Listing of Popular Dim Sum Dishes

Grant YSeptember 7th, 2007
By: Grant Y

(Page 4 of 5)

Steamed Dim Sum Dishes

You'll find one cart in particular that serves all the steamed dim sum dishes. Large stacks of metal or bamboo serving dishes spouting off steam make this type of cart easily identifiable. Some of the steamed dim sum dishes include:

Shrimp dumplings (ha gow): A very popular dish of shrimp in a rice flour wrap. The wrap should be light and translucent, not solid or rubbery.

Shu mai: Another popular dish consisting of ground pork, bamboo, mushrooms and other ingredients wrapped and steamed in a flour skin. The meat should be visibly spilling out over the top and not be hidden inside the skin, since that indicates the frozen and boiled variety.


Opened sticky rice

Sticky rice: Generally people like or dislike this dish, with no in-betweens. It’s sticky brown rice containing meat, sausage and often mushrooms, and is wrapped in banana leaves. It comes in salty or sweet servings. The bigger, the better is how this dish generally works.

Hum Bow: Sweet BBQ pork meat steamed inside a fluffy white bun, this dish is popular with all patrons. The bun should be nice and plump, with a good-sized helping of meat inside. It often comes on a cart carrying nothing but a variety of these pork buns.

Spare ribs: Steamed pork ribs, usually somewhat sweet, with black bean sauce. Lots of oil is natural, so health watchers beware. We recommend this if you are a rib fan of any kind.

Meat balls: Like the name says, it’s a giant meat ball, sometimes covered with a boiled cabbage leaf.

Leek dumplings: Close cousin to the shrimp dumpling, but has the addition of leeks and sometimes other herbs like parsley and green onions.

Steamed tofu: Fried tofu skin that has been steamed and is wrapped around ground beef in broth. A tasty treat for experimenters.


That's right. Chicken feet.

Chicken feet: Yes, you heard it right " chicken feet. It’s a Chinese delicacy found at authentic restaurants, and is a dish for the adventurous foodie. Really though, it tastes like soupy chicken skin.

Dry, Fried and Baked

All other carts generally carry an assortment of various meat-filled dishes of some kind. Most often they are baked or fried, but there are also quite a few unique dishes that don't fall into any of the previously mentioned categories.

Pot stickers: A classic dish that can either be truly great or just a cheap trap. If they look big and have a thick layer of skin, they’re likely hand-made and will have a much better chance of being good.

Baked BBQ bun: A mini-pastry using the same BBQ pork as above, but in a sweet, flaky pastry shell with a quite rich filling. It’s pretty popular with the American palette, but quite a few Chinese eat this dish as well.

Baked BBQ pastry: A mini pastry using the same BBQ pork as above, but in a sweet pastry that is often quite rich. Pretty popular with the American palette, but quite a few Chinese eat this dish as well.

Egg custard: A dessert dish that, when done right, tastes like heaven. It’s basically a sweet egg custard baked in a flaky pastry shell that will melt in your mouth.

White rice cake: Looks like a white spongy pie (sounds appetizing, I know) that tastes much better than it looks. The texture is porous like bread, but spongy like jelly at the same time. Properly made, it’s a very fine balance of sweet, tart and chewy texture. Quite popular with the Chinese.

Fried taro: A personal favorite that starts with a flaky fried exterior that is stuffed with steamed taro and meat. The outside should be lightly crisp, not mushy or soft.

Egg rolls: Unless you are at a gourmet Chinese restaurant, avoid the egg rolls. Really.


Carrot cake dish

Carrot cake: A mixture of flour, taro, meat and carrot pan-fried in square chunks. There are few dishes that match this in texture, so it’s really a try-and-experiment dish. It doesn’t taste much like carrots, however, as you’d think.

Sesame balls: Deep fried balls of sweet red bean paste wrapped in flour and sesame. Another good dessert dish.

Other Specific and Unique Dishes

Congee with Chinese donut: Rice porridge with a side of fried bread (they call it donut)

Rice flour shrimp: Simple dish of shrimp wrapped in rice flour with soy sauce.

Chow fun: Fried noodles with veggies, fairly plain dish.

Almond tofu with syrup: A highly recommended dish, it’s a velvety soft tofu that is more liquid jello than tofu, with a sugar and almond-flavored sweet syrup. This is a great dessert on a hot day.

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Shrimp dumplings or shrimp balls
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