By Eleanor Wong

Steamed Dim Sum

If you grew up like I did, where the Chinese food you ate was great, but very much catered for a ‘western palate’; focusing on the fried element in their starter menu, then you may not be aware of the great number of soft, juicy steamed dim sum out there waiting to be devoured!

“I love Chinese food”….a statement I have said so many times growing up. When in fact my limited experience and the limited choices I made (spring rolls, sweet and sour chicken, egg fried rice) meant that I had not even begun to sample the vast array of flavours and textures this cuisine has to offer.

Dim sum or small snacks are traditionally most commonly eaten at lunch time. Lots of little plates or baskets of yummy dumplings, rolls and small plates are served to the table and everyone digs in for a try of everything. In one sitting your palate gets to experience salty, sweet, spicy, sour deliciousness from a variety of different dishes.

Here I would like to talk, specifically, about steamed dim sum. Tasty, bite sized morsels of soft, fluffy dough filled with just about anything that tastes good!

The dough is as straight forward as flour and water. Sometimes all-purpose flour, sometimes rice flour, even tapioca flour can be used. This is filled with sweet or savoury fillings and steamed; often in baskets, to perfection.

Some common fillings include different meats like pork, chicken, beef and often fish and shellfish, such as prawns. Some mix meat and fish together for an explosion of sweet chewy goodness, like the ever popular Siu Mai – pork and prawns blended together and stuffed into soft, silky dough before being steamed. Of course, they also offer a wide variety of vegetarian options too. 

Siu Mai at Chung Ying
Siu Mai at Chung Ying


The filling can be flavoured with lots of different tastes; sweet like in the char siu bun, where fluffy bao parcels are packed with sticky char siu flavoured pork or deep and heady like the beef in ginger and spring onion dumplings.

 Char Siu Buns at Chung Ying Char Siu Buns at Chung Ying

Char Siu Buns at Chung Ying

If a steamed dim sum isn’t something that has crossed your path yet, then I strongly recommend that you get out there and give them a go. You can find one of the largest dim sum menus in the UK right in the heart of Birmingham’s China Town, at award winning restaurant Chung Ying. Here you can sample some of the ‘Best Dumplings in the UK’ according to the Golden Chopsticks awards 2023. You will be able to order a combination of your fried favourites along-side the vast array of the yummy steamed dim sum on offer.

View Chung Ying’s Dim Sum Menu Here

Steamed Dim Sum at Chung Ying
Steamed Dim Sum at Chung Ying