Book Review: Dim Sum, The Art of Chinese Tea Lunch

While cleaning my office today, I rediscovered a small yet wonderful cookbook by Ellen Leong Blonder, Dim Sum: The Art of Chinese Tea Lunch. Beautifully illustrated, the book is tailored to the everyday person, utilizing commonly found ingredients with detailed explanations on cooking techniques.

I’ve been going out for dim sum over the past few years at least 1 or 2 times per month. The practice of dim sum started as snacks to accompany afternoon tea but over time became common as breakfast or lunch, with some restaurants serving it well into the evening. The variety of dim sum dishes varies by restaurant, but there are a core set of dishes found almost everywhere and it’s these dishes that the author focuses on for her book.

Contents include:

Role of Tea
Steamed Dumplings
Boiled and Pan-Fried Dumplings
Breads and Baked Dishes
Rice and Rice Flour Dishes
Greens and Pan-Fried Dishes
Deep-Fried and Bean Curd Sheet Dishes
Sauces and Condiments
Planning a Menu
Equipment and Supplies

You’ll find savory Pork Siu Mai, Chive Dumplings, Char Siu Bao, Taro Dumplings, and Bean Curd Rolls. For the lover’s of sweet treats, you’ll not be disappointed with Red Bean-Filled Pancakes, Egg Custard Tarts, or Mango Pudding. There are many recipes, and each is accompanied with thorough explanation and guidance.

This cookbook is the first one I’ve found that made me realize I could confidently recreate a dim sum meal at home. The cookbook makes a great addition to my collection and it deserves a better home than on my cluttered desk!

Note: Ellen Leong Blonder also coauthored the award-winning book, Every Grain of Rice: A Taste of Our Chinese Childhood in America

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One comment

  1. This is a wonderful book. I had the pleasure of meeting Ellen Leong Blonder a few years back. I could eat Dim Sum everyday if I could!

    Ellen also introduced me to Bean Curd Sheets! What a wonderful alternative to eggroll wrappers – albeit a little thicker than egg roll wrappers!

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