Try these terrific dim sum recipes the next time you’re hosting brunch.
They’re versatile, fresh, insanely delicious, and perfect for sharing with friends.
The Spanish have tapas, and the Swedes have fika. But have you ever enjoyed an authentic Chinese brunch?
You’re about to!
Dim sum is a traditional meal of small plates served in teahouses. So, like tapas, you get all kinds of dishes to share with friends and family.
And it all starts with the tea!
You’ll order a pot for the table, then choose from a variety of incredible dim sum recipes, such as steamed dumplings, wontons, and sweet cakes.
25+ Easy Chinese Dim Sum Recipes To Share With Friends
No trip to Chinatown is complete without an order or two of spare ribs.
What could possibly be better than tender, melt-in-your-mouth steamed pork coated in a sumptuous black bean sauce?
Besides black beans, the sauce also features soy sauce, red wine, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes.
So it’s pretty robust. That said, it’s so well balanced even the kids will enjoy it.
Lo Bak Go, turnip cake, is another staple in many Chinese restaurants.
It’s a sweet, umami-packed dish filled with shrimp, scallops, Chinese sausage, and shiitake mushrooms.
The most exciting part, though, is the texture. It’s tender yet bouncy, with lovely textural contrasts from its different components.
Vegetables and tofu may not sound too exciting, but just wait until you try it.
These dumplings have a bright and flavorful filling of silky tofu, cabbage, carrots, and green onions stir-fried in sesame oil and soy sauce.
Wrapped in wontons and pan-fried to golden perfection, it’s the stuff of vegetarian dreams!
Sometimes, there’s just not enough time to cook from scratch.
When this happens, you can always count on a bag of frozen dumplings to get you through.
Simply pop them in the air fryer, and let the nifty gadget do its thing.
In a matter of minutes, you’ll get crispy-on-the-outside and juicy-on-the-inside dumplings. How easy is that?
Of course, this works just as well on homemade dumplings you’ve frozen in advance!
These magnificent shrimp balls are super popular in Malaysia and other Asian countries. And for good reason!
They’re sweet and plump with a beautiful crunchy finish.
You’ll make a simple, well-seasoned shrimp paste and roll it into balls. Then toss them in thinly sliced spring roll wrappers.
When deep-fried, the ribbons get super crunchy and create a fun coating. Genius idea, right?
Serve the shrimp balls with Thai sweet chili or your favorite dipping sauce.
Top-tip: be sure to keep the shrimp balls quite small. Otherwise, the wrapper strips will burn before the filling is cooked.
Paper-wrapped chicken is just what you think it is: scrummy chicken wrapped in parchment and deep fried until tender.
Of course, you won’t eat the paper. Instead, you’ll tear it up to reveal the treasure hiding within.
This chicken is fragrant, juicy, and super succulent, thanks to the sweet and umami-rich Asian seasonings.
This method ensures the chicken is steamed, making it insanely moist and juicy.
Plus, all those yummy cooking juices don’t get lost in a pan.
Chun juan are Chinese spring rolls filled with ground meat and minced vegetables. Deep-fried until golden, they’re ridiculously addictive.
Just like a certain brand of chips: once you pop, you can’t stop.
Crystal dumplings, or shui jing jiaozi, are named for their delicate translucent wrappers.
A mix of seasoned minced pork, shiitake mushrooms, wilted spinach, and carrots, the filling has a colorful array of tastes and textures.
They may not be as popular as har gow (#10), but they’re definitely worthy of the spotlight.
Char siu bao, or steamed pork buns, are an iconic dim sum recipe. These babies aren’t just popular in China but all over the world as well.
From the sweet and fluffy yeast bread to the decadent, melt-in-your-mouth barbecued pork filling, this dish is impossible to resist.
It’s like a mini Asian sandwich, and you’ll want more than one!
Har gow is probably just as popular as the pork buns above.
And these translucent dumplings filled with plump shrimp are too good to resist.
Trust me on this: make double!
Custard buns are heaven on earth. I don’t know how else to describe them.
They’re sweet, fluffy, and tender on the outside and stuffed with an incredibly rich custard filling.
Is this dim sum a breakfast dish or a dessert? Who cares!
