Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Dim Sum Primer, part 2

Here's a continuation of my guide to dim sum dishes. You can learn about where to get dim sum in Lansing here, and read the first part of the Primer here.

Spring Rolls. More delicate than eggrolls, these crunchy treats are meant to resemble gold bricks and bring you good fortune. Little Panda in particular has wonderful Spring Rolls on dim sum weekend. (I don't know if their weekday spring rolls are the same -- for some reason I don't think so.) Cabbage and a little chicken or pork, lightly seasoned with five spice that just opens the flavors wide.

RiceRoll. This is a tender, slippery rice flour sheet, steamed and wrapped around beef, shrimp, or sometimes bbq pork (only at Golden Wok in town). I like the beef best, at least at Little Panda, where it has been seasoned with a little tangerine peel. All variations have a sweet taste and a slippery texture. I advise sliding it onto your plate and cutting it up before attempting to use chopsticks on these.

Pork In Bean Roll. Bean Curd Skin may not sound that appetizing, but it's a wonderful chewy wrapper for a number of Chinese dishes, and often used to simulate chicken skin in Buddhist vegetarian dishes. It's wrapped around something, then fried, and then steamed in a luscious garlicky gravy. It is actually most wonderful when filled with vegetables, but you can't always get that. And I find that Golden Wok often forgets the steaming and the garlicky gravy for this dish -- especially when serving it off the menu. And it's really just not good when it's only been fried. (Although if you take it home and pour on a little chicken broth and garlic it's just fine -- so sometimes I'll get this as takeout.) Little Panda always gets it right, but they only serve the pork version. Which is fine with me. Pork is good.

Stuffed Eggplant. There are actually several items you can get prepared this way -- tofu, mushrooms and green peppers are all popular -- but a friend of mine turned me on to the eggplant, and even though I'm not normally an eggplant fan, this is too good to pass up. We always get it. Generally it's a little sandwich of eggplant, stuffed with shrimp and deep fried. Then, like the bean rolls, it is steamed with the garlic gravy. (Side note: this dish comes out of the kitchen sizzling HOT, so be careful or you may burn your mouth. Other side note: Lamai has taken to making this dish and sometimes has it on her Friday fish and shrimp buffet.)

Where to find Dim Sum in Lansing
Dim Sum Primer, part 1
Dim Sum Primer, Part 2
Dim Sum Primer, Part 3
Dim Sum Primer, Part 4

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