Talk:Dim sum

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Cscr-former.svg Dim sum is a former featured article candidate. Please view the links under Article milestones below to see why the nomination failed. For older candidates, please check the archive.
March 1, 2004 Featured article candidate Not promoted
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Transliterations[edit]

I've fixed some transliterations that were very obviously wrong, especially in regards to aa vs a. Of course I didn't change any links to pages or names already in common usage (such as dim sum vs dim sam).

I realize that there are various Cantonese transliterations in use on the page, and perhaps that should be fixed someday, but all of them that I know respect the difference between aa and a. T. Gnaevus Faber (talk) 06:20, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

Yum Cha vs. Dim Sum[edit]

"Yum Cha" is not equal to "Dim Sum". In Cantonese, "Dim Sum" is a noun only, while "Yum Cha" is a verb. "Yum Cha" means to eat Dim Sum with friends or family members together, and it's a sort of family or social activity. --Eternal 11:25, 24 Sep 2003 (UTC)

I feel that many wikipedians here (especially those who are Chinese speakers not living in the USA) are very confused between English words that are used in the Western countries but originated from the Chinese language verses a translation of a Chinese word. In the US or perhaps in most western countries, Dim sum is more specific than 點心. 點心 in Chinese can be used in the North and the South to mean different kinds of food. Dim Sum in the US refers to Hong Kong Style Dim Sum which is also what you eat during Yum Cha in Hong Kong. When two groups of wikipedians write this article in two quite different definitions, the result is a mess. Many other kinds of 點心 were added to the article about Hong Kong Style Dim Sum merely because the English translation spelled the same way, and the article lost focus. The exact same thing happened to the American Chinese cuisine vs. Chop Suey article. An other example is two different kinds of Northern and Southern Chinese Lion Dances which are mixed as one homogenous blob. The Bok choy article also suffers the same confusion when Chinese wikipedians ignores the ethymology of the Cantonese origin of the English loanword and just treated the loan word "Bok choy" as just a English translation of a generic Chinese terminology.
In my opinion, en.wikipedia is targeted for English readers, it should be written with the audience's experience in mind. This article should be about the English terminology with the meaning of Yum Cha, hence it should be clearly separated from the more generic translated meaning of the Chinese terminology 點心. I suggest a disambiguation page to define the USA meaning of Dim Sum and the Chinese meaning of dim sum into two separate articles. Kowloonese June 28, 2005 21:27 (UTC)
The only problem is that US is not the only English speaking country in the world (It's called Yum Cha in Australia/NZ), plus many people are assuming we are talking about a specific dining experience which is still deeply rooted in Chinese tradition. I think we need a paragraph to let people understand how it's used in Hong Kong etc. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.218.74.115 (talk) 22:26, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

"yum cha" also refers to the act of drinking tea as it literally means "to drink tea" Weili 07:18, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

"Yum Cha" is to have Dim Sum as lunch. Also FYI it is sometime used as a parting phrase: "Let's get together for Yum Cha soon" 24.191.52.2 (talk) 06:49, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

BTW please copy the "bow" gesture explanation from the referenced main article regarding tea. 24.191.52.2 (talk) 07:25, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

Where I come from in the northestern US, Dim Sum is just one item. It is always round, and looks like the picture you have for jin deui. Collin237 —Preceding unsigned comment added by 166.203.178.120 (talk) 01:20, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

Brilliant prose[edit]

