Dim Sum Bounty - © 2016 maggiejs.ca

What’s the Deal With Dim Sum?

It’s an old Chinese tradition – a celebration of Asian Dumplings traditionally rolled out on Sunday. How important is it in Chinese culture? Just take a gander at the mega display space Dumplings get in most Asian Grocery stores! And that doesn’t even take into account all the Dipping Sauces!

Dim Sum Display Case - © 2016 maggiejs.ca

As I mentioned, in passing, yesterday in this space, Tuesday is Dim Sum Night at our house. Yes, I know: Sunday is the official day for Dim Sum, but we reserve that for more traditional ‘Family Dinner’ repasts.


This 30-foot dual display case is just one of two reserved for Dim Sum Dumplings, Bao Buns and Pancakes at our local Asian Superstore. They generally come frozen and can go directly from the freezer into the steamer basket. Steam for 45 min. or so…


Our usual Dumpling Fest consists of at least four varieties of Pot Stickers. They’re the pouch-shaped half-moon Won Ton pockets and might contain any sort of filling. They can be fried after steaming but we prefer to just steam them, along with the other goodies on our Dim Sum menu.

We also like to have a selection of Siu Mai – small gumdrop-shaped dumplings, open-topped and wrapped in thin pastry. These are almost always filled with savoury ground Meats and steamed. We like to have Chicken, Beef, Shrimp and Pork.

And.. It wouldn’t be Dim Sum without Bao buns. They’re light, fluffy, snow-white mounds of simple Pastry filled with juicy, saucy meat mixtures. Served in a bowl, you’d call the fillings ‘Stews’. Except when your Baos are stuffed with Korean Meatballs (Gogi), in which case they’re pretty solid.

We steam all the different sorts of Dumplings together and serve them Family Style, on platters, so diners can have whichever sort(s) they want.

Dipping Sauces…

Like the Dumplings, Dipping Sauces to complement them are available by the aisle-full at your local Asian Grocery. Thai style leans heavily on Tamarind, Peanuts and Fish Sauce. But there’s also a broad general class of Sweet/Hot Sauces featuring a blend of Hot Peppers and Spices. And there’s also the Condiment side, in which Soy Sauces (Light or Dark), Sesame Oil and other Infused Oils play their part. And, of course, there’s a selection of Sauces crafted especially to complement Dim Sum delicacies. I find these to be heavy on the Soy Sauce, in general, though, and long on Hot Pepper Oil…

In answer to the unspoken question…

Yes, you can make Dumplings, Bao Buns and other Dim Sum tidbits yourself, but they’re a lot of bother and you’d want to make hundreds at a time and freeze the surplus to make it worth the effort. It’s like Puff Pastry and Phyllo Dough:You could make them yourself, but they’re a heap of bother and yours would never turn out as good or as consistent as the ones you can buy, made by experts…

So do a Dumpling Day!

…And discover the joys of Dim Sum – whatever day of the week it is!

~ Maggie J.