What are dim sum?

Dim sum are an Asian delicacy: small stuffed pouches that are usually steamed and that have been popular in restaurants all over the world for some time now. Originating from the Chinese province of Canton, their name means ‘little morsel that touches the heart’. It is not known whether they began as a snack for travellers on the Silk Road or whether they were made by the court’s cooks to ‘touch the heart’ of the imperial family. In any case, what is clear is that they were a great success and soon spread throughout the country, becoming part of its identity.

Dim sum dough is made of wheat or rice flour and filled with meat, vegetables or seafood, although there are countless recipes. Most dim sum are steamed and some are finished on the grill. Originally eaten in the morning with tea, dim sum are now a type of Chinese tapas: an informal meal made for sharing at any time of day.

There is a wide variety of dim sum made with different ingredients and cooking methods, including dumplings, xiao long bao, hakao and siu mai. The bite size morsels are usually served in the bamboo steamer in which they were cooked, hence why the steamers are known as dim sum steamers.

At García de Pou we have bamboo steamers in different sizes.

 

The versatility of dim sum steamers

Dim sum steamers can be used to cook fish, meat and vegetables with several steamers stacked on top of one another depending on the quantity required. The bottom is covered with perforated paper so that the liquids released from the food do not spoil the base of the steamer. For even cooking, the pieces of food should be the same size and must be placed separately from each other.

Place the steamers on top of a saucepan and boil the water over a medium heat for about seven minutes for vegetables, 15 minutes for fish or dim sum, and about 30 minutes for meat. Our only word of advice is to avoid consuming the water. Meat is usually placed in a separate steamer, since it takes longer to cook. It is advisable to place the foods that take longer at the bottom so that the ones on the top can be removed when they are ready.

 

Bamboo, a gift from nature

Bamboo is a plant that grows quickly without the need for pesticides or chemical fertilisers and does not consume much water. In addition, it is one of the strongest eco-friendly materials on the planet and has one of the fastest decomposition times, requiring just four to six months. For these reasons we manufacture a wide range of bamboo kitchenware, such as bowls, sushi boxes, chopsticks and dishes for snacks, which you can find in our catalogue.

Elegant mini bamboo spoons by García de Pou for serving appetisers.

 

Bamboo is also odourless and tasteless, making dim sum steamers an excellent kitchen utensil. It is recommended to wash them without using soap; simply wipe them down with lukewarm water and a cotton cloth and let them air dry before storing them. One good tip is washing them with water and a little vinegar, which helps to reduce odours. It is also a good idea to soak them in cold water before using them for the first time. This will ensure that they last for many years.

At García de Pou we have an extensive range of bamboo kitchenware.

 

It is worth remembering that steaming is one of the healthiest cooking methods, since it preserves the nutrients in food and does not require added fat, making it easier to digest. All these arguments have made dim sum steamers one of the most widely used ancient cooking tools in kitchens all over the world today.

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