I've nominated this article for brilliant prose. Scooter 08:18, 31 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Copy objection therefrom: Objection: It appears to have northern-China POV, with myths such as connections to the Silk Road -- unless references are produced, I am not convinced. My guess is that many Chinese far from Guangdong would not know what dim sum is. Statements such as 'Almost all Chinese know what dim sum is' should be made VERY CAREFULLY, after substantial surveying about 900 million people! Many items listed also did not give Cantonese (which would be very useful when the dim sum lady with cart comes by.) Sorry to be a killjoy. --Kaihsu Tai 12:24, 2004 Jan 2 (UTC)
Point taken. It would appear the solution would be either to restrict its reference to the northern part of China, or add information on dim sum-like dishes in the south of China and other areas in Asia. Not haveing any reference at all, and less knowledge, I'd recommend the former. Anyone want to tackle this? Scooter 05:13, 3 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Quote: My guess is that many Chinese far from Guangdong would not know what dim sum is. Kaihsu, are you insinuating that overseas chinese people have lost their connections with their culture? I think it is a fair statement to say that a big portion of chinese people whose ancestors are from Southern China would be familiar with Dim Sum. It's a cultural thing. Changed 05:13, 19:00 13 September 2005 (GMT+8)
I think he meant that non-Guangdong Chinese are likely to be less familiar with dim sum. From what I've seen, it's pretty true. When I asked a friend from Harbin whether he knew what 點心 was, he answered (in English), "Of course! It means cake! You're talking about mooncake, right?". After asking my Shanghainese friend, he said he knew 點心 as just a word for any type of small or snack-like foods that aren't consumed during one of the three main meals. Neither of them had a clue about the Cantonese-style dim sum and meal as described in this article.--Yuje 12:25, 13 September 2005 (UTC)
This is exactly what I pointed out near to top of this talk page. People are mixing the English word "Dim Sum" with the English translation of the Chinese word 點心, dian sin. Dim sum is a English word that has a Cantonese etymology and it means Cantonese dian sim. dian sin is a generic Chinese word that means small dishes. It would be a mistake to combine the two usages. When you talk to your friend from Harbin and Shanghai, did you ask the question in Chinese or in English? Do they know "Dim Sum" is an English word, not just a translation of dian sin? The distinction is still unclear in this article because people are still adding pot sticker and shanghai dumplings into the list. Kowloonese 20:00, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
I asked (in English) if they knew what dim sum was. They didn't, so I asked in Mandarin. The question confused him, since I was asking the equivalent of "Have you ever eaten a snack before?", and he asked what kind of dian xin was I talking about. I ended up explaining to this friend the entire Cantonese dim sum meal and food because he had never heard of or tried it before, and then he explained to me his understanding of the word, which I mentioned above. --Yuje 23:32, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Nice article folks! I'm getting hungry. I havn't heard the silk road story before. I believe it could well be a myth. I know many things came along the silk road. But from East to west more likely. Perhaps we could wait a while to see if the citation can be filled though. (can't wait that long for my stomach to be filled tho). Matlee 11:02, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

Picture[edit]

hey hey, do anyone know how to put a picture of dim sum on the page as i think it is a very nice idea to let people to understand more on the dim sum.

Yep, read the help on images.

thx! anyway. hey hey, do the hau gua ( the Shramp Dumpling) made of meat? I have never heard of that. If so, it will be not suitable for the vegetarians then!

The image currently used has no information on its source, it looks to me like a copyvio, Can we find something to replace it, or does someone want to frame a fair use argument. Zeimusu | Talk 06:15, 2005 Jan 31 (UTC)

Cantonese names[edit]

Since this is primarily a Cantonese cuisine, shouldn't Cantonese names for the dishes be provided at the very least? Jogloran June 28, 2005 14:55 (UTC)

Looking through the edit history, it looks like some anon decided to erase all the the Cantonese names as well as replace all the Chinese characters with simplified ones. (Cantonese writing uses traditional) The Cantonese names exist in the old versions, it shouldn't be too difficult to restore them. --Yuje June 28, 2005 15:04 (UTC)
Just curious, but in reference to the statement "Cantonese writing uses traditional"...does Cantonese writers in Mainland China use traditional script all the time too?--Huaiwei 15:11, 13 September 2005 (UTC)
Written Cantonese is banned in the Mainland, as far as I know. Cantonese writers in the mainland don't write in Cantonese, but Vernacular Chinese, which has different grammar and vocabulary than Cantonese. --Yuje 16:21, 13 September 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification. I noticed traditional script in Guangdong, so they are actually simply Mandarin writtern in Trad script?--Huaiwei 09:34, 14 September 2005 (UTC)
Mandarin or Putonghua itself is not a written language. In mainland China Putonghua is based on pronunciations in Beijing dialect, and the grammar syntax of modern written Chinese (以北京语音为标准音,以北方话为基础方言,以典范的现代白话文著作为语法规范的现代汉民族共同语) [1]. — Instantnood 09:49, 14 September 2005 (UTC)
You seriously dont have to educate me with elementary information like those (which dont answer my question btw)--Huaiwei 10:03, 14 September 2005 (UTC)
Alright if you already know that information.. that's usually Chinese, and rarely Cantonese. :-) — Instantnood 10:35, 14 September 2005 (UTC)
Thank you very much, but I would like Yuje to verify that information.--Huaiwei 15:03, 14 September 2005 (UTC)
It's basically as Instantnood said. If you saw written literature with traditional, it's most likely just written vernacular Chinese, and if you simply just saw traditional characters being used for purposes such as by businesses and shops, names aren't dialect-specific. --Yuje 11:38, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

Written Cantonese is not actually banned in Guangdong, it's just that it is not an official standard, instead standard written Chinese is used, in schools, TV, and magazines etc. Since all menus in Guangdong are all written in simplified characters, and Dim Sum is a part of the culture of Guangdong as it is of Hong Kong, I think dish names should be in both simplified and traditional characters and with both local and standard pronunciations. And as Yuye has said, character themselves whether simplified or traditional are not specific to any particular dialect. LDHan 13:55, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Food section[edit]

