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  • Dim Sum – Little pieces of Chinese heaven

    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.

    Shrimp stuffed eggplants deep fried, served with black bean sauce:

    Steamed Shrimp and Cilantro dumplings:

    Deep fried pork and scallion dumplings:

    Green Pepper slices stuffed with shrimp and pan-fried, served with black bean sauce:

    Steamed Shrimp rice noodles served with Soy Sauce:

    Steamed Pork Spare ribs with black bean sauce and jalapeno:

    Steamed shrimp and spinach dumplings:

    Shrimp coated with a creamy sweet mayonnaise sauce and pecans- our dessert:

    To learn more about dim sum check out

    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.

    Noble Court Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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    Category: Bellevue, Chinese, Dim Sum

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    7 Responses to “Dim Sum – Little pieces of Chinese heaven”

    1. Richa
      March 17th, 2007 @ 2:17 pm

      look at those pix, excellent! the dumplings look something like the veg version of gyoza that i make.

    2. Sig
      March 18th, 2007 @ 2:15 am

      Hi Richa, yes these are very similar, but gyoza is normally fried right? These dumplings are steamed, but other than that I don’t know if there is any big difference!

    3. Richa
      March 18th, 2007 @ 2:55 am

      Yes, gyoza can be fried as well. I pan fry them a bit and then sprinkle some water, cover and cook till done. This way I don’t need to use much oil and still get the taste.

    4. Amy
      March 18th, 2007 @ 11:59 pm

      Mmm I love dim sum. My personal favorites are the shrimp dumplings and shrimp stuffed deep fried tofu. I’ll have to try Noble Court, the only dimsum place I’ve been to on the Eastside is Ming’s Chinese Seafood Restaurant.

    5. Sig
      March 19th, 2007 @ 2:32 am

      Hi Amy, I used to like Mings too, but after I started going to Noblecourt, haven’t been back to Mings. Another dim sum place I like on the east side is SeaGarden, but since it is kind of away from work, I don’t go there much.

    6. Anonymous
      March 21st, 2007 @ 2:28 am

      Jeem is one of the best Dimsum places on the Eastside.

    7. Yujai
      April 11th, 2008 @ 7:40 pm

      I think Noblecourt has acceptable food quality. It is relatively authentic in Seattle.

      But if you are interested in real Chinese food, I highly recommended you the restaurants in Vancouver, BC :)
      The food quality in Vancouver is same as the ones in Asia!

      Welcome to my blog Yujai! I totally agree with you on the Vancouver Chinese restaruants, I’ve had the best dim sum from a restaurant in Chinatown there…