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Your Most Favorite Dim Sum is?

Chemicalkinetics Sep 22, 2010 08:34 AM

I love so many Dim Sum dishes, and my preference can change daily.

However, I would say the two Dim Sum I appreciate the most on a regular basis are:

Siu Mai; 燒賣 (aka Pork Dumpling)


Char Siu Bao; 叉燒包 (aka BBQ Steam Buns)

Char Siu Bao definitely grow on me in the last decade, especially now that I have learned to make them at home. I really appreciate it. However, I have loved Siu Mai as long as I remember. I remember that I always requested it as a little kid when I went to eat Dim Sum with my parents. My mom always told me that Hao Gar (Shrmp Dumplings) are better and that I don't know what is good. :P

In summary, I have to give it to Siu Mai. It is my most favorite. If nothing else, at least I have a long history with it. :)


How about you? What is your most favorite Dim Sum dish? It does not have to be Cantonese Dim Sum. Thanks.

  1. t
    TT2 Feb 8, 2011 05:37 AM

    Jia Leung. Fried dough wrapped with rice noodle. Oh so good.

    3 Replies
    1. re: TT2
      Chemicalkinetics Feb 8, 2011 05:54 AM

      I love it too. It is often served with two distinctions. The dough being fried to crispiness or the dough still soft. I actually prefer it on the softer side.

      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
        TT2 Feb 8, 2011 06:28 AM

        I prefer crispy so that when the sweet soy soaks in, you have a combo of chewy and crispy going on. Now I need to go to Chinatown.

        1. re: TT2
          Chemicalkinetics Feb 8, 2011 06:32 AM

          :) I remember eating the soft and chewy one from King-Tin restaurant in SF Chinatown. Love that little place. Now, I am in the Northeast. I go to Philly Chinatown and there they always serve the cripy ones (from several restaurants). Some of the crispy ones are just too hard and feel as if they cut my mouth if you know what I mean.

    2. tracylee Feb 2, 2011 05:42 PM

      char siu bao
      lotus seed jin dui

      1. j
        jindomommy Sep 24, 2010 06:07 PM

        Same since I was a little girl...cheung funn. Second would be the sweet rice. When I was in HK and went to Fu Sing and they had this amazing chicken tart topped with walnuts and scallop spring rolls. They are know for more innovative dim sum. I also love the Macau egg tarts like the ones from Lord Stowe. They contain cream. Oh...I'm so hungry.

        1. n
          nooyawka Sep 24, 2010 08:27 AM

          Har gow (shrimp dumpling) is a must. But it's so easy to screw up or be made mediocre. I really perk up when I come across an exceptional one with a delicate yet taut skin, nice fresh snap to the shrimp, and nice sprinkling of bamboo shoots.

          2 Replies
          1. re: nooyawka
            MinkeyMonkey Sep 24, 2010 11:51 AM

            Hmm, I have no idea what the transliterated names are but I call my favourites:
            turnip cake
            deep fried taro
            the slippery rice burrito with shrimp inside
            sesame balls
            almond jello
            egg custard
            any of the shrimp dumplings
            rice wrapped in lotus leaves

            The only things I don't like are congee and chicken feet. I don't like things with lots of pork expect the rice.

            1. re: MinkeyMonkey
              jumpingmonk Sep 24, 2010 12:33 PM

              I probably shoud make mention of another thing I have often that I am quite fond of. It slipped my mind the last time, for the simple reason that I do not normally consider it a dim sum item, as the only resturat I know that makes it isn't a dim sum resturant (that's also why scallion pancakes also weren't on my orginal list, while I am quite fond of them when they are well made, in my area, they aren't something that is normally served as part of the dim sum menu) None the less the dish I am thinking of is for all intents and purposes a variation on a dim sum classic so I guess it counts. At one of my local resturants they have (on the appetizer menu) an item referred to as a roast pork roll, this is not a baked cha siu bao (they have those too listed as roast pork buns). Instead it is basically the same thing as a steamed roast pork crepe (complete with the beancurd skin wrapper) a standard dim sum item. The only difference is that here instead of steaming it they dip it in a batter or flour coating (I'm not sure, but I assume they do this by first freezing the filling as like a real crepe it's open at both ends and since the filling is semi liquid, if they didn't I imagine it would all leak out) and frying them. The result is a roast pork crepe that is actually edible as a finger food. Pretty good (particualry for something off the appetizer menu of a suburban Chinese takeout)

          2. v
            vttp926 Sep 23, 2010 07:33 PM

            wow i am surprise i haven't seen my favorite dim sum item on here yet.

            my favorite thing has to be the shredded taro with the shrimp. next thing is the stuffed eggplant, then siu mai and then pan fried turnip cake

            my mom favorite thing is the deep fried taro dumpling.

            last week we got the shark fin dumpling for the first time and it was really really good.

            man i got a hankering for dim sum now. next time i'm in charlotte that is for sure.

