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    Posted on Jul 22, 2014

    13 Delectable Dim Sum Dishes You Need To Try

    This is not your average brunch.

    BEFORE WE START, FOR THOSE IN THE DARK...

    Creative Commons / Flickr: roboppy

    Dim sum (written 點心 in Chinese, pronounced "dian xin" in Mandarin) is a Cantonese-style meal of small, bite-sized proportions that is usually taken on a weekend morning.

    It will not be anything like your traditional breakfast, but it will change your life.

    Here are some of the most delectable dim sum dishes you'll need to try:

    1. Fried Radish Cakes

    Creative Commons / Flickr: liquidx

    Radish cakes (or sometimes called "turnip cakes") are made of shredded radish that's been mixed with flour and rice, then mashed and fried into cake bricks. The result is a bed of soft, starchy filling with browned, crispy edges.

    2. Rice Noodle Rolls

    Creative Commons / Flickr: avlxyz

    Rice noodles in dim sum are usually served as a thin, wide layer of rice noodle wrap that's filled with shrimp, pork, beef, and/or vegetables. It's then doused in soy sauce for a delicious contrast of starch and acid.

    3. Braised Chicken Feet

    Creative Commons / Flickr: ryry9379

    Chicken feet are not as intimidating as they might appear. Sure, the texture and the idea of feet might turn you off, but the skin is extremely tender and tasty. Consult a regular dim-sum-er about how to eat chicken feet like a pro.

    4. Bean Curd Rolls

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    Bean curds are a tofu that's usually used as a "wrapper" for a variety of fillings: pork, chicken, shrimp, veggies, or sometimes without. The tofu skin soaks up all of the stock/soy sauce, so it's packed with flavor.

    5. Steamed Pork Buns

    Creative Commons / Flickr: avlxyz

    There are a plethora of baos and dumplings in Chinese cuisine, but steamed "cha siu bao" is unique to Cantonese dim sum. It's got the same soft, doughy shell as other bao, but it's filled with a sweet and salty BBQ pork mash.

    6. Steamed "Xiao Long Bao" Soup Dumplings

    Creative Commons / Flickr: rhh

    These tiny, delicate baozi pockets are filled with pork and savory soup that explode in your mouth. Important to note: there is a real art to eating one.

    7. Prawn/Shrimp "Har Gow" Dumplings

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    This special dim sum dumpling is usually made with a soft, translucent skin encasing a prawn or shrimp filling.

    8. Lotus-Wrapped Sticky Rice

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    This is a true Chinese staple: Sticky rice is infused with a variety of savory ingredients (like pork, bamboo, soy sauce), wrapped in a lotus or bamboo leaf, then steamed. The rice, and all of its tasty components, also soaks in the lotus/bamboo flavors to create a magical, aromatic dish.

    9. Deep Fried Taro Balls

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    Taro is mashed (almost to a paste), boiled, then deep fried until the outer layer becomes this crispy, fluffy, tentacle-y

    10. Pork Spare Ribs

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    These are probably not like any ribs you've ever had: For how long they've been steamed, they're super tender (like, falling-off-the-bones tender) and melt-in-your-mouth succulent.

    11. Fried Sesame Seed Balls

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    The pastry, also known as "jin deui," is made with a sticky rice flour and covered with a crispy coat of sesame seeds. They're usually filled with a lotus or a sweet black bean paste that is the most perfect, subtle dial of sweetness.

    12. Mango Pudding

    Creative Commons / Flickr: sammich

    After all of the savory, end dim sum with mango pudding, a popular Cantonese dessert. It's more creamy than fruity, but its silky texture is a refreshing contrast to the rest of the course.

    13. Egg Tarts

    Creative Commons / Flickr: avlxyz

    Another specialty Chinese dessert, egg tarts are a custard that has a very distinct creamy and yolky middle encased by a buttery pastry crust. This is not like any custard you've ever had: it's better.