These little gems are one of my family’s favorite dishes. We make them every year at the beach and on other special occasions. It is great when everyone pitches in to help wrap the Dim Sum. They take a little effort but they are totally worth the time. I typically serve them as an appetizer but, with a side dish or two, they could be a main dish. According to the cook Jeff Smith, Dim Sum are a style of Chinese food and the words themselves literally mean, “little jewels that tug at the heart.” Well, they do incite the heart’s desire to consume every last one! Here a a few of the ingredients you will be needing:
As you see here I use Won Ton Wrappers to make these, which can typically be found in the produce section of an ordinary grocery store. However, you can also use “real” Dim Sum wrappers from an Asian grocery. One works as well as the other. You do want to use the dark, Asian, Sesame Oil as it is more flavorful than the lighter version. This can also be purchased at either type of grocery.
You will need a bamboo steamer and a wok, as pictured below:
These items can be purchased at an Asian grocery, or online, quite easily and they are reasonably priced. To learn the proper way to wrap a Dim Sum, I have prepared a short video for your viewing pleasure:
The accompanying dipping sauce recipe will follow, in the Recipe Notes section, below. There are many recipes out there that are similar, and I am sure you could substitute a different ground meat if you wished (though I never have); but, this recipe is tried and true and well-loved. Why mess with perfection? Now let’s make them (the following recipe was modified from an original recipe published by Jeff Smith)!
Mix all of the ingredients together in a medium sized bowl, except Won Ton Wrappers (the filling can be made several hours in advance, tightly covered, in the refrigerator). When thoroughly combined, take a heaping teaspoon and place in the center of a Won Ton/Dim Sum wrapper (please see the link to the video above for a visual demonstration). Close the filled Won Ton lightly, at the top, like a slightly open purse or bag. Put on a large plate. Continue the process until all of the filling has been used.
Lightly oil both bottoms of a two level bamboo steamer. Place the filled Dim Sum inside the steamer, make sure they do not touch one another (they will stick together as they cook if they are too close). Fill both levels of the steamer.
Use a wok, fill it with several inches of water. Bring the water to a boil over a medium high heat. Place the two level steamer on top of the boiling water (pictured above). Steam the Dim Sum for about 10 minutes or until the pork filling inside reaches about 145 degrees (you will know they are done they will be firm). Turn off the burner. Use pot holders to remove from the steamer from the wok. Using tongs, place the freshly cooked Dim Sum on a plate. Serve immediately with dipping sauce (see Recipe Notes below for instructions).
Dim Sum Dipping Sauce:
Mix together, in a small serving bowl, 5-6 Tbsp Low Sodium Soy Sauce, 1-2 Tbsp of sugar or honey, 1-2 Tbsp dark Asian Sesame Oil, Rice Vinegar (to taste), a splash or two of Asian Fish Sauce (to taste), and a few small, thin slices of garlic and ginger to float in the sauce (you can add a splash of hot sauce or crushed Red Pepper if you wish to add some heat). Serve this along side the Dim Sum for dipping or to pour over the top.
"Sundays are for Dim Sum. While the rest of America goes to church, Sunday School, or NFL games, you can find Chinese people eating Cantonese food." - Eddie Huang