dim sum

dim sum
Dim sum (in Cantonese; dianxin in Mandarin) literally means ‘to touch your heart’. These small morsels or snacks are associated with the Cantonese custom of yum cha (yincha: drinking tea) at tea, breakfast and lunch times. They are similar to hors d’oeuvres, the hot and cold delicacies served at French restaurants. Dim sum are colourful, fragrant, tasty and shapely, and they meet the needs of every eater in every season. The ingredients are of high quality and plentiful, the style is novel and there are many varieties such as egg custard tarts, mini spring rolls, cakes, steamed buns, green peppers with shrimp filling, meat balls, fried or steamed dumplings filled with everything from roast pork to Chinese leeks, and other delicacies. The wrapping of rice flour dumplings is so thin that the ingredients can almost be seen. Another favourite wrapping is the lotus leaf, filled with steamed glutinous rice and a filling.
There is usually no ordering. Instead you choose from a wide assortment of snacks that the waiters or waitresses bring out on carts and trays. You may prefer not to take chicken’s feet and duck’s webbed feet in black bean sauce, but they are delicacies for the Chinese. It may take you several visits to different restaurants before you can taste all the varieties and determine your favourites. In big hotels in Hong Kong and the West, you may find Western variations.
Dim sum is often used for get-togethers. A film entitled Dim Sum (Wayne Wang, 1984) depicts three generations of a Chinese-American family living in San Francisco.
Liley, Vicki (1999). Dim Sum. Hong Kong: Periplus.

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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  • dim sum — /dim sum /, Chinese Cookery. small dumplings, usually steamed or fried and filled with meat, seafood, vegetables, condiments, etc. [1965 70; < Chin dial. (Guangdong) dím sàm, equiv. to Chin dianxin (dian dot, speck + xin heart)] * * * …   Universalium

  • dim sum — [ ,dım sʌm ] noun uncount a CHINESE meal consisting of a variety of foods …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • dim sum — 1948, from Cantonese dim sam (Chinese dianxin) appetizer, said to mean lit. touch the heart …   Etymology dictionary

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  • dim sum —    (dim sum) [Chinese: touch the heart] In Chinese cooking, fried, baked, or steamed dumplings filled with pork, seafood, etc., served as a snack or appetizer …   Dictionary of foreign words and phrases

  • Dim sum — For other uses, see Dimsum (disambiguation). Dim sum Typical dim sum breakfast in Hong Kong. From left to right and top to bottom: har gau, jasmine tea, chicken and vegetable congee, steamed dumpling, rice nood …   Wikipedia

  • dim sum — noun (plural dim sums; also dim sum) Etymology: Chinese (Guangdong) dímsām, from dím dot, speck + sām heart Date: 1948 traditional Chinese food consisting of a variety of items (as steamed or fried dumplings, pieces of cooked chicken, and rice… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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