Dim sum is believed to have originated in the southern China’s Guangdong region. It eventually made its way to Hong Kong and now, dim sum can include dishes and traditions adopted from other parts of China. Most of dim sum options are built around seafood, meat, and vegetables that are steamed, fried, or baked. Dim sum restaurants can offer a large variety of “bites” such as shumai, different buns and dumplings, turnip cake, and more! The ability to cater to a variety of people with different tastes made dim sum a great addition to catered events as a main course or an appetizer!
There are a bunch of formulas for estimating how many people a dim sum buffet will feed. For example, if it's just dim sum with rice or lo mein, you'll need about 8 pieces of dim sum per person. But, if you add an entree into the mix, you can do 5 pieces of dim sum per person. You'll need to make sure both have enough food to feed each person. Keep in mind that dim sum is fairly carb heavy as well so an optional entree might be the best route for those looking to avoid a carb heavy meal.
We recommend ordering for more people than your headcount for any buffet-style catering. Those who are standing in the line before you might take more food than their allotment without realizing it. Similarly, you might want to over-order any additional buffet-style sides to be safe. The idea of a “full portion” can be different from person to person.
Unfortunately, almost all dim sum and dumpling options are wrapped in a wheat-based skin so they are not able to be prepared gluten-free.
What is MSG? Is it unsafe?
MSG is short for "monosodium glutamate". It's a common food ingredient that is often used to give a certain flavor to food, known as umami. Umami is one of the five basic tastes along with sweet, spicy, sour and bitter. MSG used to be considered a toxic additive, but current evidence and health authorities agree that it’s safe to eat.
Are there vegan and vegetarian alternatives for dim sum?
Dim sum can be made with non-meat fillings but you can also order vegetable-based sides like sauteed string beans and garlic eggplant. You can also replace any meat with tofu at most restaurants!
What goes well with dim sum?
Any variety of Chinese cuisine is a good fit for dim sum. Many restaurants will have various dishes such as roast pork lo mein, shrimp fried rice, kung pao chicken and more!
Is soy sauce gluten-free?
Most soy sauce is not gluten-free which is why most Chinese cuisine will not be marked as gluten-free unless the restaurant specifically uses gluten-free soy sauce.
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