Dim Sum is small portions of cooked foods served hot and always with a cup of tea. They are made to take small bites as snacks not a full meal. The reason you don’t want to just pop a whole piece in your mouth all at once is because they can be very hot and you’ll miss all the savory flavor that these snacks have to offer.
Where Did Dim Sum Come From?
Dim Sum originally began in China as “yum cha” which in English translates to drinking tea. Tired Travelers would stop in for a cup of tea and as the tradition grew in popularity tea houses started popping up all over the roadsides. Later when people started to learn that tea helps with digestion the owners of the tea houses started offering snacks to go with their tea. The reason they started calling it Dim sum is because the words mean ‘Touch the Heart’ and that’s exactly what these little snacks are meant to do .
Why is Dim Sum served for brunch?
When I first tried Dim Sum, in a ridiculously big restaurant in San Francisco, I had so many questions. I couldn’t believe how many people were there for Sunday Brunch! I’ve had many different Asian type snacks in many restaurants over the years but never served in the morning and it was all a very strange experience for me at first. What I soon found out was that many people in the food industry believe that tea time or as they would call it “Yum Cha” inspired brunch. To me that makes perfect sense because growing up in my home, we always started the morning off with a hot cup of tea. So, why not add some yummy snacks to it too, right?
Believe it or not, it’s so easy shopping for ingredients for Oriental recipes. I’d dare say, it’s even fun. You get so much culture in such a little place and sometimes its just really nice to get out of my comfort zone only to realize it can be just as comfortable somewhere else.
The folks at this 1st Oriental Market are amazing people. They’re so eager to help with all your needs. And I find that this is common just about anywhere I go when it comes to foreign food. People like to share their experiences and culture. I find that it isn’t any different here and the owner, Earl and his wife, make it a real pleasant experience.
Most Oriental Cooking, these days, is very simplified because almost all of the guess work has already been cut out for you. I don’t have to make every individual sauce that is used to combine with other sauces to make one great recipe. For example: when a recipe calls for Hoisin Sauce, you don’t have to make you’re own Hoisin Sauce from scratch(which would require several other ingredients), you just crack open a bottle. And what about Plum Sauce… could you imagine having to make that beforehand too? Both of these ingredients are in my Chinese Barbecue Sauce recipe, which only has 5 or 6 ingredients: Hoisin, Plum Sauce, Ketchup, Sugar, 5 spice powder etc., and that makes it really simple just buying each one of those premade bottles. But, could you imagine having to make all of those ingredients as well? You’d be making ingredients for your ingredients.
That being said, I would just like you to understand and realize that you don’t have to learn translations of ingredients you’ve probably never heard of in the first place. Because, most of the basic ingredients I show you in this video are very versatile to most of the popular Americanized Oriental recipes that you’re likely familiar with anyway.
So get familiar with the few I show you now and I’ll introduce more as we go and you’ll be a pro before you know it!
If you don’t know by now, Americans love Chinese Pot Stickers. If you’ve been to any Chinese Buffet in the last 10 years, you’ve seen them. They’ve even become so popular, they sell them right next to the frozen burrito’s of just about every grocery store in America. I don’t know the history or the exact Origin of the Pot Sticker, I mean, that’s what Wikipedia is for, right, but I can tell you that these are usually prepared fresh everyday, and they’re made by hand, not stamped out of a cookie cutter.
What are Pot Stickers made of?
The breakdown is very simple; Ground Pork, Onion, Carrots and a few Asian Sauces, Hoisin and Oyster Sauce. Just a few secret folds that aren’t too complicated, and Voila, you’ve got Pot Stickers! Well, at least in theory, right. But now what? Do you throw them in boiling water? The answer is NO! Technically I guess you could, but these things are traditionally steamed. And if you don’t have a Steamer, no worries. This video tutorial will show you how to do it without one, So let’s dive right in and make some Pot Stickers.
Be sure to check out my Shrimp Dumplings recipe because I have the best sauce recipe in that post to dip these Pot Stickers in if Tempura dipping sauce isn’t available in your area.
Pot Stickers Ingredients:
1 pkg Pot Sticker Wrappers
8 oz Ground Pork Sausage or just Pork
1/4 cup Carrots
1/3 Cup Scallions
1 tsp Hoisin Sauce
1 tsp Oyster Sauce
1 tsp Black Ground Pepper
1/2 tsp Chopped Garlic
Water to glue the Wrappers together
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Wet the edges of each wrapper and place about 1 tbsp of Ground Pork mixture in the center, and then fold in half like a taco. Then proceed to one of the corners and pleat the edge of one side and apply pressure to make the wrapper stick, all the way around in a half moon shape. Then place Pot Stickers in a steamer lined with Bok Choy leaves or Cabbage and Steam for 7 minutes. Pan fry in a lightly oiled pan for a 1 minute, or until the bottoms turn a light golden brown, Drip dry onto some paper towels then serve your Pot Stickers with some Tempura Dipping Sauce.