            1 Reply
            1. re: vttp926
              tatamagouche Sep 24, 2010 06:53 AM

              Oh, the eggplant. I do love that.

            2. r
              RileyP Sep 23, 2010 06:01 PM

              One place used to serve these really big, golden, deep fried (what I believe were) squid balls, 3 to a dish. Firm, pink & white, slightly sweet, and amazing.
              I think I liked the garnish even better though - they'd include a couple of crispy, deep fried spinach leaves for garnish. I'd do whatever it took to get those... bat my eyes, get mad, pout or just plain swipe 'em first. They were so worth whatever bad behaviour it took.

              2 Replies
              1. re: RileyP
                hill food Sep 23, 2010 07:19 PM

                RileyP; do a search for Palak Chaat (a dish) and Rasika (a restaurant) either here or on google to find a recipe. it's an Indian version, but yes fried spinach is awesome.

                1. re: hill food
                  RileyP Sep 25, 2010 12:25 PM

                  Oooh ho ho!! Thanks HF, that looks amazing! Although what they did at dim sum was so minimal/pristine I almost don't want to mess with it - just get the type of oil right and leave out any flavorings.
                  I'll make it a point to try both though!

              2. v
                VJA Sep 23, 2010 03:49 PM

                Can't believe BBQ pork rice noodle hasn't made an appearance yet. That's my husband's favorite, and the first thing he always asks the cart ladies if they have.

                My personal is siu mai.

                We also prefer the cart places to the ordering places. I realize that's sacrilege, but I like seeing everything that's available and getting what grabs me. We've also discovered a lot of great new things this way (like baked BBQ buns with the crispy topping - yum!)

                18 Replies
                1. re: VJA
                  Chemicalkinetics Sep 23, 2010 03:55 PM

                  I definitely prefer the cart place too over the ordering places. It is an atmosphere thing. Also for some really odd and strange reasons, I also prefer the middle to senior ladies pushing the carts as opposed to those fancy good looking good dressing young ladies.

                  1. re: VJA
                    raytamsgv Sep 23, 2010 04:02 PM

                    There's nothing sacrilegious about it: it's just another way of serving dim sum.

                    1. re: raytamsgv
                      jumpingmonk Sep 23, 2010 05:04 PM

                      Hey I've commited an even bigger sin, One of the reasons I love dim summing at the Oriental Cafe on Elizabeth street in Manhattan's CT is that it possesses two qualities that many dim sum cognoseti would say are the anthithesis of a true dim sum experiance, it's small and it's QUIET.

                      1. re: jumpingmonk
                        raytamsgv Sep 24, 2010 09:38 AM

                        Quiet? Now THAT is sacrilegious!

                        1. re: raytamsgv
                          septocaine_queen Sep 24, 2010 10:44 AM

                          One of my favorite AB episodes is when he is in HK especially the cacophony of the plates and tea cups in the dim sum restaurant. Also with everyone crowding the carts to get their favorites. If I went to a dim sum restaurant and it was quiet and uncrowded, I would walk out.

                          1. re: septocaine_queen
                            Chemicalkinetics Sep 24, 2010 11:04 AM

                            "If I went to a dim sum restaurant and it was quiet and uncrowded, I would walk out."

                            Ha ha ha. As in "something must be wrong with this one", right?