Ha kau: Don't know the Chinese characters, but surely this is one of the standard dim sum dishes? These are a kind of meat balls, and every time I've gone they were mentioned in the same breath as siu maai. --CodeGeneratR 00:03, 9 August 2005 (UTC)

Of course! It's even more expensvie than siu maai in a sense. No, it's a shrimp dumpling instead of a meat ball. -- Jerry Crimson Mann 01:03, 9 August 2005 (UTC)
Dang! I mixed them up... No wonder, since we always order them together. In fact I think they usually come on the same cart.--CodeGeneratR 01:35, 9 August 2005 (UTC)
Ha Kau is mentioned in the article but written as ha gao. Siew Mai is a meatball(?) wrapped in yellow coloured rice flour skin.
Also, I noticed that it is written that woo kok is made with mashed taro. I think it is made with mashed yams(wu). The thing is made (as with bao and loh mai kai) by stuff the mashed yams in the middle with BBQ pork (There was once, I ate one that came with green peas..).
竽 Cantonese wu means taro root. Since dim sum is Cantonese, just go by the Cantonese definition.
And bao comes in a variety of fillings, tau sar (red bean paste), lin yong (lotus paste), choi bao (vegetarian (?) ), tai bao (literally big bao. It's about the size of a Whopper. Has got meatballs, vegetables and a hard boiled egg), kaya bao (Found only in Malaysia, kaya is a sweet coconut and egg based paste). Although, char siew bao is still famous even though a myriad of other novelty baos have been created. --Changed 18:54, 13 September 2005 (GMT+8)

Char siu sou[edit]

There is no Char Siew Sou section in the types of Dim sum, could someone add it. More items should be added, like exotic dim sum and stuff. --Terence Ong Talk 15:13, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

叉燒酥 Char siu sou is not a "type" of dim sum, it is just one specific dish. However, you may include "sou 酥" as a generic type with char siu sou as one specific example of the type. Sou is basically a kind of pastry that crumbles in flakes. There are many other kinds of filling including thousand year egg, seafood, lotus seed paste, cream filling, etc. the varieties are endless. Kowloonese 19:42, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

box[edit]

Something is wrong with the box. The Cantonese IPA is not showing up, for example. And the Yale should be dím sàm.--Sonjaaa 14:34, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

ha1 tsöng5[edit]

My favourite dim sum is "ha tsoeng". What is the Cantonese term for this? Can we add it to the article?--Sonjaaa 14:39, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Can you describe the dish? I don't know IPA so I couldn't figure out what it is. Kowloonese 19:23, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
I think it's already in the article. Ha cheung (my Cantonese romanization sucks, forgive me) is basically the shrimp-filled version of the rice-noodle roll. --Yuje 23:34, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Malay Steamed Sponge Cake (馬拉糕 ma5 lai1 gou1)[edit]

Malay Steamed Sponge Cake (馬拉糕 ma5 lai1 gou1): A very soft sponge cake with the flavor of molasses.

Can someone verify the origin of the name? Sound to me the "ma lai" of ma5 lai1 gou1 comes from molasses, not from Malay. Kowloonese 23:00, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

"ma lai" is in reference to Malaysia and refers to the cake being done in a Malaysian style. Now, the question is, what makes it Malaysian? I do not know the answer to that. Jon914 08:27, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Vandalism!?[edit]

My change to the article got reverted with the accusation of vandalism (see here). How in the world is this construed as vandalism? I will not revert this because I do not believe that reverting anyone who reverts you is helpful without discussion first. However, I would like to know:

  1. Why was my edit was considered vandalism, especially when I gave complete reasoning in my edit summary?
  2. Why was the reasoning in my edit summary disagreeable? Specifically:
    • Why is the capitalized Yum cha preferred over yum cha, especially since it's not a proper name?
    • Why should Yum cha be linked again even though it was already linked in the previous section? Redundant linking is discouraged in the Wikipedia style guide.

Umofomia 05:56, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

My deepest apologies. I was walking down the list of edits made by User:Aish Warya who went on a vandalism spree and failed to notice that edits had been made since his visit here. I have reverted back to your version. Ideogram 06:10, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Thanks... sorry if I sounded rather brusque about the vandalism incident; I generally don't like it when the term is used cavalierly, but I see now that it was an accident. —Umofomia 09:09, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

Please remove bandwagon health reference: "[...]health officials have recently criticized the high amount of saturated fat and sodium in some dim sum dishes[...]". There are restaurants where Dim Sums are made with healthy ingredients! The healthiness of Dim Sum depends on how a restaurant caters to customer preferences (locals, tourists, business persons) or local laws regulating use of ingredients (cooking oil, religious diet, calories). While Dim Sum are produced in batches, most can accommodate customers with diet restrictions (you need to ask nicely or befriend with your server), for example by selection/exclusion of sauces, providing recommendations of available choices or in some cases even customizing a dish from scratch. It is a "democratic" diet, accommodating both the taste-conscious and health-conscious customers. 24.191.52.2 (talk) 07:20, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

