Top 5 Dim Sum

Shrimp Dumplings and Dipping Sauce

What is Dim Sum?

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.

One of my favorite tea cups that I bought on a trip to China Town in L.A.

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 .

Wasabi Chicken Feet With Bonito Flakes

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?


Spicy Szechwan Red Sauce Wontons

What kind of snacks are considered Dim Sum?

To help you understand what kind of snacks are considered Dim Sum we’ve put together a video playlist of our Top 5 Favorites! All of which we have individually filmed for you as well! I hope you enjoy watching them and learning how to cook them for yourselves. Potstickers, Shrimp Dumplings, Red Sauce Wontons, Wasabi Chicken Feet, Crab Wontons(Rangoons).

PMGK’s Top 5 Dim Sum Recipes – PoorMansGourmet


Grocery Shopping – Ingredients for Oriental Recipes

Oriental market Main Pic

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!

Red Sauce Wontons

Red Sauce Wonton Pic

The Best Wontons Recipe

If you like Chinese Wontons, you’re going to love this Red Sauce Wontons recipe.  It’s generally sweet and spicy but you can control exactly how much you want of each, easily.  It’s true that this recipe was once on P.F. Chang’s menu.  I’m not quite sure if it is anymore but I’ve broken down a restaurant size recipe and created this family size equivalent with medium heat.  So feel free to adjust the Chili Oil, Chili Paste and sugar to your desired preference.

Recipes made with Wontons

If you’re looking for more of a traditional Wonton Soup recipe, CLICK HERE.  Also, I make the best Pot Stickers and my Shrimp dumplings recipe is amazing so you need to check those out too.  Pot Stickers are also know as Gyoza, which is seasoned and flavor ground pork that is steamed inside of a wonton wrapper that is folded into a crescent moon shape and pan fried.  Shrimp Dumplings are very similar, only they are stuffed with seasoned and ground shrimp, instead, then steamed and pan fried. Oh, and did I mention the Dipping Sauce?  Mmm, mm, mm!

Red Sauce Wontons Ingredients:

1/2 lbs Ground Pork
1/4 tsp Powdered Ginger
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
1 pkg Wonton Wrappers

Red Sauce
1 cup Soy Sauce
3 tbsp White Vinegar
1 tbsp Chili Oil
1 tbsp Chili Paste
1 tbsp Sesame Oil
1/4 cup Sugar
2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
1 tbsp Canola Oil

Serve 5 Wontons with 2 oz of Sauce and Garnish with Green Onion and Cilantro.