                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                              jumpingmonk Sep 24, 2010 12:21 PM

                              Actually now that I put my mind to it, I might hazard a guess that dim sum halls were a lot quieter way back when. The kitchens were probably unbeleivably noisy but the actual serving area may not have been. After all, if people went through the trouble of bringing thier pet songbirds with them, its seems likely that the places were quiet enough to enjoy the birds singing, something I can't imagine would be possible in a modern hall (in a modern hall, the noise level often gets up to a level that might actually put a pet canary at risk of dying from noise shock)

                              1. re: jumpingmonk
                                Chemicalkinetics Sep 24, 2010 12:36 PM


                                I absolutely agree with you on this. I think the Dim Sum places have gotten louder. In fact, the old stereotype was that normal families eat Dim Sum during weekends, but only old and retired people eat Dim Sum on weekdays. They would order only a few things and read their newspaper there for an hour or more. I don't think that relax, cafe-style attitude exists anymore. Now, if you order only one or two Dim Sum and start reading your newspaper, you will get kicked out. Young working people started to eat Dim Sum during workdays at lunch time in the 80's 90's. So the culture has definitely changed.

                                1. re: ipsedixit
                                  Chemicalkinetics Sep 24, 2010 03:55 PM

                                  Baby one more time

                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                    hill food Sep 24, 2010 04:09 PM

                                    CK: if I wasn't pretty darn sure you yourself were Asian, well... (but since I think you are I say HA!)

                                    and I think the point ipsedixit was trying to make was that Chinese is among many cultures that maintain eating is a highly social and interactive experience and an event - witness the 'lazy susans' in many regular menu type restaurants.

                                    1. re: hill food
                                      raytamsgv Sep 24, 2010 04:42 PM

                                      I'm sorry to say, but that's a typical Western misunderstanding of Chinese culture. Everyone knows that the "lazy susan" is actually used for negotiating the payment of stolen artifacts and antidotes for the poison that was put in your drink. :-)

                                      1. re: raytamsgv
                                        ipsedixit Sep 24, 2010 04:52 PM

                                        It's actually for quick action to spin the tab to you when the waiter brings it at the end of the meal ...

                                        1. re: ipsedixit
                                          Chemicalkinetics Sep 24, 2010 05:12 PM

                                          I thought it is to use as a giant frisbee for self defense.

                                  2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                    bdachow Sep 24, 2010 04:32 PM

                                    Ah, I beg to differ. I've seen the older gentlemen congregating and hauling out newspapers to sit and read during weekdays still. In fact, I believe the restaurant was actually selling papers. Was in Queens, NY. So fear not, the tradition of the retired folks meeting up and sitting around is far from dead. Whew!

                                    1. re: bdachow
                                      Chemicalkinetics Sep 24, 2010 05:11 PM

                                      Still exist? Cool.

                                    2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                      femmevox Feb 2, 2011 06:07 PM

                                      It still exists in Boston's Chinatown, or at least did till very recently. Many's the time I was the only Anglo among elderly Chinese gentlemen or couples reading the paper and eating just one or two small plates between 8 and 10 AM to Chao Chao City.

                                      1. re: femmevox
                                        Chemicalkinetics Feb 2, 2011 07:04 PM

                                        Good to know.

                        2. re: VJA
                          hill food Sep 23, 2010 04:14 PM

                          I prefer the carts too (and a table right by the kitchen)

                        3. agoodbite Sep 23, 2010 03:36 PM

                          I don't know if it's my absolute favorite, but H and I get two orders of curried squid every time we go for dim sum. One just never seems to be enough. I also love steamed shrimp and cilantro dumplings. There's something that's somehow magical about the combination of shrimp and cilantro. I also really like the shrimp and chive pan fried dumplings other have mentioned.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: agoodbite
                            RileyP Sep 23, 2010 04:27 PM

                            oh yeah, the steamed shrimp/cilantro ones are soo delicate. I think they use lighter rice wraps for those, since they seem more transparent. I prefer those to the thicker more rubbery har-gau wraps.

                          2. r
                            RileyP Sep 23, 2010 03:05 PM

                            I bet no one's going to say it, so I will: The coconut jello desert cubes are my absolute favorite thing about dim sum. If they don't have them (and a lot of places don't any more) its a big let down for me.
                            Its the puurrrrrfect thing to cool you off after stuffing down all those heaty/greasy meat & deep fried treats.. its just so sweet, and light, and cold... refreshing. Love it to death. Found a fantastic recipe at one point which called for coconut cream.
                            I went for dim sum for the first time in forever a while ago and they didn't have the straight white cubes, but a layered thing with other kinds of jellos... still tasted pretty close, so I was satiated.

                            Also kind of love the deep fried har gau (where its all opened up & crispy) with the sweet red sauce they drizzle on it!

