Have you ever tried dim sum before? Odds are you have if you are reading this article. Dim Sum is one of life's amazing joys that has unfortunately been affected by the pandemic. It is a Cantonese tradition comparable to teatime, but with the goal of filling you up with a wide selection of Cantonese foods. Usually enjoyed by large parties, dim sum (meaning "snack" in Chinese) comes in generally small appetizer plates or stack-able bamboo steamers. In normal circumstances, large crowds of families and friends would enjoy morning dim sum together, with restaurant employees pushing carts of fresh dim sum for everyone to enjoy.
So what exactly makes up dim sum? The dishes are almost too endless to list! But the most popular and most frequently ordered dishes usually are:
- Sticky Rice with Lotus Leaf - Sticky rice wraps some delicious filling (usually dried shrimp, mushrooms, and chicken), and is wrapped and cooked in a lotus leaf that gives this dim sum dish an absolutely aromatic and distinct umami flavor
- Sesame Balls - These are glutinous rice balls with red bean filling that are deep fried and coated with sesame seeds - a truly irresistible treat!
- Egg Tarts - These are like the marriage of custard and puff pastry - eat bite into these is absolute heaven.
- Siu Mai - These are open-faced dumplings filled with pork and shrimp, usually wrapped in an egg wonton wrapper. These are steamed and topped with fish roe.
- Har Gow - One of my favorites! This is a dumpling known for its translucent wrapper with minced shrimp inside. Simple, yet extremely delicious.
After seeing all these amazing dishes, I am sure you want to grab some dim sum! Unfortunately, some dim sum restaurants are closed in this pandemic, and it is much riskier to meet in large groups. So while we wait for COVID to disappear, I have some amazing dumpling and wonton recipes to share with you to make from the comfort of your home.
- 6 ounces ground pork
- 6 ounces ground beef
- 2 green onion stalks
- 6 napa cabbage leaves
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger grated
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 3 tsp of salt
- 1 tsp of cornstarch
- 1 package of wonton wrappers
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp mirin (optional)
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp chili oil
- First prepare your ingredients. Finely chop the napa cabbage and green onion OR place them in a food processor like me to reduce the amount of time it takes!
- Thoroughly squeeze the water out of the vegetables and then place the chopped veggies into a large bowl. Add the grated ginger and the meat. Lastly, add all the other wonton filling ingredients.
- Use your hands to mix the filling ingredients together in a “kneading” fashion. The mixed filling should appear cohesive and mushed together. You should not be able to see the original shape of the ground meat. Instead, the meat should be well incorporated with the vegetables and oil.
- Make your wontons! This is the fun part. Take 1 wonton wrapper and wet all 4 sides with your finger (draw a square border of water around it). Then, use a spoon to scoop about 1 tbsp of filling in the middle of the wonton wrapper.
- Fold the top of the wonton wrapper over the bottom to form a rectangle or “taco” shape. Gently pinch the sides together and make sure the sides of the wonton “taco” are sealed. Then, twist the wonton “taco” inwards and stick the bottom two ends together with the help of a bit of water at the corner where you are sealing the bottom ends. (For help, there’s a lot of YouTube videos to help you visualize this!)
- Cook the folded wontons! Boil a large pot of water and gently place the wontons in the pot when the water starts to simmer. Boil until you see the wontons to float to the top. Then cook the wontons for an additional 2-5 min.
- Drain the wontons and place them in a bowl.
- Pour on the delicious sauce! I like to make my sauce in a small bowl first and then pour it evenly over the wontons.
Enjoy!! Hope you like this recipe. The first time you make these might take you a little longer due to the slight learning curve of learning how to fold these wontons. But you will quickly get the hang of this and soon realize how easy this recipe is! What is amazing about these is that you can freeze these wontons for up to 3 months, which means you can spend a whole weekend making these and eat the fruits of your labor over time for those days when you are too busy to cook!
Another recipe I’d like to share to help alleviate your dim sum cravings is my family dumpling recipe. Hope you enjoy it!
- 1 pack of frozen dumpling wrappers
- 1 lb of ground beef (at least 15% fat)
- 2 cups of napa cabbage or spinach (finely chopped)
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp cooking wine
- 2 tbsp ginger (grated)
- 3 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 4 green onion stalks- finely chopped
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 pack of dashi powder (optional but gives that extra umami flavor)
- Add all of the ingredients above into a large bowl. Make sure that your napa cabbage, green onion, and ginger are finely chopped/grated.
- Using a fork or simply your hands, mix all the ingredients well together so that they form a cohesive mixture
- Scoop a tablespoon of the mixture to the middle of a dumpling wrapper.
- Fold the dumpling wrapper in half like a taco, pinching the middle top point together.
- Starting from the remaining half of the “taco “, fold in the edges on each side. If this is your first time folding a dumpling, YouTube is your best friend here.
- Continue folding until you are done with all the filling. You may have some extra wrappers, but you can save that for later!
- Now all you need to do is boil dumplings! Gently place them into boiling water and wait for the dumplings to float to the top.
- Enjoy with some chili oil, soy sauce, and/or vinegar!
Hope you enjoyed these recipes! Check out my page @recipeswithrach on Instagram for more creations.