I love tearing into the bread to see that golden custard filling ooze out. Yum!
12. Bok Choy Dim Sum
We’ve talked a lot about deep-fried snacks and carb-heavy buns. But if you want something light, you can’t beat bok choy.
Not only is it colorful, but it’s super light and healthy. It makes for such a nice, fresh change of pace on a table full of dumplings and spring rolls.
Between the wonderfully sticky rice and sweet-savory Chinese sausage, it’s hard to pick which component I love more in this one.
And while it’s loaded with unique flavors and textures, it’s effortless to recreate!
Mai Lai Go is a steamed cake from Malaysia (hence the term, Mai Lai).
Its fluffiness is extra special, which is usually achieved using a labor-intensive starter dough.
Of course, I don’t want to burden you with such a tedious process, so I found a recipe that doesn’t require yeasted dough and uses baking powder instead.
Fluffy, pillowy steamed buns filled with delectable chicken and vegetable stuffing? Sounds super comforting, doesn’t it?
These are just as scrumptious as char siu buns, but the chicken filling makes them a healthier option – just 179 calories per serving!
This dim sum isn’t the most common for our Western palates, but I highly urge you to give it a try.
Seriously, chicken feet are a game-changer!
If you can get past the appearance, you’ll be rewarded with wonderfully soft and gelatinous meat coated with a sweet and sticky glaze.
Fancy something sweet with your tea? How about these yummy Chinese egg tarts?
They’re like a cross between a British custard tart and Pastéis de Nata (Portuguese custard tarts).
They have a short pastry, which is more like the Brit’s version. But their size is similar to the Portuguese tarts.
They’re light, sweet, creamy, and delicious.
“Fun” is definitely an appropriate word to describe cheung fun. Eating these steamed rice noodle rolls is such a unique experience.
They come in a variety of fillings, from shrimp and pork barbecue to crullers.
This recipe teaches you how to make the perfect rice noodles, which you’re free to fill with whatever your heart desires.
Dim sum translates to “to touch the heart.” And this recipe certainly fits the bill.
It’s a straightforward blend of coconut milk, gelatin, sugar, and whole milk (use dairy-free if you like).
When it’s set, it’s silky-smooth and lightly flavored with sweet, nutty coconut. Yum!
Here’s another dish that’s a little different but definitely worth a try.
Just try to forget that you’re eating pig’s feet, and you’ll enjoy an outstanding, melt-in-your-mouth meat dish braised in a sweet and umami broth.
21. Sesame Balls
Sesame balls are crunchy and chewy, with a sweet surprise center waiting to be revealed.
There’s a wide variety of fillings you can try, but I like the traditional lotus paste or red bean paste. And that’s what this recipe offers!
Lo Mai Gai features glutinous rice, chicken, mushrooms, and vegetables wrapped in fragrant lotus leaves.
This recipe takes a while to make, but it freezes well. So I highly suggest you (at least) triple the batch to make the effort worth it.
Are you craving Chinese buns but alas, you’re vegetarian? Then these vegetarian buns are exactly what you need!
Between the shiitake mushrooms and bok choy seasoned with soy sauce, sugar, and sesame oil, even meat lovers will want a bite.
Give the classic wonton a fiery Sichuan kick! If spicy food is your jam, this recipe is a must-try.
The sauce is made of chili oil, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, and onions. So it’s not just pure heat but a wonderful medley of flavors as well.
This popular Chinese street food can feature both veggie and meaty fillings. So, depending on your dietary needs, it’s a versatile little dish.
You can also use any peppers you like, be it simple green bell peppers or green chilies.
I like to use chilies for a boost of heat, but that’s up to you. Either way, you’ll love the shrimp filling!
Steamed buns often have some type of meat or dessert filling, but not these ones.
They’re studded with scallions, and that’s it.
Don’t be fooled by their plainness, though. These buns are deceptively delicious!
Sweet, tropical, and oh-so-creamy, this mango pudding is the best way to end your dim sum feast.
You’ll make a quick mango puree (or buy it ready-made), then mix in some cream and gelatin.
I like to use coconut milk, so it’s extra flavorful. I also like to add a jelly layer of chopped mango for a bright pop of fruity goodness.
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