                            Besides that I'm pretty traditional... steamed har gau, spareribs, egg custard, sesame balls, gai lan (my favorite vegetable, hands down), spring rolls, siu mai (though its pretty filling), and that stuff in the flat rice noodles sometimes. Had some eel once which I didn't like... the smell was just way too intense. That and the chicken's feet scare me.

                            I so miss New Diamond in Chinatown (Vancouver)... mmmmmm, salivating!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: RileyP
                              Chemicalkinetics Sep 23, 2010 03:48 PM

                              Those are one of my favorite too. White diamond shape cubes.

                            2. j
                              jeanmarieok Sep 23, 2010 03:00 PM

                              I love the red bean paste buns, and siu mai. I always start with those.

                              1. mamachef Sep 23, 2010 01:54 PM

                                I adore really good Har Gow, especially if the shrimps are left a bit chunky and not the mouselline texture some places do. And...I realize I might get flak for this, but I also love shrimp toasts, as long as the frying is done well. And, I love egg custard. And, I love Sui Mai. And I love mahogany baby spare ribs. And...I could go on. My favorite place to go in SF is the Hang Ah Tearoom, which is, I believe the oldest, funkies dim sum joint in the city. It's not the best dimsum, but as far as atmosphere and authenticity are concerned, it can't be beat. Oh, and I love green onion pancakes stuffed with pork and tree ear mushroom, but I don't know the correct name of that one.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: mamachef
                                  Chemicalkinetics Sep 23, 2010 02:31 PM

                                  Oh yeah, green onion pancakes are good stuffs.

                                2. Pia Sep 23, 2010 12:05 PM

                                  I love the sticky rice wrapped up in a leaf with sausage (and other stuff?) inside. I'd love it if someone would tell me the name of this so I can order it instead of just watching for it to go by.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: Pia
                                    K K Sep 23, 2010 12:23 PM

                                    Pronounced "Law Mai Gai" 糯米雞

                                    1. re: K K
                                      raytamsgv Sep 23, 2010 03:15 PM

                                      If you're an old timer like me, the "L" sound would be replaced by a "N" sound.

                                  2. c
                                    cornFusion Sep 23, 2010 11:50 AM

                                    In the Taiwanese version - my favorite is the long slippery noodles with sliced pig intestines - served with a few sprigs of cilantro on top - and I don't know the Cantonese words for that one. As far as Cantonese dimsum, my favorite is the steamed daikon cake (pronounced something like lor baat goh) - something that not all chinese restaurants are good at - and IMHO, is one of the key factors in deciding if the rest of the dimsum has a master's touch or not.

                                    1. luckyfatima Sep 23, 2010 11:29 AM

                                      I love sesame balls. I love the cheung fun stuffed with the deep fried bread. I love tofu skin roll stuffed with seafood. I love the crystal prawn dumplings and pan fried chicken dumplings. I loved the eggplant stuffed with shrimp. I love the kai lan in oyster sauce. I love the glutenous rice balls covered in coconut shreds and stuffed with peanuts and sesame. Too many yummy dim sum items!

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: luckyfatima
                                        Chemicalkinetics Sep 23, 2010 02:24 PM

                                        Wow... what don't you like then?

                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                          luckyfatima Sep 23, 2010 03:00 PM

                                          I don't eat pork so there are a lot of items that I don't have. I am aware of hidden pork like siu mai stuffings labeled as seafood but which have pork, and the like. There is a lot that I can eat though.

                                          I remembered one I LOVE. It is like cheung fun sliced up and stir fried with some browning, almost like char kway teo, it has dried baby shrimp, green onions, and pickled turnips shreds tossed into it. YUM!

                                          I don't like the steamed beef meatballs. Very spongy.

                                          1. re: luckyfatima
                                            Chemicalkinetics Sep 23, 2010 03:45 PM

                                            Yeah, Siu Mai definitely has pork. Cheung fun should not have pork products, unless you have the Char Siu (Chinese BBQ pork) one.

                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                              luckyfatima Sep 23, 2010 04:26 PM

                                              Ah yes, the siu means pork. I guess what I meant was other similar items that sometimes have pork mixed with seafood. Like shark fin dumpling and some others.

