Dim Sum, Chinese specialty in Malaysia
Dim Sum is one of those specialties many visitors in Malaysia never try. Why not? Unknown makes unwanted, I guess. This dish originates from Hong Kong and the Guangdong area around Guangzhou, where, if you didn't know, some of the best Chinese dishes originate from.
What is your favorite food in Malaysia?
Malaysia is a food paradise. Not surprising if you look at the population of Malays, Chinese and Indians who all contribute to the unique Malaysian cuisine. But what did you enjoy the most in the Malaysian cuisine?
Was it the special Malay redang? Or a Chinese noodle soup? Did you rave about the tosais or roti canai? Please tell other travelers so they can benefit from your experience:
Dim Sum means "dot hearts" in Cantonese and when you look at the dishes, it makes all sense.
My first experience with this special Cantonese dish was in Hong Kong. In the Mongkok district in Hong Kong, there are plenty of little restaurants that serves Dim Sum for little money.
So, what is Dim Sum? And when is it mostly eaten? Here in Malaysia it's mostly a breakfast or lunch dish though you will be able to find it in some food night markets in Penang, or even at one of the night food markets in Sitiawan. It's usually consumed when you are with some friends or family. You order a few different types of them and drink some Chinese tea and have a chat.
What is Dim Sum?
There is a wide range of different Dim Sum available, from sweet to salty, sometimes a bit spicier too. It has a combination of of meat, vegetables, seafood and sometimes even fruits. It's usually served in small baskets or on small plates in sets of 3 or 4 depending on the types.
Classic Dim Sum includes buns as bao, dumpling and rice rolls with ingredients as chicken, pork, prawns and vegetables, many will be complete vegetarian. In some restaurants you find also offer plates with green vegetables, roasted meats, rice porridge and soups.
In Ipoh, where there is a large population of Chinese people, you will find excellent prawn dumpling (maybe even my favorite). Siew Mai is a kind of dumpling with meat filling while siew pau is barbeque meat bun. Fish balls are usually available, as cheong fun, glutinous rice rolls amongst many other types.
Dim Sum can be cooked by steaming and frying but other methods are possible. You will choose a few different types, usually they come in sets of 3 or 4. It's usually quite cheap but if you try a few different types, it can add up the bill. Sharing the table with friends gives you the opportunity to try different dumplings and keep the bill payable.
Usually in a restaurant the staff will come with a set of ready Dim Sum on a mobile cart. You choose and you eat and you chat and you have fun. Sounds great? When you travel in Malaysia, try to find a place where you see people steam dishes. You will not be disappointed.