I grew up eating dim sum. Every Saturday morning, I would wake up and head over to a Chinese restaurant with my family to eat these little tapas-like dishes for brunch. It seems so normal to me and I thought it was a pretty common thing. Fast forward years later, I have come to the realization that many people have no idea what dim sum is and are terrified when it comes to ordering (including my non-Asian friends). Although I plan on doing a series over time about different dim sum dishes, I thought I would start with my favourite one: siu mai.
Siu mai is a little dumpling ball of deliciousness packed full of juicy flavour. It is a classical dumpling dish found on most dim sum menus and is made with a shrimp and pork mixture. This mixture is wrapped inside a yellow dough and is steamed to perfection in bamboo steamers. It is normally topped with fish roe, but I have seen variations with little slivers of imitation crab meat too. It has a typical firm, meaty texture like a meatball and the mix of shrimp and pork gives it a nice sweet flavour. When you take a bite, it is succulent and oh-so-good! It is possible to buy these frozen, but I find that the frozen version loses its texture and becomes rock hard. As with most things, eating these fresh is best!
Although I am just officially starting the dim sum series now, if you would like to my see previous posts about other dim sum dishes, feel free to check them out: lo mai guy, steamed buns, cheong fun, and sesame seed balls. 🙂