                                              1. re: luckyfatima
                                                Chemicalkinetics Sep 23, 2010 07:52 PM

                                                I feel your pain. Usually, there are many ingredients go into some Dim Sum dish, it makes it difficult to list every ingredients in them. Moreover, some restaurents may not use pork as part of the ingredient for a certain Dim Sum, while others may. Most important of all, the people who sell you the Dim Sum (push cart ladies) usually do not know all the ingredients in the dishes or cannot communicate very well in English.

                                      2. Soop Sep 23, 2010 08:36 AM

                                        CK, I love potstickers/dumplings. Absolute neccessity with every order.

                                        Char sui Bao, I found them once, and I was SOOO excited, but they left me cold. The bun was sweet, and only a tiny piece of pork in the middle. Are they always like this?

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: Soop
                                          Chemicalkinetics Sep 23, 2010 08:59 AM


                                          Char Siu Bao can be a bit different from restaurants to restaurants. Some have more pork than other. I would say, you can easily see X2 fold differences in meat between different restaurants. However, there will always more bun than meat by volume. It is certainly nothing like a dumplings, where those have very high meat-to-skin ratio.

                                          Taste is completely personal. As I have suggested, I always like Char Siu Bao ok when I was young, but never really like it until 10 years ago.

                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                            Soop Sep 23, 2010 09:08 AM

                                            Are they supposed to be sweet?

                                            1. re: Soop
                                              Chemicalkinetics Sep 23, 2010 09:15 AM

                                              Yes. The bun is a bit sweet. The Chinese BBQ pork is also sweet with a touch of salt. In short, more sweet than salty.

                                        2. alkapal Sep 23, 2010 06:54 AM

                                          Chem Kin: Is this a good technique (on the science) for getting "crunchy" shrimp? http://rasamalaysia.com/how-to-make-s...

                                          >>>>When I was in Beijing this June, I chanced upon a great Chinese cookbook with the best step-by-step picture guide of making har gow or shrimp dumplings. It reveals that a pH9 alkaline water is the secret behind crunchy shrimp, and a light massage while marinating pretty much does the trick. The PH9 clue intrigues me. I came back and went to my favorite Chinese restaurant in Irvine and investigated further. The chef told me that they don’t use alkaline water, but swear by the process of marinating shrimp with egg white, tapioca starch (菱粉) and baking soda, a process they called “上浆” (shangjiang) or literally “coating with starch.”<<<<

                                          credit: rasa malaysia

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: alkapal
                                            Chemicalkinetics Sep 23, 2010 07:44 AM


                                            Not sure about pH9. Maybe it is true after all the baking soda will make the mixture basic and therefore a higher pH, but I have not heard of getting it to a specific pH. I have heard the similar thing you have read about egg white, tapioca starch (or corn starch).

                                            For me (as a home cook), my biggest problem for Har Gow (Steamed Shrimp Dumplings) is not the shrimp, but rather the skin. I cannot make the skin tender and strong at the same time, whereas at least my Char Siu Bao, Siu Mai, Lo Mai Gai, .... taste ok.


                                          2. hill food Sep 23, 2010 12:20 AM

                                            it's threads like this that make me realize what a white-bread midwest sort I am (although some bao fit into that profile!) gotta say for me shrimp and chive har gow and not too big make me happy.

                                            1. carlee134 Sep 22, 2010 04:15 PM

                                              Chive dumplings!

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: carlee134
                                                jumpingmonk Sep 22, 2010 05:01 PM

                                                For me is sort of a toss up between chive dumplings and sticky rice dumplings (those things that look like minature fried footballs, that you can also get in most of the chinese bakeries)

                                              2. septocaine_queen Sep 22, 2010 04:05 PM

                                                Spareribs in black bean sauce (I love meat with bones)
                                                Har Gow with big chunks of shrimp
                                                Tofu stuffed with shrimp and steamed
                                                Egg Custard Bao

                                                when I was little i used to love the taro cakes with the pork inside that was deep fried

                                                must have really hot Chrysanthemum tea to wash all the fat down into my belly

                                                12 Replies
                                                1. re: septocaine_queen
                                                  Chemicalkinetics Sep 22, 2010 08:22 PM

                                                  I thought the old myth is to use Pu Erh tea (普洱茶) to wash/dissolve the fat/oil

                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                    septocaine_queen Sep 22, 2010 09:57 PM

                                                    Could be, but when I was growing up, my mom's theory was the tea had to be boiling hot like painful to the touch hot and that would help the fatty food melt in your belly and digest better. I just like Chrysanthemum tea for its floral and herbaceous flavors.

