“I (heartily) HEART ❤️ DIM SUM, but who doesn’t, right?”
Dim Sum, is a universally-loved Chinese brunch where meals are prepared and served in small bite-sized portions and shared. Most of the dishes are either baked, steamed or fried – traditionally served on trolleys where hot dim sum baskets are stacked for diners to choose and order. Dim sum is often associated with yum cha because chinese tea is usually served during dim sum.
“Sundays are my favourite Dim Sum days where time just stops. I love to enjoy a slow, relaxed time with my family while sipping hot tea and gently nibbling on dim sum bites”
Here in Melbourne, dim sum is served from 11am as brunch. In other parts of the world like Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, dim sum is served from as early as 6-7am as breakfast. To the elderly, it is our Chinese tradition to get together with friends for dim sum after their early morning exercises.
Here’s a few of my favourite dim sum dishes – har gao (prawn dumpling), shu mai (pork dumpling), lor mai kai (chicken glutinous rice), har cheong fun (prawn in rice noodle roll), baked pork buns, flaky egg tart, to name a few. Sounds familiar right? I’d never leave my dim sum meal without them 🙂
What’s your favourite dim sum dish?
Last week I was at an Asian Grocer when I spotted large packets of dried lotus leaves – wait for it – OH-OH-OH-Awesome 🙂 I’ve never seen dried lotus leaves before and they are seriously huge and that’s only half-fold! Dried lotus leaves are used to wrap fragrance glutinous rice and steam. When steamed, the leaves impart a subtle aromatic smell and beautiful smoky flavour.
If you haven’t try this dish – make sure you try it the next time you go for your dim sum and if you have, you can now make this at the comfort of your own home.
Steamed Glutinous Rice with Lotus Leaf (adapted from Choong Su Yin’s Scrumptious Rice & Porridge)
Makes 6 parcels
300 g glutinous rice, washed & soaked for 4 hours, drained
260 g water
2 cloves garlic, peeled & chopped
3 pcs dried lotus leaf, soaked for 1 hour in hot water, rinsed & wiped dry
6 pcs kitchen string
20 g dried prawns, soaked in warm water for 10mins, drained
30 g red shallots, peeled & sliced thinly
2 pcs chinese sausage, washed & diced
30 g dried chinese shiitake mushroom
50 g black eye beans
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp dark soy sauce
dash white pepper powder
dash sesame oil
1. Soak mushrooms in warm water for at least 4 hours or till soft. Cut away the stem, wash and squeeze excess water out. Dice the mushrooms and set aside.
2. Wash black eye beans and soak in water for 4 hours. Drain. Boil with low heat for about 30-45mins until soft but beware not to burst the beans. Drain and set aside.
3. Heat 3 tbsp vegetable oil in wok. Saute shallots on medium-low heat until golden brown. Drain and set aside.
4. Add dried prawns, fry until fragrant, then add diced chinese sausage, mushroom and black eye beans. Stir well, dish out and set aside.
5. Heat oil in the wok again. Saute garlic until fragrant, add glutinous rice and fry a moment. Add seasoning. Stir to mix well until aromatic. Sprinkle the 260 g water gradually over the rice while stirring constantly over low heat – maintaining the rice to be moistly dry at all times (and not soaking in water).
6. Add all previously cooked ingredients back into the wok. Stir fry evenly. Turn off the heat.
7. Open up lotus leaf and cut in half. Then cut away the bottom hard stem. Place the green part facing you. Brush some oil on the centre part of the leaf. With rice paddle, take 2 scoops of rice and place them on the oiled part. Take the left part of the leaf and cover the rice. Followed by the right part to the left. Fold the extra to the back. Then bring the bottom part and fold upwards, wrap like a little parcel. Finally, secure the parcel with kitchen string. Repeat the same until all rice has been used up.
8. Place the parcels into a steamer and steam over high heat for 60 mins. And if you prefer the rice to be softer and mushier, then leave it in the steamer for 90 mins. Serve hot with a touch of chilli sauce or chilli oil by the side.