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The Best Dim Sum Dishes & How To Enjoy Them

A longstanding tradition of many branches of Chinese cuisine. This meal consists of a variety of small plates served with a hot pot of tea. Dishes fly out of the kitchen and onto your table if you request it as the cart zooms by, but you may not be familiar with them. So with that in mind, here’s a handy guide to the best dim sum dishes and how to enjoy them.

Har Gow Dumplings

This classic steamed dumpling is usually shrimp based, and has a delicate aroma. Occasionally you can get varieties with dill or green onion added, but this fresh dumpling should be neatly tucked in its crystal clear rice wrap. Feel free to dip yours in a splash of seasoning, personally, I’d vouch for hot mustard..

Siu mai is another classic, however this one is open faced. A mix of ground shrimp and pork, topped with a touch of roe, this dumpling takes names. If you have the chance to try it at a high end dim sum restaurant, it can be surprisingly impressive and elaborate.

Sticky Rice

Wrapped in lotus leaf, steamed and usually served with Chinese sausage and pork inside, this flavourful dish is a must. It’s always reliable, and provides a good base for a dim sum newby. Be sure to share it though, as sticky rice is ultra-filling.

Taro Puffs

Taro—a starchy vegetable, is very common in Asian cuisine. Be sure to sink your teeth into a taro puff, for a flavourful and textural experience. These deep fried puffs have a crispy shell filled with a sweet yet savoury cloud of fluffy taro and minced pork.

Pot-sticker Dumplings

These pork dumplings have a thicker skin than most. Therefore, they’re seared to perfection and characterised by a slight char on the outside. Filled with minced pork and green onion, be sure to try it with some red wine vinegar to break up the richness.

Turnip Cake

A personal favourite, turnip cake is made from rice flour and shredded turnips, mixed with a touch of Chinese sausage, made into squares and seared. It’s a perfect mix and a tasty, simple treat, for any dim sum meal. Be sure to try it with hot mustard!

Spare Ribs

Spare ribs are a common feature in dim sum, usually steamed with a touch of black bean and bell pepper. Flavorful and bite size, and a perfect compromise for those to nervous to gnaw on chicken feet!

Soup Dumplings

Possibly the best dumplings to have ever taken form, soup dumplings are a truly special delicacy. Be careful when tucking into these: nibble off the top of the dumpling, suck out the hot broth and slurp the rest of the dumpling up. Results in a burst of juicy meat perfectly packaged. A must try for anyone.

Noodle Rolls

Slippery, savoury noodle rolls are a dim sum staple. Usually filled with either shrimp or BBQ pork, these rolls are tricky to nab with chopsticks, so don’t be afraid to get your bowl close to your gullet. They’ll have a sweet soy sauce poured over them when served, so again, no need for additives.

Steamed BBQ Pork Buns

These white clouds are bursting with flavor. Filled with scrumptious BBQ pork, you don’t need any soy sauce for this one. Just peel off the paper base and sink your teeth into its fluffy exterior.


Egg Tarts

Egg tarts are surprisingly delicious, with a flaky yet thick crust cradling a rich yet sweet custard. A perfect way to finish off your meal!

Sesame Balls

A chewy hallow rice flour ball, with black or red bean paste in its heart, rolled in sesame seeds and deep fried. Just, delightful.

We hope you’ve found this guide helpful on your dim sum quest.

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  1. OMG when I go this kind of restaurant I never know what I am ordering until it comes to the table so i am so happy that you have photos and descriptions so now i know what things are before I get there lol

  2. Wow, I always I’m confuse when I’m Asian restaurants what to order!
    Thanks for your tips !

  3. I didn’t know that there are a lot of different types of dimsum! Will surely try it out one by one.

  4. I am so glad you did this haha I never seem to know what I am ordering when I am at any restaurant with authentic food. Plus I am a picky eater so this definitely helps!

  5. Thats a lot of asian food. And I love noodles,dumplings and those egg tarts looks so delicious.

  6. My mouth literally got watery! These are all my favorites and the restaurant that served the best is in Indonesia. I really miss it!

  7. I’ve never tried this but I’ve seen other eating it and it looks so good! I will have to look around and find a place near me that sells it.

  8. Awesome information! I love trying new foods but sometimes don’t know what to order or how to eat it! This is a great reference and good information. Thanks for sharing!!

  9. I know none of this food, but I know some now! I heard dumplings are good so I would try that! My first time ever to a sushi place with a friend I just told the waiter to surprise me and I liked whatever they brought out so I try to do that with something new every few months!

  10. I’ve never had Dim Sum but the Steamed BBQ Pork Buns and the Sticky Rice sound amazing. Thank you for teaching me about this.

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