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Scallion Pancakes for the Dim Sum Party

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Scallion Pancakes for the Dim Sum Party

Scallion Pancakes for the Dim Sum Party

Fall is one of my favorite times of the year to spend preparing Chinese ‘little snacks’ to be steamed, fried,  baked and shared at Dim Sum parties among friends during the winter months. The little Chinese specialties are many the same I make throughout the year: dumplings, pot stickers, stuffed buns, and pork balls, shrimp toasts.

Mostly, these little treats are barely out of the steamer or fry pan then into the dipping sauce and quickly gone before moving on to an extended meal with a noodle dish or soup.

A Dim Sum Party involves serving a broad variety of these little snacks over the course of a party. The fall Dim Sum preparation involves time, preparing volumes of each separate dish. As each batch is completed they are carefully placed in long plastic containers lined with freezer paper, plastic wrap, then sealed and frozen.

One of the more time consuming tasks is making the Scallion Pancakes. One day each fall I make a number of batches of scallion pancakes over the course of a day or two, to be enjoyed as one of the selections for Dim Sum parties or, fried and served as a nice little treat if friends drop by unexpectedly.

Dim Sum by Cantonese definition translates to ‘little snacks’. In Mandarin, the term used is dian xin, loosely translated to ‘little eats’ but the literal translation is ‘light the heart’.

Conceptually, the idea is for diners to enjoy themselves, find pleasure in the food. Dim Sum rather that dian xin is the most commonly used term due to the predominance of Cantonese restaurants that serve Dim Sum most widely in the West.

A Dim Sum Party at home is a great way for guests to gather and converse over wine, beer, or cocktails while enjoying the ongoing stream of these filling little snacks throughout an afternoon or evening.

In the accurate sense little Chinese snacks can be served any time but Dim Sum are generally served during the day for brunch or lunch, and are eaten sitting down. Still, hosting a ‘Dim Sum Party’ where guests can mingle and move about while enjoying a variety of these dishes in the evening hours has a festive appeal.

Hosting a Dim Sum party for your friends is not really so difficult,  advance planning and preparation in the broad variety of dishes served is essential. Scallion Pancakes are so delicious and well worth the time.

Scallion Pancakes as part of the Dim Sum can be fried early in the day on the day of a party, then cut into quarters and even microwaved a few seconds to warm before serving alongside the dipping sauce.

Just as there are many choices to be served for the Dim Sum there are also many expressions the Chinese use conversationally to describe the experience in choosing the foods to be enjoyed during Dim Sum like dian cai sui xin, meaning: spot the dish, follow your heart.

Enjoy the Scallion Pancakes, and may your Dim Sum celebration warm you and your guests the heart of pleasure with your Chinese ‘little snacks’!




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