Dim sum is now one of the most popular dishes ever to come out of China. There are so many variations of this dish that even the best Chinese restaurants would be hard-pressed to include them all. Each of the different kinds of dim sum are meant to be eaten in different ways, from the famed soup dumpling—known to locals as xiao long bao—to the classic steamed buns stuffed with pork. It is important to learn how to properly consume dim sum dishes, so that you can make the most out of every bite.
To help you with that, we have designed this dim sum eating guide from the best Chinese restaurant in Houston. This can ensure that you have the best experience with every piece and every mouthful. With no further ado, here it is:
1 – Take smaller bites
Unlike sushi, dim sum is not meant to be gulped down in one bite. The flavors in these dishes are better when consumed slowly.
More complex dishes like xiao long bao also have to be consumed carefully. Make sure to let the soup inside cool down before taking bites. Don’t be afraid to bite the tip and slurp the soup into your mouth. Slurping is not an etiquette violation in certain parts of Asia and is an indicator that you are neither wasting nor dissatisfied with your food.
2 – Start small with the soy sauce
The best chinese restaurants always prepare their dim sum seasoned. In most cases, you wouldn’t need a sauce. If you do think you need a little bit of salt or heat, make sure to start small. Try it with just a little. After all, you can’t wash the soy sauce or the chili away, but you can always add more if it’s not enough.
3 – Use the spoon
In China and other parts of Asia, spoons are more than just receptacles for broth and soup. It is perfectly acceptable to use these utensils to remove meat from bone and maneuver around dishes that can be more challenging to eat. If you are having trouble stabilizing your chopsticks, try to use your spoon to hold the food down while you try to remove chunks from it.
4 – Do not share chopsticks
Much like the rules in eating etiquette in Western culture, a different set of utensils are used for serving and for eating. Never serve other people with your own chopsticks. The restaurant will likely provide a set of utensils for serving their dishes.
Other chopstick rules involve never playing with them or poking the inside of your mouth with them. Do not stick them upright into your rice either, as this is done at funerals and is considered unlucky in other contexts.
Eating dim sum should always be a satisfying experience. This means knowing how to eat them properly, and employing the right habits so that no morsel is wasted. At the end of the day, enjoying the food you buy is a sure sign you’ve gotten your money’s worth.
If you’re looking for the best Chinese restaurant in Houston (and the best dim sum), give us at Ocean Palace Houston a call. We serve and deliver all kinds of dim sum to Chinese food lovers of all palates.