When hitting up the closest dim sum restaurant feels about as easy as traveling to China, creating a downscale experience at home is the answer, and the Dim Sum Classics we've been writing about all week are a great place to start. Your complete menu, after the jump!
'dimsum' on Serious Eats
Smooth and a little sweet with a mild soybean flavor, fresh bean curd skin is a delicacy. At dim sum houses, it's often stuffed with a mixture of ground pork with mushrooms and ginger, then bathed in a mild yet rich chicken stock-based sauce. While it's typically a breakfast item, these rolls also make a good dinner dish when served with rice alongside.
Smooth and a little sweet with a mild soybean flavor, fresh bean curd skin is a delicacy. At dim sum houses, it's often stuffed with a mixture of ground pork with mushrooms and ginger, then bathed in a mild yet rich chicken-stock-based sauce. While it's typically a breakfast item, these rolls also make a good dinner dish when served with rice alongside.
With bright pink chunks of plump shrimp veiled in thin, stretchy, translucent dough, har gow—crystal-skinned shrimp dumplings—may well be the most popular dim sum classic of all. You may think there's a lot of difficult technique involved in getting those shrimp so plump and the skins so delicate, but it's really much easier than it seems.
Plump and juicy, with chunks of shrimp barely visible through translucent dough, har gow are one of the most widely recognized dim sum classics. Ours enhance the shrimp with bits of pork fat in a stretchy, delicate wrapper.
Braised chicken feet are a dim sum classic that don't get much love in this country. So why learn to cook them? Provided you can get over the mental hurdle, they're actually one of the most flavor-packed dim sum dishes around. Give them a shot and you may well find yourself fighting for that last claw so that you can suck every flavorful bit of skin and cartilage from between the tiny bones.
Though they're a dim sum classic, braised chicken feet (A.K.A. phoenix claws) can be a challenge for those unused to eating them. It takes a little while to get used to the plump claws sticking out of a little bowl, and a bit of work to get at the meat in between the tiny bones, but the flavor-packed rewards are well worth the mental and physical effort.
A staple for breakfast and lunch in many Asian countries, and a mainstay at the dim sum hall, congee is rice and water (or broth) cooked down into a thick porridge. After much trial and error, I've arrived at the ideal recipe for a congee that's silky and comforting while not being sludgy or overly heavy.
A staple for breakfast and lunch in many Asian countries, congee is rice and water (or broth) cooked down into a thick porridge. Everyone does it slightly different. It can be cooked using different grains of rice, different kinds and amounts of liquid, and different cooking times. Every choice can affect the final flavor and consistency. After much trial and error, I've arrived at the ideal recipe for a congee that's silky and comforting instead of sludgy or overly heavy.
Simply simmered Chinese broccoli has a hearty flavor that pairs well with oyster sauce in this classic Cantonese preparation. Our version adds some fried garlic to the mix, using the flavorful garlic oil to amp up flavor.
The last place you expect to find seasonal variation is in Chinese restaurants. It does happen, but to the casual observer, it's the same bell peppers and bok choy month in and month out. So I was immediately curious when Cai, a big dim sum hall in Chinatown, had pumpkin congee on its menu.
The crowds form early for dim sum at this Sunset Park favorite. Follow them for some very good dumplings, prompt, agreeable service, and the kind of palatial ambiance that makes dim sum so much fun.
If you're hankering for a Sunday morning meal, and you just can't stomach the notion of syrup-soaked griddle cakes, dim sum is the way to go, and in Chicago it doesn't get much better than Cai.
Why settle on one dish when you can sample dozens? Oh right, NO REASON, that's why. Enter dim sum, the ancient Chinese art of making a whole lot of damn fine food, served small plate-style at exceedingly affordable prices. It is, at least through my humble, New-York-Jew-tinted glasses, the shining jewel in the Cantonese crown. But it's a pretty epic feat to tackle a real dim sum menu in your home kitchen, and one we prefer to leave to the pros. Instead, we've got a DIY menu designed to pack a whole bunch of our favorite Chinese recipes into some delicious, dim sum-sized packages.
Spend a day in this Asian food mecca just outside of Vancouver and you can start with dim sum, end with night market fare, and feast proudly on fried chicken, ramen, bubble tea and more in between.
If you're a dim sum newbie who wants to learn more about this popular style of Cantonese cuisine, check out this five-minute dim sum video guide from Off the Great Wall, a YouTube channel about Asian and Chinese culture. In the video host Carmen describes some of the most popular dim sum dishes and what to look for in a good version of each dish.
Hong Kong dim sum in New York? For real. From now until July 7th, you can find some of Hong Kong's best dim sum at the Mandarin Oriental New York.
Snapshots from Hong Kong: Dim Sum at Tim Ho Wan, aka the World's Cheapest Michelin-starred Restaurant
I knew my trip to Hong Kong wouldn't be complete without at least one dim sum meal. But how do you choose where to go in a city with hundreds of dim sum choices? Maybe narrow it down to Michelin-starred restaurants. Maybe super narrow it down to the cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant in the world: Tim Ho Wan.
Though 'burrito' isn't really the keyword you're usually looking for on a dim sum menu, this particular item, the Shredded Duck Burrito ($6.90) is a must-order at Koi Palace. It's essentially a set of two flaky, just slightly-greasy, tender scallion pancakes, rolled around moist, rich slices of duck and spears of cucumber.
These fried buns at Sunset Park's most notable dim sum parlor walk the line between savory and sweet.