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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 January 11, 2021

              11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

              11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

              Affordable, relaxing, and healthy, oil diffusers are gaining popularity with people everywhere due to their extensive benefits. Oil diffusers work through the simple process of oil diffusion, which uses heat to turn oil into a vapor that is then spread around a living space. Diffused oil can have several relaxation and health-related benefits, including safe scent-dispersion, mosquito and mold defense, stress relief, and more!

              Read on for 11 hidden benefits of using oil diffusers.

              1. Safe Scents That Make Sense

              Unlike candles or air fresheners, oil diffusers release cleansing molecules into your air that work to purify it, not overload it with unhealthy chemicals. Electronic diffusers also do not pose the fire risk that candles do. Plus, they contain the added feature of interchangeability, which means you change oil types for different scents and health benefits.

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              2. Stress Relief

              Several lab studies have confirmed that diffusing essential oils like lavender have been shown to reduce stress and help relieve anxiety in medical patients. Preliminary studies have also shown that oil diffusers can help alleviate symptoms of depression.

              3. Improved Sleep

              Diffused oil has relaxing properties that can help people of all ages fall asleep quicker and sleep more soundly. Electronic diffusers not only have the option to mix and match different oil blends (Try a lavender, Bulgarian rose, and Roman chamomile blend to help with insomnia), they also run at a gentle hum that helps relax an agitated mind. Many also come with an auto shut-off feature to help conserve oils once you have fallen asleep.

              4. Appetite Control

              Much like gum, oil diffusers can help stimulate the senses in a way that works to curb appetite. New research has shown that diffused peppermint oil can help curb appetite by inducing a satiety response within the body. Diffused peppermint oil has also been shown to increase energy.

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              5. Bacteria and Mold Killing

              When essential oils are diffused in the air, they break down free radicals that contribute to the growth of harmful bacteria. Eucalyptus, thyme, and tea tree oils are especially good for this purpose. Diffused oil is also highly effective when it comes to combating fungal yeast threats, as the oil help makes the air inhospitable for yeasts such as mold. Pine and red thyme essential oils are best for combating mold.

              6. Decongestion and Mucus Control

              Ever tried Vick’s Vapo-Rub? Its decongesting powers come from active ingredients made from the eucalyptus tree. In principle, oil diffusers work the same way as Vapo-Rub, except they diffuse their decongesting vapor all around the room, not just on your chest or neck. Oil diffusers have been known to cure pneumonia in lab mice.

              7. Mosquito Repellant

              Nobody likes mosquitoes — but when the trade-off means using repellants full of DEET, a toxic chemical that can be especially harmful to children, mosquito control can often seem like a lose-lose. However, scientists have shown that oil diffusers can be used as a safe and highly effective mosquito repellant. Studies have shown that a diffused oil mixture containing clove essential oil and lemongrass essential oil repelled one type of Zika-carrying mosquito, the Aedes aegypti mosquito, at a rate of 100%.

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              8. Pain Relief

              While applying oils directly to areas of your body may be the most effective way to alleviate pain, diffusing essential oils can also be an effective means of pain relief. When we inhale healthy essential oils, they enter our blood stream and can help internally relieve persistent pain from headaches, overworked muscles, and sore joints.

              9. The New Anti-Viral

              Research into the anti-viral effects of oil diffusion is now just gaining steam. A recent study showed that star anise essential oil was proven in medical experiments to destroy the herpes simplex virus in contained areas at a rate of 99%. Another study showed the popular DoTerra oil blend OnGuard to have highly-effective influenza-combating powers.

              10. Improved Cognitive Function

              Diffusing essential oils has also been shown to improve cognitive function. Many essential oils have adaptogenic qualities, which can work twofold in soothing us when we’re stressed, and giving our bodies a pick-me-up when we’re feeling down or sluggish. By working to level out an imbalanced mood, diffused oils also help us to focus. There are also several essential oils which have been shown to help balance the body’s hormones. With prolonged use, these oils can work to repair the underlying causes responsible for hindering cognitive function.

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              11. Money Saving

              With ten clear benefits of oil diffusers already outlined, there is one more that should now be obvious: using an oil diffuser will help you to save money. As an anti-viral, bug repelling, and stress-relief solution rolled into one safe product, an oil diffuser used with the proper oils will save you money on products you might otherwise be buying to help cure those pesky headaches or get your kids to fall asleep on time. If you’re wondering just how affordable oil diffusers can be, check the buyer’s guide to the best oil diffusers — you’ll be sure to find one that fits your budget!

              Featured photo credit: Jopeel Quimpo via unsplash.com

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