15 Most Popular Dishes of Chinese Dim Sum

Chinese Dim Sum is developed from ancient Chinese palace pastry and Western style pastry. They are small and delicate. Popular in Guangdong and Hong Kong, people usually enjoy them together with tea in Cantonese tea houses, called going for Yum Cha. There are over 1,000 kinds of Cantonese dim sums, either sweet or salty, stuffed or non-stuffed, vegetarian or non-vegetarian, baked or steamed. Here is a popular dim sum menu for reference. 

1. Shrimp Dumpling

Chinese name: 虾饺 xia jiao
Shrimp Dumpling is a famous traditional Cantonese dim sum. It originated in a small family-style tea house in Wufeng Township, Wucun, Guangzhou suburb, in the early 20th century. The appearance of Shrimp Dumpling should be crystal-clear, and crescent-shaped with at least 10 folds. It is bite-sized. With one or two shrimps inside, fillings also have pork and bamboo shoots. So the Shrimp Dumpling features pliable flour wrappers and delicious and smooth fillings.
Shrimp Dumpling
Shrimp Dumpling
Chinese Dim Sum
Chinese Dim Sum

2. Barbecued Pork Buns (Cha Siu Bao)

Chinese name: 叉烧包 cha shao bao
Barbecued Pork Bun is one of the representative traditional Cantonese dim sum. The ingredients are flour, Char Siu the Chinese barbecued pork, oyster oil and other seasonings. Owing to the appropriate fermentation of the dough, the Barbecued Pork Buns crack naturally when steaming, which look like flowers. Normally, the size of Barbecued Pork Buns are about five centimeters in diameter and 3 or 4 of them are served at a time.

3. Shumai

Chinese name: 烧卖 shao mai
There is Shumai all over the country. There are a variety of fillings including glutinous rice, mushrooms, water chestnut, pork, beef and shrimp. They are beautiful and flower-like with thin flour wrappers and fabulous tastes. In addition to Cantonese tea houses, they are basically available at breakfast shops.

4. Rice Noodle Rolls (Cheung Fun)

Chinese name: 肠粉 chang fen
Originating in Luoding, Guangdong province, the Steamed Rice Noodle Roll is popular around the country, among which the Steamed Rice Noodle Roll in Guangzhou, Puning, Chaoshan and Yufu is most well-known. They are transparent and have an elastic and sweet taste, served with soy sauce and lettuce. The peanut butter and a variety of side dishes are often added.

5. Pineapple Bun

Chinese name: 菠萝包 bo luo bao
Pineapple Bun is a kind of sweet bread invented in Hong Kong. It has no pineapple as ingredients in fact and no filling is stuffed at all. It is said that the Pineapple Bun is named for its golden yellow and pineapple-like appearance after baking. The main ingredients are bread flour, berry sugar, butter and so on. The Pineapple Bun is crisp outside and soft and sweet inside.

6. Steamed Custard Buns (Nai Wong Bao)

Steamed Custard Buns
Steamed Custard Buns
Chinese name: 奶黄包 nai huang bao
As a traditional Cantonese dim sum, Steamed Custard Bun characterizes a strong milk frgrance and yolk flavor. It is pure white outside and bright yellow inside. There are three common fillings: chestnut, egg yolk and butter taste.

7. Steamed Spareribs with Black Beans

Chinese name: 豉汁蒸排骨 chi zhi zheng pai gu
Steamed Spareribs with Black Beans is one of dim sum dishes which is delicious and has the aroma of fermented black beans and garlic. It is very easy and fast to make it. First, chop the spareribs into small pieces and scald it with cooking wine. Heat up the wok or pan with oil, add in chopped ginger and green onion. Stir-fry. Add in fermented black beans, tangerine peel powder, sugar, dark soy sauce, cooking wine, monosodium glutamate, and chopped peppers and stir-fry until fragrant. Mix the spareribs with cooked fermented black beans, chopped peppers, starchy flour and sesame oil and steam for 30 minutes. Chopped green onion can be sprinkled with when it is done. It tastes salty, tender and succulent.

8. Chicken Foot

Chinese name: 蒸凤爪 zheng feng zhua
The cooking steps of this dim sum dish are as follow. Pour water, cooking wine, anise, cinnamon, ginger, chicken feet into the pot and bring to a boil. After boiling for a while, pull out the chicken feet and wash them. Anise, cinnamon and ginger are also put aside. Mix chopped garlic, monosodium glutamate, pepper oil, sesame oil, sugar, chicken essence, vinegar with water. Then add in anise, cinnamon and ginger as well as the chicken feet. Cover with plastic film and steam for 30 minutes. The steamed Chicken Foot has a sweet, fresh and soft flavor.

9. Deep Fried Meat Dumpling

Chinese name: 咸水角 xian shui jiao
Deep Fried Meat Dumpling is a common Cantonese dim sum. The fillings include pork chops, leek, shrimp, dried black mushroom and jicama. Add in the boiled water into the glutinous rice flour and mix. Shape them into a pasta and cut into several small dough and stuff with fillings. Deep-fried in the oil until golden. It tastes crisp but soft inside.

10. Egg Tart

Chinese name: 蛋挞 dan ta
In the 1920s, there was fierce competition among major department stores in Guangdong province. In order to attract customers, the chefs of department stores designed a special dessert every week. It was at this time that egg tarts appeared in Guangzhou and gradually become a famous Cantonese dim sum. Egg tart is a kind of Western-style pie with egg pulp as filling. The method is to put the crust into a small bowl-shaped cake mold, then pour into the egg pulp mixed with sugar, and then bake in the oven. The baked egg tart has crisp outer layer and sweet yellow solidified egg pulp inner layer.
Egg Tart
Egg Tart
Durian Cake
Durian Cake

11. Durian Cake

Chinese name: 榴莲酥 liu lian su
Durian Cake, a dessert baked with durian pulp and flour, is originated from Thailand. In recent years, it has gradually been accepted and loved by Chinese people. The golden Durian Cake with fresh and soft durian pulp and crispy skin make your mouth-water.

12. Spring Rolls

Chinese name: 春卷chun juan
Spring Rolls are traditional and famous Chinese dim sums and often eaten at Chinese New Year. The thin and square flour wrappers are stuffed with fillings and deep-fry until golden. Spring rolls made in this way are crisp and fragrant. It is served with worcestershire sauce.

 Read more:  Recipe - How to Make Spring Rolls

13. Turnip Cake

Chinese name: 萝卜糕 luo bo gao
Turnip Cake is a Chinese dim sum and mostly eaten in South Fujian province and Guangdong province. It has soft texture and delicious taste. The main ingredients are rice flour, white radish, and raw bacon. Here are cooking steps for Guangdong-style Turnip Cake: mix rice flour with water and add in pickled radish shreds and other ingredients; steam the mixture; cool and cut the steamed mixture into pieces; heat a little oil in a pot and pan-fry the pieces over medium and small fire until they turn golden on both sides.

14. Taro Cake

Chinese name: 芋头糕 yu tou gao
Taro cake is a special Chinese dim sum in Guangdong Province. They are also served in tea houses in Hong Kong and Macau. The ingredients are rice flour, taro, shrimp, dried black mushroom, sausage and bacon. Sweet and sticky, it's nutritious and easy to digest.

15. Water Chestnut Cake

Chinese name: 马蹄糕 ma ti gao
Dating back to Tang Dynasty (618 - 907), the dark yellow and translucent Water Chestnut Cake with the sweet, soft and smooth flavor is favored by the Guangdong people. It is just made from the water chestnut powder and syrup.

- Last updated on Apr. 21, 2021 -
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