Food and Culture

Savory Dim Sum

Dim sum, a term combining the words “dimming” and “sumptuous,” is a broad array of assortment of small Chinese meals which are usually enjoyed during lunch and dinner in traditional restaurants. Although dim sum may sound like a word that has a completely different meaning than “lunch and dinner,” these are actually very similar in the Chinese culture. Most modern dim sum recipes originate from Guangzhou in northern China and are usually associated only with Cantonese cooking, although dim sum has also been a popular favorite in other Chinese cuisines, especially in Hong Kong. The difference between dim sum and dumpling is that dim sum is cooked in a hot wok, while dumplings are fried.

The basic ingredients of dim sum are meat, seafood, vegetables, rice, fish, spice, herbs and lemon. These components can be used in a variety of ways including grilling, frying, boiling, steaming, or broiling. Some dishes, such as oysters, are prepared with a sweet, sticky sauce that is usually made of ginseng, corn starch, watermelon rinds, sugar, and various herbs. A less common style of dip is created using vinegar, seafood, chicken, beef, or shrimp.

Savory dim sum is created by mixing sweetened wheat flour with milk and grated pastry spices such as cinnamon and cloves. Other types of additions include nutmeg, ground ginger, sugar, and various kinds of meats or seafood. This type of dish may be served as a dessert or toasted. If you would like to try some more exotic flavors, you can even find savory cookies, cakes, and breads created with a savory yeast base.