The Beginning of the DIM SUM Series: Taro Dumplings

The red is where Dim Sum is most popular: Guangdong

Imagine a world where the food you wanted was pushed in front of you in a cart by a pleasant, yet eccentric Cantonese lady. Welcome to the world of Dim Sum. Please settle down for a brief history lesson of how this beautiful land of Dim Sum came about. A long, long time ago, in a country far away, there were villagers and wary wanderers that happened to stumble upon the Silk Road. On this road, there were nice, relaxing teahouses. These teahouses had a huge concoction of herbal, deliciously pure teas, then food was given at these places, and voila, Dim Sum restaurants were given. These foods given in these teahouses were simple small bites, yummy oily, fried and steamed snacks; that is dim sum food. These foods are from Cantonese origin, from Southern China, a region called Guangdong and Hong Kong (look at map).


FUN FACT. The idea of brunch can be attributed to Dim Sum, the first meal that actually combined a breakfast and a lunch!

If you want to go to a Dim Sum restaurant, know how to order. Here is a step-by-step How-To:

1.)    Enter the restaurant.

2.)    Wait to be seated

3.)    Sit down

4.)    Look at a paper, a menu with the whole list of things offered at the restaurant.

5.)    Find the pencil given to you

6.)    Use the pencil to check the dish you want to eat

7.)    Wait for a lady to come by with the cart

8.)    Give it to her.

9.)    Wait for your food to come to you

10.)  If you want more food, stop a lady, and tell her “I want that dish” and point at it.

11.)  She gives you the dish.

12.)  She checks off the dish on your paper, because you still have it.

13.)  Eat.

14.)  Enjoy.

15.)  MMM.

Anyways, back to this series, let me introduce you to the first Dim Sum dish in this series: Taro Dumplings! Do you know what Taro is?

This is Taro. MM.

Taro is a starchy root vegetable! It can be made sweet or made savory and in this case it’s savory. Here is a Taro dumpling:

Damn look at those dumplings.


The fried crispy outside is made out of that taro stuff, and in the middle is filled with ground pork and shitake mushrooms mixed within a creamy, mashed up starchy taro. Sometimes lil’ shrimpies are mixed in it, too. Regardless, this dish is DEEP-FRIED, and crispy, creamy smooth and chewy, an assortment of different textures. Oily, and oily, that is most dim sum…which makes it so bad…but so good.

Song du Jour: By the one and only NOTORIOUS MSG. “Dim Sum Girl”

“Yo, this song goes out to all you sexy girls who push the dim sum carts all
over the world…you know who you are, babies…you work so hard and we love
you so much….check it out yo” Speaks straight to my dim sum loving soul.


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3 Responses to The Beginning of the DIM SUM Series: Taro Dumplings

  1. Sarah Chang says:

    Melissa, unfortunately, there are no dimsum places in State College. I might actually have to devote my life to creating one because I’m sure it would get a lot of business here. GLAD I COULD MAKE YOU GUYS HUNGRY. muhaha

  2. Melissa Quinnan says:

    I am really hungry right, so needless to say your post REALLY called out to me. Now I’m even more hungry! This sounds delicious, but I also really like how you explained the background of the food. It makes your post really unique, because sometimes food descriptions end with the description. Your pictures were also far too awesome. I must ask: are there any dim sum places around here? Now that I have instructions I’m ready for some food!

  3. Manas says:

    I love LOVE this. I mostly just enjoy that you quoted MSG, and then of course that you discussed FOOD, which is arguably my second favorite thing on this planet. These dumplings sound delicious, and I love hearing about authentic Chinese food on your blog on a fairly regular basis. I love Taro bubble tea, it’s one of the most delicious things I’ve ever tasted. I was really interested to taste these dumplings because they would be an interesting mix of sweet and savory, and I’m always a fan of those kinds of delicate foods with an interesting balance of flavors. You’re going to have to invite me over for these at some point because now i’m hungry. FOR MORE.

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