Dim sum 101 from dim sum chefs

Good things come in bamboo steamer baskets of threes. From intricately folded orbs of chewy har gow to fluffy sweet buns filled to the brim with salty liquid gold, dim sum never fails to be the choice for cajoling foodie friends. 

For those who want to enjoy dim sum to the next level, here’s an insider guide to savouring these bite-sized dishes like a pro. We took the guesswork out for you and went to Group Executive Chef Martin Foo of Crystal Jade, as well as Master Dim Sum Chef Peng Yi Chun of Si Chuan Dou Hua Restaurant, for some tips and tricks to fully appreciating this delicately delicious cuisine.

1. Split them up

Many dim sum favourites including liu sha bao and xiao long bao contain piping hot fillings that have scalded one too many hungry diners. While sushi is meant to be eaten in one bite, dim sum is best enjoyed slowly and in small portions. 

Chef Peng recommends peeling the salted egg buns apart and savour it in bite-sized portions, whereas Chef Martin suggests making a small tear, having a taste of the molten centre as it overflows, then eating the bun as a whole when it cools down. 

Another pro tip from Chef Martin for chee cheong fun lovers: split the rice rolls on the plate itself to catch more light soya sauce on the rolls, before scooping a combination of salty-savoury flavours into your mouth.

2. Dim sum comes in threes

Image credit: Crystal Jade Hong Kong Kitchen

Most of the time, dim sum are usually served in threes, not fours, as the latter number is homophonous to the word “death” in Chinese. Do some quick math at the table

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