                                                    1. re: septocaine_queen
                                                      Chemicalkinetics Sep 22, 2010 10:35 PM

                                                      :) Don't do that boiling hot tea thing, is not good for you

                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                        septocaine_queen Sep 22, 2010 10:50 PM

                                                        please tell me why?Curious to know.

                                                        1. re: septocaine_queen
                                                          Chemicalkinetics Sep 22, 2010 11:57 PM

                                                          Well, you are burning your esophagus, aren't you?



                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                            Soop Sep 23, 2010 08:38 AM

                                                            Eeuurghh.... Once I read that you were supposed to drink an Espresso before it had settled, and ended up necking a boiling hot shot of coffee.

                                                            Stupid, stupid me. It hurts just thinking about it.

                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                              septocaine_queen Sep 23, 2010 04:05 PM

                                                              small little sips, my friend (^_^) esophageal cancer be damned. jk

                                                    2. re: septocaine_queen
                                                      tatamagouche Sep 23, 2010 05:27 AM

                                                      Ditto on the spareribs.

                                                      1. re: septocaine_queen
                                                        septocaine_queen Sep 24, 2010 06:21 PM

                                                        just remembered. I LOVE the sticky savory rice steamed in Lotus leaves

                                                        1. re: septocaine_queen
                                                          Chemicalkinetics Sep 24, 2010 06:25 PM

                                                          I love those too. In fact, I just made two batches this week, total of 24 lo mai gai. I bought most of them to work and people love them. I kept three of them in my freezer now. I am going to pop them out when I need them. It is like the Cantonese version of TV dinner.

                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                            septocaine_queen Sep 24, 2010 06:56 PM

                                                            like a TV dinner but 1 trillion times better. Opening the lotus wrapper with the delicious steam rising upwards is like Christmas. Your pics make me hungry.

                                                          2. re: septocaine_queen
                                                            Chemicalkinetics Sep 24, 2010 06:32 PM

                                                            Here a picture of the three frozen Lotus leaf wrap (Lo Mai Gai 糯米雞). See the frost?

                                                        2. m
                                                          michelley Sep 22, 2010 04:00 PM

                                                          I like sin jyut gyun, the steamed bean curd skin rolls stiffed with meat and vegies with bean sauce.The cart lady this weekend asked me how to describe them in english since I asked for
                                                          them. I also like the turnip cakes and the stick rice in lotus leaves.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: michelley
                                                            EWSflash Feb 2, 2011 05:33 PM

                                                            Oh thank you for giving me a name for them, they have been edging to the forward position, I really do love the bean curd skin.

                                                          2. monku Sep 22, 2010 03:54 PM

                                                            Shu Mai.
                                                            If the shu mai is no good the other dim sum isn't going to be.

                                                            1. raytamsgv Sep 22, 2010 02:39 PM

                                                              Phoenix claws. Everything else is just filler. :-)

                                                              7 Replies
                                                              1. re: raytamsgv
                                                                ipsedixit Sep 22, 2010 02:48 PM

                                                                You and my nephew must've been separated at birth.

                                                                I can give the little guy a big bag of claws (non soy sauce version) and he'll go through it in less than 30 minutes. Yikes!

                                                                1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                  Chemicalkinetics Sep 22, 2010 02:52 PM

                                                                  30 minutes or 30 seconds?

                                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                    ipsedixit Sep 22, 2010 02:53 PM

                                                                    Minutes ... he's barely 4.

                                                                    1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                      Chemicalkinetics Sep 22, 2010 02:56 PM

                                                                      Oh yes, you wrote a bag of claws. I thought you said one claw. I was like... anyone can eat a claw within 30 minutes.

                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                        ipsedixit Sep 22, 2010 03:01 PM

                                                                        No, I wrote "a big bag of claws" ...

                                                                        1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                          Chemicalkinetics Sep 22, 2010 03:05 PM

                                                                          Fine. A BIG bag of claws.

                                                                2. re: raytamsgv
                                                                  Chemicalkinetics Sep 22, 2010 02:52 PM

                                                                  Ha ha ha. That is very funny

                                                                3. JungMann Sep 22, 2010 01:44 PM

                                                                  It's hard to decide. I love turnip cakes, but if I had to choose between that and sesame balls, how could I decide? For what it's worth I prefer jiaozi over bao, mainly because most of the dimsum around me fails at char siu bao.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: JungMann
                                                                    viperlush Sep 22, 2010 03:06 PM

                                                                    Second the turnip cakes.

