dim sum making

dim sum dumpling making

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They say that one of the hardest parts of dim sum making or dim sum dumpling making is in the folding and creation of the little dough filled critters that are so popular and tasty with endless varieties of fillings. Dim sum is an old, yet quite trendy, culinary dish that has a Cantonese tradition. These delectable bite size dumplings of love were usually served at roadside teahouses as snacks with hot tea to weary travelers along the legendary Silk Road.

dim sum making

In order to really learn the ‘art’ of folding, I decided there was no better place to learn than from the best. And, that meant traveling half way around the globe to Shanghai, China and a delightful home cook, Mrs. Yi. While her English was like my Mandarin, about non-existent, we were super lucky to have with us (hubby Ben and me), Zoe, our skillful and amazing Chinese guide. You’ll hear Zoe narrate as she videoed me struggling with the mastery of the folding technique as Mrs. Yi patiently worked with my clumsy hands trying to emulate her skillful artistry!

Mrs. Yi, used pre-made dough from the market. These were small squares, about 3″ x 3″, and precisely like wonton wrappers that you can purchase in some markets and all Asian grocery stores. Yes, you can make your own dough, but for those who really want dim sum and are motivated enough to make it, then opting to skip the making of the dough encourages actually doing it! I’m always looking for ways to encourage Millenials and GenX’ers to get in the kitchen. And, if we can have shortcuts, and in this case using wonton wrappers, then it’s likely that they’ll actually cook in the kitchen.

dim sum making

After the dim sum dumpling making, Mrs. Yi served table full of incredible homemade Chinese food. She kept returning to her very small kitchen bringing out dish after dish after dish. It was truly a feast, and we all sat around long after eating, talking (thank goodness for Zoe the interpreter!), laughing and sharing!

dim sum making

Yes, this is the magic of food. There are no barriers. No boundaries. No differences in us as humans. We love to share our passion for food and the love and camaraderie that explodes when we all sit around a table. I find this to be true whether I’m in a small apartment in Shanghai, a Berber tent in the Sahara desert, a coffee table in St. Petersburg, Russia or right in my home in America.

Here are some tips:

You’ll want to have a small bowl of water nearby as you fold the wrappers.

You also will need to have your filling of choice prepared. You can use both savory and sweet fillings.

Don’t overfill the dough. Mrs. Yi literally used a teaspoon or a little more and spread it out some in the center of the dough. (Sorry no specific measurements for this!)

Try to work fast. You’ll get better as you learn the folding technique.

Keep the dumplings you’ve completed covered with a damp cloth. You don’t want them to dry out.

Dim sum is typically served in piping hot bamboo steamer baskets. But, you can certainly improvise. The key is to keep them moist and hot. Mrs. Yi served our dim sum dumplings we made in a tasty broth with chives. Super deeeelish!

Enjoy watching my two minutes of dim sum making!




  1. I love making ravioli and have made pierogies before and we love dim sum, so I’ll have to give these a try. Looking forward to the recipe/s.


    • Hi, Janet! Yes, all of these are in the ‘dumpling’ category, and I’m finally learning more about dim sum and dumplings here in Asia! I love ravioli and pierogies, too! Comfort food!! Thanks for visiting, luv! xoxo ally

  2. I love watching your videos, Alice…..you are soooo cute!
    I hope Ben is enjoying eating all those good ? things.

    • Robin! Thank you, luv! It’s all totally me, as you can certainly see! Yes, Ben is eating dumplings out the yahhhhzoooo!!! Can’t wait to see y’all in May!! xoxo

  3. The JOY between you, Mrs. Yi, and Zoe in this “shared learning experience” made me grin from ear to ear, Ally! This is what your adventure is all about… diving in with both hands, laughing and loving it, and mastering yet another cooking technique after trial & error & encouragement. SO proud of you!

    • My dear Kim…you are so so so right! It was a ‘shared learning experience’…and, we are having so many…all ‘firsts’ and probably ‘lasts’ like climbing the Great Wall…OMG, Kim, can’t wait to share that w/you!! Love you girl!! xoxo

  4. Auntiepatch

    Is there a recipe here somewhere? Will you be writing one?

    Thanks –

    • Yes, Karen, I’m still traveling and will certainly be doing recipes and follow up when I get home and settled in, angel! Excited to share w/you!! xoxo

  5. I have never tried the Mangosteen, looks so cool! Nettie

  6. The Great Dumpling maker!! Well done! Nettie

    • Ha ha…how ’bout that! I’ll be sharing some recipes once I get home, settled in and cooking!! Thanks, luv bug, for all your sweet comments! xoxo

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