder not fresh taro.

I'd love to hear how you make woo to cake, how is it different than lo bak, er, turnip cake?

regards,

trillium

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
curry chicken in puff pastry

I forgot to ask...

Do you make your own puff pastry for the curry puffs? If you do, would you mind sharing your recipe? We used to buy curry puffs from Maxim's (in Winnipeg) but their pastry is terribly greasy. None of the dim sum places here have curry puffs so I've not eaten any since I was in Thailand (or maybe even Singapore!).

I teach ESL, too :smile: . I was at the U of M but I got out of that program fast, and am headed abroad again. I've discovered that it is very, very difficult to teach ESL in Winnipeg if you actually care about what you're doing. But that's getting way off-topic :smile: .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We used to buy curry puffs from Maxim's (in Winnipeg) but their pastry is terribly greasy.

So I'm not the only who thinks Maxim's has disgusting pastries. I"m so glad you validated my same thoughts because I was just recently having an argument with someone about whether or not to bring Maxim's pastries as a hostess gift. Just because they are the only Chinese bakery in town (since the one in Chinatown closed a few years ago), does not make it the be all-end all of Chinese pastries in Winnipeg.

The last time I was there, I spyed industral cases of margarine in their fridge. Not only does that offend my purist sensibilities, but I also find it gross that their pastries are tasteless and lard-like.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Similar Content

    • By Chocolatemelter
      Hey everyone.
       
      So im looking for the most affordable chocolate shaking table that actually works.. does anyone have experience with the ones from AliBaba or china in general?
       
      i bought a $100 dental table from amazon but i guess its not the right hrtz cause it kinda works, but not well enough.
       
      im looking in the $500 range or under.. any advice? Thanks
    • By liuzhou
      Perhaps the food-related question I get asked most through my blog is “What's it like for vegetarians and vegans in China. The same question came up recently on another thread, so I put this together. Hope it's useful. It would also, be great to hear other people's experience and solutions.
       
      For the sake of typing convenience I’m going to conflate 'vegetarians and vegan' into just 'vegetarian' except where strictly relevant.
       
      First a declaration of non-interest. I am very carnivorous, but I have known vegetarians who have passed through China, some staying only a few weeks, others staying for years. Being vegetarian in China is a complicated issue. In some ways, China is probably one of the best countries in which to be vegetarian. In other ways, it is one of the worst.
       
      I spent a couple of years in Gorbachev-era Russia and saw the empty supermarkets and markets. I saw people line up for hours to buy a bit of bread.  So, when I first came to China, I kind of expected the same. Instead, the first market I visited astounded me. The place was piled high with food, including around 30 different types of tofu, countless varieties of steamed buns and flat breads and scores of different vegetables, both fresh and preserved, most of which I didn't recognise. And so cheap I could hardly convert into any western currency. If you are able to self-cater then China is heaven for vegetarians. For short term visitors dependent on restaurants or street food, the story is very different.
       
      Despite the perception of a Buddhist tradition (not that strong, actually), very few Chinese are vegetarian and many just do not understand the concept. Explaining in a restaurant that you don't eat meat is no guarantee that you won't be served meat.
       
      Meat is seen in China as a status symbol. If you are rich, you eat more meat. And everyone knows all foreigners are rich, so of course they eat meat! Meat eating is very much on the rise as China gets more rich - even to the extent of worrying many economists, food scientists etc. who fear the demand is pushing up prices and is environmentally dangerous. But that's another issue. Obesity is also more and more of a problem.
      Banquet meals as served in large hotels and banquet dedicated restaurants will typically have a lot more meat dishes than a smaller family restaurant. Also, the amount of meat in any dish will be greater in the banquet style places.
       
      Traditional Chinese cooking is/was very vegetable orientated. I still see my neighbours come home from the market with their catch of greenery every morning. However, whereas meat wasn't the central component of dinner, it was used almost as a condiment or seasoning. Your stir fried tofu dish may come with a scattering of ground pork on top, for example. This will not usually be mentioned on the menu. Simple stir fried vegetables are often cooked in lard (pig fat) to 'improve' the flavour.
       
      Another problem is that the Chinese word for meat (肉), when used on its own refers to pork. Other meats are specified, eg (beef) is 牛肉, literally cattle meat. What this means is that when you say you don't eat meat, they often think you mean you don't eat pork (something they do understand from the Chinese Muslim community), so they rush off to the kitchen and cook you up some stir fried chicken! I've actually heard a waitress saying to someone that chicken isn't meat. Also, few Chinese wait staff or cooks seem to know that ham is pig meat. I have also had a waitress argue ferociously with me that the unasked for ham in a dish of egg fried rice wasn't meat.
       
      Also, Chinese restaurant dishes are often given have really flowery, poetic names which tell you nothing of the contents. Chinese speakers have to ask. One dish on my local restaurant menu reads “Maternal Grandmother's Fluttering Fragrance.” It is, of course, spicy pork ribs!
       
      Away from the tourist places, where you probably don't want to be eating anyway, very few restaurants will have translations of any sort. Even the best places' translations will be indecipherable. I have been in restaurants where they have supplied an “English menu”, but if I didn't know Chinese would have been unable to order anything. It was gibberish.
       
      To go back to Buddhism and Taoism, it is a mistake to assume that genuine followers of either (or more usually a mix of the two) are necessarily vegetarian. Many Chinese Buddhists are not. In fact, the Dalai Lama states in his autobiography that he is not vegetarian. It would be very difficult to survive in Tibet on a vegetarian diet.
       