What is dim sum?[edit]

I have a question that no one I know has adequately answered and which I was hoping, futilely it turns out, would be answered by this page. Is dim sum a type of food? Or an eating event? Or both? For example, "brunch" is an event in the U.S. at which one has various types of dishes. You can eat those same dishes at other times in the day, but that would not be brunch. And brunch can involve lots of different types of dishes - it's just the timing that matters. Dim sum appears to literally refer to a type of small dish, but is consistently eaten at a particular point in the day so that it has almost become synonymous with having a "Chinese brunch," at least in the U.S. But is the type of dish or the timing important as a definition of dim sum? In other words, can I get dim sum in the evening? When I say, "We're having dim sum," does this require small dishes or a time of day for the meal or both? If my point is unclear, please let me know. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Manuz (talkcontribs) 01:22, 16 January 2007 (UTC).

Dim sum is the name of the small dish cuisine. That's it. People are getting it way confused with Yum cha. Benjwong 02:13, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
This is where living in the US has set us into a certain mind frame. In the US, Dim Sum is almost exclusively treated as lunch or brunch, even going so far as to be most popular on Sunday brunch, as if this were a Chinese version of it. In HK though, Dim Sum is eaten throughout the day, and while lunch is still the most popular time to eat it, it's far from unheard of to see it served for breakfast whereas in the US, you would never see that. Jon914 08:30, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Well, it's not really just a US exclusive term. When I was in the UK, I had heard that before, and therefore --- I have included a sentence in the articles (both Dim sum & Yum cha) to incorporate this situation and hopefully, "stop" the spread of this mistake. TheAsianGURU (talk) 21:00, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

"Order to your heart's content?"[edit]

How exactly does dian xin mean order to your heart's content literally? Coming from someone who has lived in Hong Kong and southern california and speaks both Mandarin and Cantonese, this does not really hold true.71.108.180.25 (talk) 06:43, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

  • The actual origins of the term are lost in history. There is mention of the term dating back to the Southern Song Dynasty, but even then it's just a reference to the term. There's a legend, however, that it came from a woman who long ago offered snacks, and said 點點心意 (pick what you like). This was shortened to 點心. Bubbha (talk) 01:40, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Further to the above, regarding the question "order to your heart's content", 點 means to point, pick or order (點蔡), and 心意 means, quite literally, "heart's content". Bubbha (talk) 01:45, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

Another question[edit]

I have only done dim sum once. I had an item apparently not listed in the article, which I'm trying to identify. It was a white gelatinous cube, around 3 inches (76 mm) in size, which tasted like coconut, and was clearly a desert item. (much nicer than the snails from an earlier dish!) Does anyone have an idea what it was? - Denimadept (talk) 17:09, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

It was exactly what you described: a gelatin desert made with coconut milk, sometimes referred to as "coconut pudding." In Cantonese we could call it 椰汁糕 (je4 zap1 gou1 according to jyutping romanization). Hope that helps. Korobatsu (talk) 21:21, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

Dim sum pricing for "westerners"[edit]

My edit on the pricing of dim sum toward westerners was reverted, I suspect they thought it was vandalism. I reverted it back and stand by this NOT being vandalism. You can also often see this being mentioned on travel shows etc... One of the main problems with verifying this in print is that many do not want to write it for fear of coming off as accusing one of racism. However I believe if it's true, it should be in the article, politics should not get in the way of correct content. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.44.5.172 (talk) 02:41, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

Provide a reliable source for the comment and it will stay in; otherwise, it's just a calumny. --jpgordon::==( o ) 04:29, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
Oh, it is true and it is not just dim sum. Absolutely needs a source though. SchmuckyTheCat (talk)

White rice cake?[edit]

A few times that I've gone for Dim Sum, I've been able to snag a dessert item, that is about 3/4" thick, sliced in triangular chunks about 2"x3". These are white, a bit rubbery, taste like rice and honey, are flat on the top, but have a not-quite-honeycomb lattice on the bottom. (And are delicious!!) I've asked what the name is, and I've forgotten the chinese name, but I was told the english translation is "Rice Cake" or "White Rice Cake". I came to this article to try to learn more about it (re-learn what its name is, so I can ask for it properly, or try to look for recipes....), but it's not here. :( Does anyone know what this dish is, and what it's (properly) called? And can it please get added to this article? It doesn't taste like coconut, so it's not coconut jelly. Thanks! 173.206.137.186 (talk) 23:18, 22 January 2012 (UTC)