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Dim Sum: The Art of Chinese Tea Lunch Hardcover – April 9, 2002


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Dim Sum: The Art of Chinese Tea Lunch + Asian Dumplings: Mastering Gyoza, Spring Rolls, Samosas, and More + Joyce Chen 26-0013, 10-Inch Bamboo Steamer Set
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter; 1st edition (April 9, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609608878
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609608876
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 7.7 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Who doesn't love dim sum, those enticing dumplings, buns, and pastries served in Chinatowns everywhere? But making it at home? This seemingly formidable business now proves infectiously doable, thanks to Ellen Leong Blonder's Dim Sum. Coauthor of the IACP-award-winning cookbook Every Grain of Rice, Blonder has found a way, through lucid explanation and her own telling illustration, to help readers reproduce dim sum favorites themselves. Ranging from Pork and Shrimp Siu Mai, Potstickers, and Chinese Chive Dumplings to Scallion Pancakes and Three-Mushroom Dumplings and more, these delicious nibbles--great cocktail fare as well as wonderfully tasty meals--are also fun to prepare.

Beginning with a discussion of the dim sum restaurant experience and the kinds of tea involved, the book then offers concise data on setting up a steamer, making doughs, and advance preparation. The 80 recipes follow in chapters that include breads and baked dishes, such as Steamed Char Siu Bao (barbecued-pork-filled buns), and rice and rice flour specialties, like Chicken and Sausage Rice Bowl and Rice Flour Rolls with Beef. Greens and pan-fried dishes are also covered with the tempting likes of Pea Shoots with Garlic, as are deep-friend and bean curd specialties, including Deep-Fried Stuffed Eggplant and Salt-Fried Whole Prawns. Recipes for dim sum sweets like Almond Pudding and Egg Custard Tarts are also offered, as are interesting sidebars--A Trip to the Luk Yu Tea House is one--and ingredient notes, menus, and supply resources. This is one of those happy cookbooks that tackle a potentially problematical subject beautifully, delivering the kitchen ease and good eating it promises. --Arthur Boehm

From Library Journal

Most Chinese cookbooks include some recipes for standard dim sum dishes such as scallion pancakes and potstickers, but as Blonder (Every Grain of Rice) found, there is little devoted solely to these popular brunch/tea snacks and certainly nothing as charming and accessible as her little book. She provides 60 recipes, from Pork and Chinese Chive Dumplings to Salt-Fried Prawns, along with sweets and condiments, all illustrated by her own lovely watercolors. The recipes are clearly written, with step-by-step drawings of various techniques, and most include make-ahead suggestions. Recommended.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Here is a dilemma for Dim Sum book.
Richard Wong
The author does assume that you know how to cook, but the instructions and forward and well written and very easy to follow.
J A Nelson
I'm going to have fun with this book.
Julie Leong

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Richard Wong VINE VOICE on December 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Let me first say that I am born in Hong Kong and have literally grown up with Dim Sum. I view it as more than just great foods but also as part of a traditional family event. Much like Southern barbecue isn't just about the pork. I am giving this book a 4.5-stars rating

One thing I really appreciate about this book is that its small 2 pages devotion in tea. Tea plays a very important role in traditional Dim Sum. Dim Sum are the foods, but the entire event/experience of going to a Chinese restaurant, ordering Dim Sum and drinking tea is called "Yum Cha", which literally means "Drink Tea". In short, the book converses more than just recipes.

The recipes are not entirely authentic from two angles. It is not necessary a bad thing, but potential buyers should know where this book is coming from. First, a few of the traditional Dim Sum dishes, like Black Bean Sauce Chicken feet, are passed up for semi-western pastries like Mango Pudding. Second, the recipes themselves are not purely authentic. A good example is the recipe for Char-Siu Bao (Steam Cantonese BBQ Pork Buns). It only calls for cake flour. A more authentic recipe would have called for both cake flour and wheat starch. That being said, this book is much more authentic than many other books which simply call for all-purpose flour. I have altered 80% of the recipes I tried thus far because the final products differ from my recollection. Nevertheless, the book provides a good starting point for people who want to try making Dim Sum. The book also offers many vegetarian versions of the same dish. The pictures are wonderful. They are beautiful hand-drawn pictures of the Dim Sum, as well as the hand-drawn procedures, like the steps to pleat a Char Siu Bao.
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on January 30, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This `Dim Sum, The Art of Chinese Tea Lunch' is the second book from graphic artist Ellen Leong Blonder. The first three things which strike one about the book is that it is a smallish book for a fairly sizable subject, the author is neither a chef nor a culinary journalist, and that the design and illustrations in the book are exceedingly well done.
I always have problems rating small books which commonly give half the value for about two thirds of the price of full sized books. Since this is Ms. Blonder's second book on a culinary subject, and since her first book won an IACP Cookbook award, her being an apparent culinary amateur should cause no concern about the quality of the book's contents.
The book is divided into the following chapters:
Steamed Dumplings
Boiled and Pan-Fried Dumplings
Breads and Baked Dishes
Rice and Rice Flour Dishes
Greens and Pan-Fried Dishes
Deep-Fried and Bean Curd Sheet Dishes
Meats
Sweets
Sauces and Condiments
The book also contains small sections on types of tea, planning a menu, equipment and supplies, resources, and bibliography.
In a book this small, the bibliography becomes an important resource. The text states that some Dim Sum restaurants offer over a hundred dishes, yet this book has barely 110 pages devoted to often two page recipes. The book makes up for this sparseness in two very important ways.
First, it spends much of its space dedicated to Dim Sum cooking methods and equipment for steaming and deep-frying. It also gives excellent recipes for dumpling doughs and wrappers plus methods for folding dumplings.
Second, this book succeeds very well as a `feel good' book based on both the text and the color drawings, and the exceptionally good job of designing the book.
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Julie Leong on May 10, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I just recieved my copy of Ms Blonder's wonderful "Dim Sum: The art of Chinese Tea Lunch". As with the earlier "Every Grain of Rice - this book is a visual delight.
Intrigued by the recipe for Char-Siu Pastries I decided to try them as an appetizer for a lunch party. After first preparing the pork, I was surprised at how clear the instructions were and how well the pastries turned out, warm out of the oven with a light flaky crust - I found the sweet taste of the Char-Siu and the hot meat inside made these irresistable. Next time I will know to make more.
I'm going to have fun with this book.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I was skeptical about the book because of the lack of photographs and fewer-than-usual pages, but I was happily wrong. The dim sum selection is comprised of authentic items found in restaurants, so you can use almost every recipe. The color illustrations are actually better than photographs because the details, such as how to wrap dumplings, are easier to see. The writing is very straightforward, and there are helpful tips along the way. This is a great book!
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Munkee on July 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a good starter book for dim sum. I didn't find the flavors completely authentic, but it is a pretty, user friendly book.

If you are serious about dim sum you must get Eileen Yin-Fei Lo's book about dim sum. It is out of print but you can still get used copies online easily. The recipes in there are absolutely amazing. Hint: if a recipe calls for lard you can use peanut oil instead.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Franci R. McMahon on November 8, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book saves me from the isolation and longing only a trip to Calgary or San Francisco satisfies. Now I can make these wonderful treats at home. Clear and beautiful instructions make this possible. I was lucky to find this book in our small town Montana library. I need it in my own.
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