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Touch Your Heart: 5 Easy Dim Sum Recipes That You Can Make At Home

Touch Your Heart: 5 Easy Dim Sum Recipes That You Can Make At Home

If you have ever had Chinese food, you may know that each region of China is famous for its own local delicacy – Sichuan for its spicy and numbing hot pot, Zhejiang for its Ningbo salty crab, Beijing for its crispy and juicy Peking roast duck, and the list could go on and on. And if you are a big fan of Cantonese cuisine, there’s no way you wouldn’t know what it is best known for: yes, its dim sum – the little dishes with different varieties that are well liked by people of all ages.

Dim sum is a Cantonese local specialty that is served in bite-sized portions in steamer baskets or on small plates. It is very popular in the Guangdong province of China, especially in Hong Kong. It is usually available from early morning, for elders to have their breakfast after morning exercises, to mid-afternoon, for families to enjoy their get-together time on the weekends. With its versatile cooking methods, from steaming and sautéing to deep-frying, dim sum might seem like the kind of dish that you would never think of making at home. But with the following five easy and crowd-pleasing dim sum recipes, you don’t have to go out to Chinese restaurants to satisfy your dim sum cravings!

1. Cheung Fun Recipe (homemade rice noodles), Two Ways

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      Cheung fun, a.k.a. rice noodles, is a very common dim sum that you can have at Chinese restaurants. They come with fillings of different kinds – beef, barbecue pork, shrimp, mushrooms, and sometimes even just plain cheung fun! In this recipe, you’ll learn two ways to make this hearty dim sum at home.

      The first one uses dried shrimp and scallions as the ingredients wrapped inside, while the second one entails rolling together with Chinese crullers, a form of Chinese fried dough, to make a nice side dish to go with congee. As for the rice noodles, you can either make them at home using a wok and a pan for the steaming, or if you are feeling a little lazy (as we all do sometimes), store-bought ones work just fine! To make the dipping sauce, just mix together some raw sugar, water, dark soy sauce, and oyster sauce (all of which are available at your local Asian grocery stores) and this silky smooth cheung fun dim sum is ready to be served.

      2. Pan-Seared Egg Tofu “Scallops” with Sweet Chili Sauce Recipe

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        This dim sum recipe calls for a special type of tofu – not your usual soybean tofu, but egg tofu. Egg tofu is originally from Japan but is now very popular among people in Hong Kong and Taiwan. It is often used for dim sum in Chinese restaurants as well. Unlike the regular soybean tofu that we all have tried, egg tofu has a firmer silken texture. Since it usually comes in a tube, each piece of tofu resembles a scallop when you slice it, hence the name of this recipe.

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        Simply pan sear the egg tofu for 1 to 2 minutes per side or until they turn golden brown, then serve them with sweet chili sauce (which can be homemade or store-bought). This pan-fried egg tofu is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Perfect as a snack for summer days.

        3. Steamed “Longevity” Peach-shaped Buns

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          If you have ever been to a Chinese banquet for someone’s birthday, you must have tried these peach-shaped buns for dessert. Embedded with wishes of “longevity,” these cute little steamed buns are usually stuffed with red bean paste, lotus paste, or custard, which are very traditional fillings for Chinese desserts. Although people usually had them only for ritual events or birthdays in the old days, you can pretty much find them on any restaurant dim sum order sheet nowadays.

          Don’t be fooled by the appearance of the buns, they look adorable and they are easy to make! Prepare the dough and let it rest for around 30-40 minutes. At the same time, heat a Chinese steamer (if you don’t have one, a large pot with a steaming rack also does the trick) and steam the buns until they are done. A plus point for this recipe: if you have extra red bean paste or lotus paste left, you can save it for making other Chinese desserts, like moon cakes and sesame balls!

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          4. Dim Sum Spare Ribs with Black Beans

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            This dim sum may look complicated at first glance, but if you take a look at this recipe, you will be blown away by how effortless it is to make these flavorful spare ribs with black beans. Being a classic dim sum, it uses Chinese fermented black beans, which are enriched with flavors, and Shaoxing wine, which is a common kind of wine used in Chinese cuisine to spice up the dish.

            There might be quite a lot of seasonings going on in this recipe, but all you need to do is marinate your pork ribs (which are cut into 1-inch pieces) with them for at least 30 minutes. If you’ve got the time, marinating them in the fridge overnight will yield the best results! Once they are ready, put them on small plates, like how Chinese restaurants would do, and steam them for around 10 minutes. You can have them alone or you can put them on rice!

            5. Shrimp Wrapped in Tofu Skin

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              Yes, finally a recipe for a crunchy dim sum that’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser! Tofu skin (a.k.a. bean curd sheet) is used as the wrapper for this crunchy, savory snack. As the name suggests, tofu skin is actually the skin that forms at the top of fresh soy milk. It is a very popular ingredient in Chinese dim sum dishes. Again, lots of different fillings can be wrapped inside, such as chicken, pork, bamboo shoots, carrots — you name it!

              In this recipe, shrimp is mixed with seasonings like chicken bouillon powder, Shaoxing wine, sesame oil, and white pepper powder. The pieces are wrapped with both ends twisted so that the oil won’t seep in when you deep fry them. Once they turn golden brown, take them out and absorb the excess oil with paper towels. Now you can sit back, take a sip of pu-erh tea, and enjoy this crunchy dim sum at home!

              Featured photo credit: CNN via i2.cdn.turner.com

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              Last Updated on July 8, 2020

              18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

              18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

              The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

              1. Understand Yourself Better

              Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

              Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

              2. Keep Track of Small Changes

              I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

              Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

              3. Become Aware of What Matters

              As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

              You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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              4. Boost Creativity

              The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

              When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

              You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

              5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

              A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

              Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

              6. Process Life Experiences

              When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

              Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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              7. Stress Relief

              In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

              Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

              8. Provide Direction

              Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

              One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

              9. Solve Problems

              Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

              Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

              When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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              10. Find Relief From Fighting

              Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

              Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

              11. Find Meaning in Life

              Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

              12. Allow Yourself to Focus

              Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

              13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

              When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

              14. Let the Past Go

              I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

              15. Allow Freedom

              Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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              16. Enhance Your Career

              Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

              Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

              17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

              All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

              18. Catalog Your Life for Others

              No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

              We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

              Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

              Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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