Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Dim Sum – touch the heart

Whew, what a bad hostess I’ve been, taking too much time off!  I will say that Chinese New Year was a blast with family and friends here but I was seriously wiped out afterwards from all the cooking.  It is seriously more work then say a Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner by far.  Why do we do this to ourselves?

011309It was very tasty though!  And speaking of tasty, this Chinese New Year Dim Sum of All Fears event has begun!  There is still time to enter for the free giveaway!

To start us off, how ‘bout a little Dim Sum history, some fun pics of our little “dumpling”,  and some past recipes from the Kitchen Post.  The following is from Wikipedia and rather than try and rewrite it all, I’ll quote them directly:

“Travellers on the ancient Silk Road needed a place to take a nap, so teahouses were established along the roadside. Rural farmers, exhausted after working hard in the fields, would also go to teahouses for a relaxing afternoon of tea. At first, it was considered inappropriate to combine tea with food, because people believed it would lead to excessive weight gain. People later discovered that tea can aid in digestion, so teahouse owners began adding various snacks and the tradition of dim sum evolved.

IMG_0564“In Hong Kong, and most cities and towns in Guangdong province, many Chinese restaurants start serving as early as five in the morning. It is a tradition for the elderly to gather to eat dim sum after morning exercises, often enjoying the morning newspapers. For many southerners in China, yum cha is treated as a weekend family day. Consistent with this tradition, dim sum restaurants typically only serve dim sum until the afternoon (right around the time of a traditional Western 3 o'clock coffee break); other kinds of Cantonese cuisine are served in the evening. Nowadays, various dim sum items are sold as take-out for students and office workers on the go.

IMG_1197“While dim sum (touch the heart, as in not a main meal, only a snack , and therefore is only meant to touch the heart) remains a staple of Chinese culinary culture, especially in Hong Kong, health officials have recently criticized the high amount of saturated fat and sodium in some dim sum dishes, warning that steamed dim sum should not automatically be assumed to be healthy. Health officials recommend balancing fatty dishes with boiled vegetables, minus sauce.

Past Dim Sum-ish recipes and Chinese recipes

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Beef and Broccoli

Ginger Chicken

Cashew Chicken

Misfortune Cookies

Spring Rolls

Gai Dan Zai


  1. I don't think anyone can resist how adorable Aedan was in those little outfits!! I need to make time to make some of your yummy recipes :) Thanks for keeping them coming, Jackie!

  2. Thanks for the background. Going to yam chaah was a huge treat when I was in Hong Kong. It was usually a member or an investigator who insisted on cheng-ing us to yam chaah and I loved it. It is like my dream meal. I love being able to taste all kinds of fun foods and how perfect that they cart the food right to your table. You get to choose exactly what you want. This is making my mouth water. Do they have any good dim sum places in Champaign? I keep promising my husband I will take him sometime, but we never get a chance when we are in Chicago....


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