Dim Sum to touch your heart

by Forager on April 8, 2009

That’s what dim sum means – “to touch your heart”. Dim Sum originated in the Guangdong region of Southern China and were served at tea houses as delicious accompaniments to the tea. Originally tea and not food was the focus of tea houses, as yum cha literally means to drink tea in Cantonese. For that same reason, dim sum is the correct Cantonese pronunciation (dim sim has more Mandarin phonetic tones).

History and cultural lesson aside, I have been fortunate enough to come from a family which have dabbled in restaurants and have a few nifty recipes for dim sum floating about. This one is my dad’s basic dim sum recipe and the benefit to me is that when he gives me the recipe, it comes hand in hand with a batch of freshly made dim sum. And having only recently explained the concept of a blog to my father, I believe he thinks I might be running a restaurant in my spare time. I suppose sending your uninvited thoughts into cyberspace with no distinct purpose in mind other than *because I can* is a strange concept.

My Dad’s Dim Sum Recipe

0.5 kg pork mince
2 stalks of celery, diced
half a carrot, diced
1 bundle of bean vermicelli, softened in hot water then cut into 2-3cm pieces
6-8 water chestnuts, diced
1 egg
1 tsp chicken stock powder
8 tsp potato starch
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp white pepper
2 tsp salt
2 sml packets of wonton skins (my dad uses Shanghainese wonton skins which are whiter in colour and have no added lye water)

My dad isn’t one for details. His instructions were simply, mix all the ingredients together, knead it by hand until it has a firm consistency then fold the mixture into the wonton skins. Steam for 15 minutes and they’re ready.
You can have them with whatever dipping sauce you like, but I’m quite fond of a 1:1 light soy sauce and chiang kiang vinegar mix with a teaspoon of seasoned chilli paste.

If you end up making excessive amounts of dim sum like my father always does, you can freeze them as they keep very well frozen. If you do choose to freeze them, keep them separated on a tray when freezing to make sure they don’t stick together in a clump and make unfreezing and steaming a tangled mess.

Coming soon:
This is more exciting for me than you but my dad has promised a few variations on the basic dim sum recipe – the next one will be a pork and dried scallop (conpoy) dim sum. Of course, this means another care package of dim sum for me… *drool*

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lorraine@NotQuiteNigella April 9, 2009 at 10:08 pm

I’d love to try this! And your dad no less-is he the parental cook in the family? I think my parents have only just figured out what a blog is lol

And all recipes should come with a sample I feel 😛

2 Forager April 20, 2009 at 5:26 pm

Hey Lorraine – Back from holiday so sorry for the delayed reply. Yep my dad is the “professional” cook, but just quietly, mum is the one who runs the kitchen :)

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