      There are vegetarian restaurants in many places (although the ones around where I am never seem to last more than six months). In the larger cities such as Beijing and Shanghai they are more easily findable.
       
      Curiously, many of these restaurants make a point of emulating meat dishes. The menu reads like any meat using restaurant, but the “meat” is made from vegetable substitutes (often wheat gluten or konjac based).
       
      To be continued
    • By liuzhou
      I know a few people here know her already, but for those that don't, she is simply the best creator of Chinese food and rural life videos. It's not what you will find in your local Bamboo Hut! It's what Chinese people eat!
       
      Here is her latest, posted today. This is what all my neighbours are doing right now in preparation for Spring Festival (Chinese New Year to the Lantern Festival 15 days later), although few are doing it as elegantly as she does!
       
       
      Everything she posts is worth watching if you have any interest in food.
       
    • By liuzhou
      Wowotou buns ( 窝窝头 wō wō tóu), also known more simply as wō tóu are originally from northern China. The name means "nest" and they come in many forms. These are the ones I use. As you can see, they are usually stuffed with whatever the cook decides. These are stuffed with spicy pork and pickled greens, but I've also served them with a seafood stuffing.
       

       
      This is the recipe I usually use.
       
       窝窝头
       
      350 grams all-purpose/plain flour
      150 grams black soya bean flour
      3 grams instant yeast
      260 grams  milk
       
      Mix the flours well, dissolve the yeast in the milk and stir into the flour until a dough forms. Knead the dough until smooth. Cover with plastic
      wrap and leave in a warm place until double in size.
       
      Sprinkle flour on the chopping board, knead the dough, adding more flour if too wet. until all air is expelled and the dough has a smooth surface.
       
      Form the dough into six even-sized balls and rub between the palms until smooth and round. Flatten slightly, then use your thumb to press the dough into a nest shape.
       
      Steam covered for 30-35 minutes.
       
      Note: The flours used vary a lot. Corn or sorghum flours are very popular, but I don't like corn and sorghum isn't the easiest to find here in southern China. Use what you like, but the overall quantity for this recipe should be 500 grams. It has been suggested that pure corn flour is too sticky, so probably best to mix it with regular wheat flour.
       
      They freeze well.
       
      Recipe adapted from 念念不忘的面食  by 刘哲菲 (Unforgettable Wheat Foods by Liu Zhefei). This isn't a direct translation, but retelling of the gist. Any errors are mine. Not Ms. Liu's.
    • By liuzhou
      This arose from this topic, where initially @Anna N asked about tea not being served at the celebratory meal I attended. I answered that it is uncommon for tea to be served with meals (with one major exception). I was then asked for further elucidation by @Smithy. I did start replying on the topic but the answer got longer than I anticipated and was getting away from the originally intended topic about one specific meal. So here were are..
       
      I'd say there are four components to tea drinking in China.

      a) When you arrive at a restaurant, you are often given a pot of tea which people will sip while contemplating the menu and waiting for other  guests to arrive. Dining out is very much a group activity, in the main. When everyone is there and the food dishes start to arrive the tea is nearly always forgotten about. The tea served like this will often be a fairly cheap, common brand - usually green.
       
      You also may be given a cup of tea in a shop if your purchase is a complicated one. I recently bought a new lap top and the shop assistant handed me tea to sip as she took down the details of my requirements. Also, I recently had my eyes re-tested in order to get new spectacles. Again, a cup of tea was provided. Visit someone in an office or have a formal meeting and tea or water will be provided.
       
      b) You see people walking about with large flasks (not necessarily vacuum flasks) of tea which they sip during the day to rehydrate themselves. Taxi drivers, bus drivers, shop keepers etc all have their tea flask.  Of course, the tea goes cold. I have a vacuum flask, but seldom use it - not a big tea fan. There are shops just dedicated to selling the drinks flasks.
       
      c) There has been a recent fashion for milk tea and bubble tea here, two trends imported from Hong Kong and Taiwan respectively. It is sold from kiosks and mainly attracts younger customers. McDonald's and KFC both do milk and bubble teas.
       

      Bubble and Milk Tea Stall
       

      And Another
       

      And another - there are hundreds of them around!
       

      McDonald's Ice Cream and Drinks Kiosk.


      McDonald's Milk Tea Ad
       
      d) There are very formal tea tastings and tea ceremonies, similar in many ways to western wine tastings. These usually take place in tea houses where you can sample teas and purchase the tea for home use. These places can be expensive and some rare teas attract staggering prices. The places doing this pride themselves on preparing the tea perfectly and have their special rituals. I've been a few times, usually with friends, but it's not really my thing. Below is one of the oldest serious tea houses in the city. As you can see, they don't go out of their way to attract custom. Their name implies they are an educational service as much as anything else. Very expensive!
       

      Tea House

      Supermarkets and corner shops carry very little tea. This is the entire tea shelving in my local supermarket. Mostly locally grown green tea.
       

       

      Local Guangxi Tea
       
      The most expensive in the supermarket was this Pu-er Tea (普洱茶 pǔ ěr chá) from Yunnan province. It works out at ¥0.32per gram as opposed to ¥0.08 for the local stuff. However, in the tea houses, prices can go much, much higher!
       

       
       
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...