Place of origin
|Australia (of Chinese-inspired origin)|
|Variations||Vegetarian (assorted fillings)|
|Cookbook:Dim Sim Dim Sim|
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2007)|
A dim sim is a Chinese-inspired meat or vegetable dumpling-style snack food, popular in Australia and to a lesser extent in New Zealand. The meat variety dish normally consists of small amounts of pork or lamb, cabbage and flavourings, encased in a wrapper similar to that of a traditional shumai dumpling. They are usually deep-fried or steamed, but can be barbecued. The vegetarian-style dim sim normally contains cabbage, carrot, vermicelli, or other vegetable fillings, along with spices. Dim sims differ from typical Chinese dumplings in that they are often much larger, have a thicker doughier skin and are shaped more robustly. They are primarily sold in fish and chip shops, service stations, corner stores and some Chinese restaurants and takeaway outlets in Australia. Chinese Yum Cha wholesale outlets and Asian frozen food companies also commonly sell this snack frozen for home cooking.
Chinese diners view dim sims as Westernised food, however many Australians see the snack as being primarily Chinese in nature, due to its origins in local Chinese restaurants. The term dim sim dates as far back as 1928, and so cannot have been developed in Melbourne's Chinatown in 1945 by chef William Wing Young (father of TV chef Elizabeth Chong) for his restaurant "Wing Lee", despite claims to the contrary.
In the 1942 US Military publication, "Instructions for American Servicemen in Australia", the food is referred to on page VII as "Dim Sin".
Dim sims were first mass-produced by Mayfield B. Anthony Co. The deep fried version has a skin very unlike the skin of deep fried Chinese food in China. Despite this, dim sims are commonly found in Chinese takeaway outlets, and as a starter dish at some Chinese restaurants in Australia. They are also common at Chinese food outlets in New Zealand.
A purported "original recipe" for the dim sim was presented by Elizabeth Chong on the second episode of the ABC1 TV show Myf Warhurst's Nice (2012). It consisted of twice minced pork, prawns, water chestnuts, spring onions and soy sauce wrapped in a custom dumpling pastry.