                                                                    1. re: JungMann
                                                                      EWSflash Feb 2, 2011 05:29 PM

                                                                      Oh, sesame balls, heaven in a cloud...

                                                                    2. f
                                                                      FrankD Sep 22, 2010 12:38 PM

                                                                      I love char sui bao as well, but I much prefer the "baked" to the "steamed". Baked have an exterior like the buns you buy at Chinese delis, whereas steamed have a white, spongy shell. Both are good, but I like the baked better. The problem is trying to order it at a non-cart place. I've never been able to find anyone - even a Chinese person - who's been able to tell me how to distinguish between them in Cantonese.

                                                                      But a favourite dim sum? Jeez, that's like trying to choose your favourite child! It's easier to pick what I don't like:

                                                                      chicken feet.

                                                                      10 Replies
                                                                      1. re: FrankD
                                                                        Chemicalkinetics Sep 22, 2010 01:23 PM


                                                                        For some people, they have no problem picking their favorite child He he heh.

                                                                        1. re: FrankD
                                                                          raytamsgv Sep 22, 2010 04:00 PM

                                                                          My Chinese isn't the greatest, but I'll give it a try. Steamed is 蒸, which is pronounced "jing" as in "jingle bells." Baked is 焗, which is pronounced "guk", which rhymes with "book". Thus, 蒸叉燒包 would be the steamed char siu bao, and 焗叉燒包 would be the baked version.

                                                                          If in doubt, ask the wait staff when they pick up your order ticket. Ask them if it is steamed or baked.

                                                                          1. re: raytamsgv
                                                                            ipsedixit Sep 22, 2010 04:16 PM

                                                                            raytamsgv is right on the words, but I would add a 的 between the word baked 焗 and char siu bao 叉燒包. It makes more grammatical sense; otherwise you sort of sound like you're speaking broken Cantonese.

                                                                            The 的 is pronounced "da" (like, "duh, you're dumb!")

                                                                            So baked char siu bao would be ... 焗的叉燒包

                                                                            And steamed would be 蒸的叉燒包

                                                                            Hope this helps and enjoy!

                                                                            1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                              raytamsgv Sep 22, 2010 04:45 PM

                                                                              Although that is true in written Cantonese, the 的 character is omitted when speaking Cantonese. For those who are unfamiliar with Cantonese, spoken Cantonese is often very different from the written Cantonese, which is not the case with Mandarin.

                                                                              On menus, they frequently omit that character as well or they may have something like 叉燒包 (焗).

                                                                              In Cantonese, the 的 is pronounced "dake". If you do say the 的 character when speaking, Cantonese speakers will give you a funny look but they'll understand you.

                                                                              Regardless, if you write it out, you should have no problems at all with ordering.

                                                                              1. re: raytamsgv
                                                                                ipsedixit Sep 22, 2010 04:48 PM

                                                                                Ah, that make sense.

                                                                                1. re: raytamsgv
                                                                                  Chemicalkinetics Sep 22, 2010 08:19 PM

                                                                                  I agree raytamsgv on this one

                                                                              2. re: raytamsgv
                                                                                K K Sep 22, 2010 04:53 PM

                                                                                The baked version is also sometimes known as "restaurant meal bbq bun" 叉燒餐包 / cha siu tsahn bao


                                                                                that was because in the old days, the tsahn bao was the baked sweet roll served with a slab of butter as a mini side when you order a cream or borscht soup at a Hong Kong style western restaurant (not the cafe's that are in most metropolitan US cities and some Chinatowns).

                                                                              3. re: FrankD
                                                                                Miss Needle Sep 23, 2010 01:32 PM

                                                                                "Jeez, that's like trying to choose your favourite child!"

                                                                                Agree with you 100%.

                                                                                But I do tend to prefer the steamed stuff over the fried, especially at the cart places where they don't make it to order. I get grumpy when I eat old fried food. One of my favorites is steamed dumplings filled with snow pea shoots and shrimp.

                                                                                And I also can't stand chicken feet.

