Posted on | March 17, 2007 | 7 Comments |
The Cantonese term Dim Sum refers to an assortment of fried or steamed food served in steamer baskets or small plates and are consumed as part of breakfast or brunch. I found different translations for the term like “A Little bit of Heart” , “Heart’s delight” and “Touch of the Heart”. All these make sense, since these little pieces of heaven touches your heart, and you can eat these small delights to your heart’s content. All the dim sum plates are meant to be shared, sharing the Sunday dim sum brunch with family and friends is a big tradition for the Chinese community.
Dim Sum dishes consist of seafood (mainly shrimp, also squid, scallops and other varieties), meat (mainly pork and beef), some vegetables and a variety of desserts. I haven’t seen many chicken dishes other than the deep fried chicken feet – if you think that is gross, then I shouldn’t even mention beef’s tongue or jellyfish or cow’s udders. Don’t worry, they don’t even bring those items to your table if you are not Chinese, I have tasted some peculiar items when I had dim sum with a Chinese friend in China town, Vancouver BC. She spoke Cantonese and ordered some delicacies for the entire table, I tasted everything just to know what those are like. If you are wondering, Chicken feet does taste good, but it is very chewy, eating beef’s tongue is exactly like chewing on rubber and the fried jellyfish is not that bad. There are some vegetarian options in dim sum, but not that many, steamed vegetables with soy sauce is pretty common everywhere. The sticky rice normally has pork in it. A typical dim sum plate consists of three or four pieces of a particular dish. The more people on your table,the merrier, since you get to try a lot of dishes.
Siv and I are huge dim sum fans. After a long trial and error period, now we know exactly what we like, and stick to mostly the same dishes, a combination of fried and steamed items. We sneak out from work and get lunch at least bi-weekly at our favorite dim sum place on the east side – Noble Court restaurant in Bellevue. Dim sum is a great choice for a week day lunch, since you don’t have to order from a menu and wait, instead they bring carts full of dishes to you, so if you know what you like, just point and order and you can finish off the meal pretty quick. Last week I had my camera with me when we went to Noble Court and got to capture our favorite dishes.
Deep fried pork and scallion dumplings:
Steamed Pork Spare ribs with black bean sauce and jalapeno:
To learn more about dim sum check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dim_sum
If you have never tried dim sum, do give it a try, it is a must have culinary experience. Gather a bunch of friends and find a dim sum restaurant near you, there must be one in every US city. For us in Washington, there are way too many choices, and my recommendation for the eastsiders is Noble Court in Bellevue.
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