Dim Sum - is getting more and more popular in the United States. I am sure you probably have even tried it at some point! It originated in Hong Kong, we called it "Yum Cha"in Cantonese, which means to drink tea (implying that it is served with small snacks). There are many 24 hour Yum Cha places in Taiwan and HK.
So, what is so special about Dim Sum? This style of eating allows you to share with a big group of people and enjoy many dishes in one setting.
How to order:
Usually Dim Sum restaurants serve food by placing the dishes in a small cart, and the waitstaff will push the carts to your table for ordering on the spot. All the dishes are well heated and insulated in 蒸笼 (bamboo steam boxes).
What to order - I personally recommend the following:
- Hargow 虾饺 - shrimp dumplings
- Shaomai 烧卖 - small pork dumplings with egg wrapping outside
- Xiaolingbao 小笼包 - delicate dumplings usually with soup inside the bao. Bao means containers, so it is like a dumpling but in a different shape, usually they are made with a thinner wrapping.
- Luobogao 萝卜糕 Tunip cake - a traditional cakes are made from mashed daikon radish mixed with bits of dried shrimp and pork sausage that are steamed and then cut into slices and pan-fried.
- Changfen 肠粉 Rice Noodle Roll - These are wide rice noodles that are steamed and then rolled. They are often filled with different types of meats or vegetables inside but can be served without any filling.
- Fong Zhua 凤爪 - The famous (or infamous) chicken feet! For those who are more adventurous, they taste amazing! These are chicken feet, deep fried, boiled, marinated in a black bean sauce and then steamed. This results in a texture that is light and fluffy (due to the frying), while moist and tender.
- Most importantly, order a good pot of Oolong Tea!
Hope you'll now go out and be very confident at a Dim Sum restaurant and be able to order the right dishes!