Two words that are synonymous with late brunch all throughout Asia. In simple terms its small dumplings served on a mini bamboo or stainless steel tray either steamed, braised or fried. It's similar to the Spanish Tapas in Spain. Dumpling or portions of sample foods served on small plates.
It's a fascination with Westerners who are daring enough to try Dim Sum.
You can find Dim Sum places all over the major cities in the United States or where there is a huge population of Asians. The presentation of Dim Sum may vary in terms of decoration but the overall flavor and texture stays the same. It's quite an experience. Dim Sum is served late morning to about 3 PM. On the weekends depending where you are and the reputation of the quality of Dim Sum is important. A good rule of thumb is where you see lines of Asians at a Dim Sum house, you know its going to be great. That anticipation is all you need and its wort the wait. Dim sum is associated with phonetically "Yum Cha" having tea. Now, regions like New York City Chinatown have established Dim Sums houses on every block of every street.. As kids, it was fun eating various dumplings. It's something about Dim Sum that you never forget. The range of selection is unlimited. Always trying new items and always looking forward to my favorites.
It's just something with dumplings? Small compact envelopes of delicious ingredients that are mouthwatering. All over the world there are various types of dumplings..
The whole experience starts by waiting for your name to be called. Make sure you have a lot of friends or relatives that are starving. This will be an experience that you may have to share a table with another couple or family. Your name is called, the hostess brings you to a large table designed for 10 people. You have six, whew!. Then the waitress asks you what type of tea would you like. At this point, you have a selection. There's chrysanthemum tea, yes a flower that has been dried to preserve the flavor added with rock sugar in hot water and the taste is amazing. or regular tea but there is also green tea that everyone knows about.
As the tea comes, the man pours everyone a cup of tea. He is responsible for getting it refilled by opening the tea container lid. This tells the waiter or waitress to refill the tea. Yes, I did say the man is responsible. A little Chinese tradition.
Then the hostess leaves a sort of a paper with lots of boxes. This is a tally of everything you order which is basically a bill. Aaah, the cart ladies see us. As they stroll towards us with their carts heated containing all those delicious Dim Sum, what will be the in the cart.
Ok now to the best part A description of the Dim Sum.
My personal favorite and I'm writing it phonetically is Har Gow (Steam shrimp dumpling). It's primary ingredient is obviously shrimp with some ground bamboo shoots, folded so delicately in a rice based dough that been rolled so thinly and steamed ever so carefully that makes the dough transluscent and brings a little chew to the thin dough. Each bamboo tray or plate comes in 4. Drizzle a little soy sauce on it and pick one up with your chopsticks and take a bite. The flavor is bursting with sweet shrimp and the ground bamboo shoots add another dimension of flavor and that combination of the sweetness of the shrimp and the saltiness of the soy sauce creates a balance of flavors.. This Dim Sum has been my all time favorite since I was a kid. You must order this. It's mandatory, its part of the Dim Sum experience.
To be cont'd...…….
by Chef Woo Can at www,chefwoocan.com
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