                                                                                1. re: Miss Needle
                                                                                  EWSflash Feb 2, 2011 05:28 PM

                                                                                  Miss Needle, with you on the chicken feet. Only had them once, but the black bean sauce I didn't care for, the skin was just mushy, they seemed fatty (on feet? not likely), the tendons were either too twangy or cooked to mush. It was like a bean-saucy fatty mushy roll around a little chicken bone and not to my liking.
                                                                                  I understand they may not ALL be that bad, but with an intro like that there's not a lot of incentive to try them again. What are they like when they're really good? What various textures should they have?

                                                                                2. re: FrankD
                                                                                  EWSflash Feb 2, 2011 05:21 PM

                                                                                  +1, FrankD!

                                                                                3. Midlife Sep 22, 2010 11:02 AM

                                                                                  Braised Chicken Feet
                                                                                  Taro Dumpling
                                                                                  Sticky Rice
                                                                                  Gai Lan
                                                                                  Baked Pork Bun

                                                                                  1. Bob W Sep 22, 2010 10:31 AM

                                                                                    Many favorites, but for the W family the ne plus ultra has got to be chive dumplings.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: Bob W
                                                                                      tatamagouche Sep 22, 2010 11:33 AM

                                                                                      Second that. Also ham sui gok.

                                                                                    2. K K Sep 22, 2010 10:18 AM

                                                                                      I'm a sucker for beef cheung fun (the steamed kind). But the skins have to be smooth and thin, in order to get a slippery gliding smooth down the throat experience. Steamed turnip cake comes a close second if available, otherwise it's probably ha gow.

                                                                                      1. ipsedixit Sep 22, 2010 10:11 AM

                                                                                        Brown Sugar Rice Cakes.

                                                                                        10 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                                          bdachow Sep 22, 2010 11:15 AM

                                                                                          Are those just brown sugar versions of the white spongy ones? I've never seen a brown sugar version...

                                                                                          1. re: bdachow
                                                                                            Chemicalkinetics Sep 22, 2010 01:25 PM

                                                                                            Well, it certainly looks just like the white ones.

                                                                                            1. re: bdachow
                                                                                              ipsedixit Sep 22, 2010 02:47 PM


                                                                                              Except the brown ones are better -- the sugar caramelizes!

                                                                                              1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                                                PorkButt Sep 22, 2010 10:11 PM

                                                                                                The sugar caramelizes while steaming? No way, this is just bok tong gao made with brown sugar.

                                                                                                1. re: PorkButt
                                                                                                  Chemicalkinetics Sep 22, 2010 10:38 PM

                                                                                                  :) Probably called "Wong Tong Koh"

                                                                                                  1. re: PorkButt
                                                                                                    ipsedixit Sep 23, 2010 11:37 AM

                                                                                                    "The sugar caramelizes while steaming? No way, this is just bok tong gao made with brown sugar."

                                                                                                    A person can fantasize, can't they?

                                                                                                    1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                                                      Chemicalkinetics Sep 23, 2010 02:21 PM

                                                                                                      Yes, but he should not share his personal fantasy.

                                                                                              2. re: ipsedixit
                                                                                                monku Sep 22, 2010 03:52 PM

                                                                                                Those from YCC?

                                                                                                1. re: monku
                                                                                                  ipsedixit Sep 22, 2010 03:57 PM

                                                                                                  Yup, can never pass them up whenever I'm in the vicinity.

                                                                                                  And, really, dunno of any other place that makes them with brown sugar.

                                                                                                  1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                                                    bdachow Sep 22, 2010 04:49 PM

                                                                                                    You know, I don't think I've ever seen them made with brown sugar and this would probably explain why. Lol.

                                                                                              3. b
                                                                                                bdachow Sep 22, 2010 09:41 AM

                                                                                                I'm with you in that I my tastes change depending on the day of the week and the phases of the moon. Lol. But having said that, my standard is "Foong Zhow" aka Phoenix Claw aka chickens feet, mind you, not the white ones but the one braised in black bean and chili. It's all about the sauce and sucking off the skin and meat and gnawing through the tendons. Drool!

                                                                                                On a non-Cantonese note, I love XLB...soupy, juicy, deliciousness!

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: bdachow
                                                                                                  Chemicalkinetics Sep 22, 2010 01:21 PM

                                                                                                  Yep, I like the one braised in black bean sauce. I actually dislike the white ones, but my mom love those. I think my mom and I disagree a lot on Dim Sum :)

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