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Fav Dim Sum?

TampaAurora Dec 30, 2007 02:46 PM

Whenever I get to try dim sum, and I tell them that I can't eat pork or shellfish, I get shuttled to the Sesame Ball. I have gotten to try them at a few places now, and I love them! What do you crave?

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    Soup RE: TampaAurora Dec 30, 2007 04:18 PM

    go for chicken feet. They can be amazing.

    1. liu RE: TampaAurora Dec 30, 2007 04:29 PM

      I love dim sum and have many favorites. One standout is rice noodles with XO sauce (and sometimes bean sprouts are in the mix).

      But each dim sum restaurant seems to have its own unique flavors and special dishes, so my favorite dim sum will usually depend on the restaurant we select.

      1. j
        justagthing RE: TampaAurora Dec 30, 2007 04:45 PM

        har gow, chicken feet, turnip cake, the sticky triangle of sweet rice (don't know what to call it in English and can't spell it in Chinese) and almost any that has garlic chives. Thanks for making me hungry.

        1. p
          piccola RE: TampaAurora Dec 30, 2007 05:39 PM

          I like the vegetarian versions of the following:

          baked buns
          steamed dumplings
          rice noodle rolls (rare)
          tofu skin rolls

          These are always veg (and oh-so-tasty): scallion pancakes, tea eggs and fried bread.

          1. ArikaDawn RE: TampaAurora Dec 30, 2007 08:07 PM

            Char Siu Bao. Mmmmm.

            1. PorkButt RE: TampaAurora Dec 30, 2007 09:06 PM

              To the OP, many of the mentions above do contain pork and/or shellfish. An example is XO sauce, which includes ham and dried shrimp and scallops. The turnip cake usually has bits of Chinese pork sausage.

              But there are some options. Malaysian steamed cake, ma lai goh, is sweet from brown or palm sugar. Rice noodle rolls, cheung fun, can be filled with beef or a vegetarian mix. That beef filling, scented with anise and tangerine peel, appears alone as meatballs, ngau yuan. Sticky glutinous rice wrapped in a lotus leaf with a filling of minced chicken, loh mai gai, is rich and filling.

              However, one concern for you is hidden pork in non-pork dishes. Lard is sometimes used in dumpling wrappers and pastry dough, though I think that this is a practice now done only in higher-end restaurants with a clientele who notices and appreciates the difference. Forcemeats may contain pork meat and fat so even so-called steamed chicken buns may contain pork.

              Another dish to consider is non-wonton soup noodles. Thin egg noodles in a chicken broth with greens and stewed beef brisket or roast duck. Not dim sum but perfectly acceptable in that setting.

              3 Replies
              1. re: PorkButt
                piccola RE: PorkButt Dec 31, 2007 04:50 PM

                Really? Would they put lard in the dough for veggie dumplings? Because often these are on a vegetarian menu, so I never thought to ask.

                1. re: piccola
                  PorkButt RE: piccola Jan 2, 2008 03:36 PM

                  If there's an actual vegetarian menu, then I doubt that there would be any lard in the wrapper.

                  But I've had what was simply called spinach dumpling on the menu and it had bits of pork in it. At some places, a vegetable bun (and that's the literal translation) means that there's cabbage in the filling along with pork!

                  1. re: PorkButt
                    piccola RE: PorkButt Jan 2, 2008 05:01 PM

                    I think I'll still ask. I've been to places that use oyster sauce or shrimp paste in the vegetarian menu.

              2. f
                fara RE: TampaAurora Dec 30, 2007 10:03 PM

                you might also try an asian market for their frozen dumplings and buns, if you wanted to know for sure what the ingredients are. there are lots of vegetable and chicken dumpling combinations.
                if you're not concerned about periphery treyf, there's the chicken bun, chicken feet which really are amazing (you need to eat the skin and gristle which are cooked to a jellyconsistency -then spit out the bones, the taste is worth the experience), the rice in bamboo leaves usually has pork in it. there's also usually chinese vegetables like bamboo shoots or "broccoli" available that is sauteed with garlic and possibly oyster sauce (which can even have no oysters, but you can go with it or ask for it with just garlic and oil). outside of that, i can't think of another savory dish that doesn't have pork or seafood. dim sum is all about pork and seafood! i once ate at the vegetarian dim sum place in manht's chinatown. it was terrible. you can ask for just vegetarian, or just chicken from a regular place, but be advised that pork fat is everywhere.
                there are also the egg custards which are great. and any of the deserts.

                1 Reply
                1. re: fara
                  TampaAurora RE: fara Dec 31, 2007 11:39 AM

                  "periphery treyf" - I'm noticing that Dim Sum is a treyf banquet! I love Chinese but staying away from the shellfish and pork is so hard while eating out.

                2. yumcha RE: TampaAurora Dec 31, 2007 12:09 PM

                  Try beef rice rolls, salt and pepper squid, dan tats,

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: yumcha
                    caitlink RE: yumcha Dec 31, 2007 06:46 PM

                    I always have the same thing. The deep fried stuffed crab claw. it's a crab claw stuffed with shrimp paste and dipped in bread crumb. They serve it at wedding banquets and for dim sum. Yum!

                  2. soypower RE: TampaAurora Jan 2, 2008 08:19 PM

                    my must haves whenever i get some dim sum:

                    har gow
                    siu mai (w/ roe)
                    xlb (if they have it)
                    chinese broccoli w/ oyster sauce
                    sticky rice in banana leaf
                    pan-fried noodles
                    shrimp & chive dumplings

                    unfortunately, this usually brings my bill to exorbitant amounts, but the heart wants what the heart wants. :o)

                    1. luckyfatima RE: TampaAurora Jan 3, 2008 02:05 AM

                      I am a huge dimsum fan and I also do not consume pork (but shellfish is okay for me, so that opens a lot of other opportunities). I always inform the waiter and I have had a lot of experiences with people actually telling the chef and the chef makes my party some special dim sums to suit my dietary requirements. That said, some of my favorites that would also be okay for you are:

                      pan fried chicken dumplings
                      curry beef pie
                      veggie cheung fun
                      stir fried greens (although this may be in oyster sauce)

                      Most US chinese places would be using veg shortening, not lard, but one should ask. But watch out for hidden pork as mentioned before. I discovered that some seafood dumplings have pork mixed in, so others might as well.

                      1. stellamystar RE: TampaAurora Jan 4, 2008 02:36 PM

                        Try seaweed salad, and duck choices.

                        1. waver RE: TampaAurora Jan 4, 2008 04:36 PM

                          Sui mai, gai lan, and coconut pudding. Actually any of the puddings!

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