Siew Mai – Dim Sum for beginners

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Dim Sum is a favourite Cantonese “snack” of mine. They come in small portions like those Spanish tapas. You can never have enough of these Cantonese foodies as they come in small baskets of variety and in many flavours. There’s sweet, sour, or pastry, buns, dumplings or even chicken feet. Most of these dishes are steamed and must be eaten hot. Traditionally, you usually start off with something steamed like har kow, kau chi, siew mai or char siu bao, and then continue with steamed chicken feet, tripe’s with black bean garlic sauce, spare ribs, spring rolls and finish off with egg tarts, or pancake in lotus bean sauce.
These days, you eat them when you see them on the menu and find a restaurant that makes them fresh! I still remember those days when we would go to Neptune, in Singapore just to specially eat Dim Sum. When you enter the hall, you think you entered a different world. A night club in the night, a busy tea house / restaurant during the day. The restaurant gets really loud, you think you’re in the middle of the market. The waitresses would be busy pushing their little carts around filled with many warm goodies. All you would have to do is to call her, and she’ll come waggling to you. Then you’d ask her what she has to offer. After deciding what your stomach tells you to do, she’ll put just the whole bamboo basket on your table, which takes only at most 2-4 pieces of the food you chose. Of course, you make a few choices. Then after finishing your portion, you wait till the next waitress comes your way, bringing many other kinds of dim sum for you to choose. In that way, you always get them really fresh and warm, no chance for them to get cold. And no way to get bored. It’s a lot more fun if you’re going to eat them with a few more people than just the 2 of you. A 4-some would be almost perfect. And…the best would be to eat them in Asia, to really feel the traditional atmosphere of eating your dim sums :-) together with tea.

Well, there’re diverse restaurants here serving Dim Sum. But there also only a few who serves them fresh and tasty. I had been craving for them for quite a while already and just had to try make them myself. Remember I said that you eat usually just a small portion of maybe 2-3 pieces of that kind? Well, this recipe i made makes about 50….and errr.. i finished them up together with my hubby and crowned it to be my main course. And don’t make the same mistake i did. Finish making your wraps, then only start steaming. Otherwise you’ll be busy making, steaming and eating it all at the same time, and your kitchen will look like WorldWar2 . Well, there’s always a first time, but it was very worthwhile and tasty too.


Originating from the land of the assam laksa, she is home-based in southern Germany. Authentic asian cooking challenges her to bring fond foodie memories of home in her kitchen.

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