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VOL. 43 | NO. 48 | Friday, November 29, 2019

Preparing dim sum at home lets you set schedule

By Catherine Mayhew

Print | Front Page | Email this story

Dumpling Dipping Sauce

2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
2-3 drops sesame oil

Stir ingredients together in a small bowl. Serve with dumplings

Source: Lucky Peach Presents 101 Easy Asian Recipes

One of the attractions of dim sum in Nashville is scarcity. You have to have a plan of attack to get the authentic version.

At Lucky Bamboo that means weekends, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. And at Sichuan Hot Pot, you can order dim sum every day but only 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

You may not be able to match the pageantry of a classic dim sum meal at home but the dumplings themselves can be had from at least three local global grocery stores.

Those who have never been in a global grocery are in for a treat. There ingredients you’ve probably never seen before, and their familiar offerings are always far superior. Stop in the produce departments of all three stores we’re featuring.

Asian cuisine demands the freshest, most vibrant produce, and you can buy it for a lot less than you’ll spend at a regular grocery store. The quality also is more desirable.

Like the one or two varieties of rice noodles at the traditional grocery? Choose from dozens of varieties at an Asian global market.

All dim sum available at these markets is frozen. What you’ll need to prepare it at home is a standard metal vegetable steamer that will set you back about $9. These steamers are widely available in grocery stores.

Use the biggest pot you have that the steamer will fit in. Add a few inches of water and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat to a medium simmer. Rub a thin layer of sesame oil on the steamer and place as many dumplings as will fit in the steamer without crowding them. Cover the pot with a lid and steam the dumplings for 7-8 minutes (or according to the package instructions) until they are cooked through.

InterAsian Market and Deli, 2160 Nolensville Pike, has a good assortment of dim sum in its frozen food cases along the side wall of the market. If you’re not sure what to select, this is a good place to ask. The market’s staff is extremely knowledgeable and eager to help. Extras bonus points for you if you visit InterAsian on Fridays or Saturdays when they have homemade Asian foods for sale.

K&S World Market, 5861 Charlotte Pike, has several cases full of frozen steamed buns with a variety of fillings, bags of dumplings and other dim sum offerings. If you visit the market over the weekend, plan to go between 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and stop off at Lucky Bamboo, right next door, for a traditional dim sum lunch before you get your grocery shopping done.

Bangkok Market, 3207 Powell Ave., specializes in Thai food products but it has one of the largest frozen dim sum selections in Nashville. To find it, head to the back of the store and take a left into the produce section. While you’re there, take a look at that produce. The market has a fine selection of exotic mushrooms for affordable prices that would cost you a month’s rent at a conventional grocery store.

And, now, on to the sauce. You have to have something for dim sum dipping.

“Sauceless dumplings are like the crying-on-the-inside kind of clowns. They look the part but something important is missing.” – Lucky Peach Presents 101 Easy Asian Recipes

You can buy a bottled sauce in the international section of your favorite supermarket. But don’t do that. Please. It literally takes 30 seconds to make your own dipping sauce and it will run circles around anything in a jar.

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