Life at UCB through the eyes of our international student bloggers

Introducing … Dim Sum!

Introducing … Dim Sum!

Last week, I shared five Lunar New Year Foods (Check it out here if you have not!). As a foodie, today I would like to share some famous food from my hometown – Hong Kong.

One of the most famous foods is dim sum. The history of dim sum can be dated back to hundreds of years ago, and now has become world-famous, available worldwide (including Birmingham!). In Hong Kong, we usually say we go ‘Yum Cha’ (directly translated as drink tea)’ because tea is always served with dim sum. In this blog, I wanted to share some of my ‘must-have’ when going for dim sum.


• Shu Mai (燒賣)

It is a type of dumpling (not dumplings exactly, but I cannot find a more appropriate word…), in which a thin dough is wrapped in various fillings, such as shrimp, pork, mushroom or sometimes fish.


• Har Gow (蝦餃)

This is also a type of dumpling, but it is different from Shu Mai, only shrimp is used in the fillings. It is very exquisite; the wrapper is so thin that filling can be seen through it and people say a ‘good’ Har Gow should have at least seven and preferably ten or more pleats imprinted on its wrapper.


• Char Siu Bao (叉燒包) 

Also known as barbecue pork bun, which is filled with Char Siu, a type of specialty meat in Cantonese barbecue. It is steamed bao traditionally, but nowadays there are different versions available, for example, baked ones so you can choose whatever you prefer.


• Nai Wong Bao (奶黃包)

It is also a steamed bun, but distinct from Char Siu Bao, it is filled with creamy, sweet custard. Some restaurants will have a molten/lava version available, which has a gooey, melting centre, along with the soft and fluffy steamed bun – is one of my favourites!


• Cheung Fai (腸粉)

It is rice noodle roll made from a vast sheet of steamed rice flour batter, rolled up with various fillings inside (plain, Char Siu, beef, shrimp, vegetables…) and finally dipped in soy sauce. It has a smooth and soft texture, but the wrapper has little flavour (just image it tastes like rice), so most flavours are from the fillings and soy sauce.


• Egg tarts (蛋撻) 

Finally, desserts! One of my favourites is egg tarts, a custard tart with sweet or puff pastry outside. It is also available in bakeries, and it is a popular choice for tea time snack. If you like Portuguese custard tarts (pastel de nata), I am sure you will like egg tarts.


There are so many dim sum dishes, and I cannot share everything… Make sure to try them out if you are interested! They are available in Chinese restaurants, delivery and frozen ones from Chinese supermarkets. I would say it is a must-try at least once in your life!

See you next week~

Hoi Yan

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