What is Dim Sum?

Dim Sum, the delicious dumplings that many folks call “Chinese pelmeni,” have only a passing similarity to pelmeni.

First of all, their flavors are far more subtle and varied. That’s really why they are called Dim Sum, which means “touching the heart” in Chinese.

Secondly, real Dim Sum is made with thin rice dough, the classical version being Har Gow. The dough is rolled out so thinly that when it is steamed it takes on a pearly transparency. You can even see the filling inside it. Sometimes the dough is dyed pale green, pink or lemon yellow.

Another aspect of Dim Sum that merits an entire separate discussion is the filling. Here, the chef’s imagination is only limited by the available ingredients, although traditional variations are pork with green onion, shrimp with rice or tofu, and even pork with shrimp.

Finally, there’s the look of Dim Sum. Not only can their color vary, but their shapes, too. Some Dim Sum look a bit like Ukrainian varenyky, Turkish manti or Siberian pelmeni. Some are shaped like tied sacks, others like little pots slightly open at the top, making them quite decorative.

As to preparation, Dim Sum can be boiled or fried but most often they are steamed. The Cantonese invented a special implement just for this purpose: stackable bamboo sieves. When steamed, the bamboo sieves add a slight aroma of wood to the ready Dim Sum.

You are invited to the Ikigai Restaurant to taste our new Dim Sum Menu starting March 23.

Reserve your table today by calling us at 044 537 4 537!