Asia Travel News

Tips for doing dim sum right

Eating dim sum in China is a daily activity among the locals, many of whom enjoy steamed and fried dumplings at every meal. No matter how many times you've gone to a dim sum restaurant outside of China, there's nothing quite like eating traditional food in its country of origin. Like so many other authentic dining experiences, however, there's a proper way to eat dim sum, and if you want to save yourself from funny stares, follow these simple steps to ensure you'll get the most out of your meal during China tours:

Think fast

Chinese people are known for being quick and to the point, especially in dim sum restaurants. The atmosphere itself lends to rapid service - most eateries feature hand-pushed carts from which diners simply pick up whichever dish they want. Use this to your advantage - rather than thinking about what to eat, just grab anything and dive headfirst into an adventure.

You have to be fast, though, because your server has dozens of other tables to get to before the steam escapes.

Try chickens' feet

Chickens' feet may sound gross, but they're really not bad at all, and if you're in the mood for a culinary adventure (or you lost a bet), be sure to grab a plate of these yellow and orange treats. Locals don't hold anything back when they suck the meat from the bone (there isn't much), and you may be pleasantly surprised the first time you try them. The even braver foodie can also try some jue hung (pig's blood) or ngau jaap (beef intestines) - yum.

Don't forget the classics

After having your fill of the more bizarre bites, you may want to wash down that last round of ngau pak yip (beef tripe) with some of the more classic dishes served up at dim sum. Cheung fun, or rice noodle rolls, are smothered in sweet soy sauce and stuffed with either beef, shrimp or parsley and scallions. Or, if you're looking for something a little more crispy and sweet, try the fried taro dumplings. Unlike its potato cousins, taro is sticky like taffy before it's pounded into a pulp and oftentimes tastes a little like sourdough.

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