Tuesday, May 17, 2011

What is Dim Sum?

Dim sum is an integral part of Chinese cuisine, closely associated with the tradition of yum cha, or taking tea. Dim sum means "small heart", suggestive of a small snack that touches the heart. Dim sum can be found all over China and in many parts of the West, where dim sum is a popular meal. Dim sum is usually served in the late morning through the early afternoon, although some dim sum establishments are open later. It is a meal that should be lingered over, in multiple courses that traditionally have a set order.

Dim sum is an umbrella category for small Chinese dishes. Typical examples of dim sum are small dumplings, wrapped foods such as won tons and egg rolls, and other more exotic foods. In general, individual portions of dim sum are small, so that numerous dishes can be ordered and sampled by the table. Most dim sum falls under the category of a savory pastry, although these foods can be prepared in a variety of ways. Dim sum can be steamed, fried, boiled, baked, or broiled, and this wide range of options makes for a lively and varied meal.


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