Many cultures have their own variation of dumplings or Dim Sum. The Polish have pierogies. Those from Georgia-the country eat khinkali daily, while the Iraqi are more familiar with kubbeh.
Pierogies are made from unleavened dough and often stuffed with potato filling, sauerkraut, ground meat, cheese and/or fruit. Khinkali has different variations spreading across the Caucasus, with various fillings composed of spiced meat, beef and/or lamb and include herbs, onions, garlic, mushrooms, potatoes or cheese. Kubbeh is made of burghul (cracked wheat), minced onions, goat, lamb, lean ground beef or camel meat.
While the “fillings” of these dumplings (Dim Sum) might differ from the regionally available products, do you see any similarities in these tasty foods? Pierogies, khan khali and kubbeh, can all be classified as dumplings as they are made from dough and are either cooked alone or wrapped around a filling. Dumplings (Dim sum) are a great way to add in a variety of flavors from herbs, spices and vegetables! There’s not a “wrong” and “right” way to make dumplings–as evidenced by the thousands of variations across the world.
For me, dumplings (Dim Sum) are associated with a specific Chinese cook, Sharon Quan (pronounced Kwon). Both my parents attended Sharon’s cooking classes before they adopted me. Once I was old enough, I attended Sharon’s cooking classes with my dad. Not only were these classes a way to better learn traditional Chinese cooking methods but a great way to understand “why” foods are prepared the way they are. I have memories of growing up helping my dad fold and make dumplings. We’d make several batches, freezing at least half so we’d have some always on hand!
Delicious Authentic Chinese Dim Sum Recipe
- Wax paper to line steamer
- ¾ cup ground pork (minced pork) - minced
- 1 large green onions (scallions or green shallots) - minced
- ¼ cup water chestnut - peeled, crush with the flat side of a cleaver
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 dash ground black pepper
- 1 pound shrimp (prawn) - medium size, about 40
- Shell shrimp, but leave the tail and last section intact. Cut open shrimp from the back. Wash and devein, pat dry, and set aside for later use.
- Mix minced pork, Chinese sausage, mushroom, and scallion. Add fresh water chestnut, and mix together; add soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, cornstarch, and pepper. Mix in the chopped meat. Mix well.
- Line the steamer with wax paper and brush with oil.
- Make the dim sum dumpling: Place a sheet of wonton skin on your palm; put about 1 teaspoon of meat mixture in the middle of the skin. Add 1 shrimp to the top of the meat with the tail up. Gather edges of the skin together around the tail of the shrimp. Place dim sum into the steamer and open the tail like a fan. Steam all for 20-25 minutes.
- Serve with mixed soy sauce and sesame oil for dipping. Enjoy!