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Published January 23rd 2017
Caught Red Handed with Dim Sims (by South Melbourne Market Dim Sims)
The dim sim, a delicious Chinese dumpling packed with pork and cabbage, was born in Melbourne. William Wing Young, considered the dim sim king, took the humble dumpling in the 1940s and supercharged it for the Aussie palate. The crispy fried dough and larger size made the dim sim a staple in Chinese restaurants but also in many take-away fish and chip, service station and fast food outlets.
Besides the original recipe, containing pork, prawn, cabbage, spring onion, soy sauce and pastry, dim sim R&D continues, with new varieties replacing pork with chicken or beef. Vegetarians can enjoy a dim sim delight containing mushroom and vermicelli. The westernised Chinese snack is also sold in supermarkets beside pork buns, dumplings and spring rolls.
In 2014, the popular snack even led to calls for a shrine, with the Dim Sim Salute Facebook page and petition created by local student, Dan Lewry. Unfortunately, a giant bronze dim sim is yet to appear on the Melbourne skyline after the Lord Mayor rejected the proposal, citing favouritism over other multicultural treats, including moussaka, sauerkraut, Chiko rolls and Rojan Josh.
Dim Sims with Chilli Sauce (by South Melbourne Market Dim Sims)
Begin your search for the tastiest dim sim in Melbourne with these choices:
Open for lunch and dinner Monday - Saturday with dinner on Sundays, Tai Wah in the city's south has been blessed for decades with a cook preparing a batch of dim sims with her honoured family recipe. The special fried rice is another savoury treat, hitting the umami sweetspot with sesame and soy oil, eggs and peas. While the decor is due for an update, the portions are plentiful and the mains are excellent value. Dim sims, steamed or fried, are $1 each.
You can pick up 3 homemade Taiping steamed or fried dim sims for $4.40 at Gao Feng. Although the speciality is Chinese, there are also a few Malaysian dishes worth tasting, including the chicken curry. The dim sims are a highlight on the menu after the owners grabbed the chef famous for making the Taiping variety. You can also order online.
South Melbourne Market Dim Sims - stall 91, cnr of Coventry & Cecil Streets, South Melbourne. Phone (03) 9209 6295
Sine 1949, 'dimmy' fans have queued at the South Melbourne Market Dim Sims stall to satisfy their craving for Chinese-Australian fusion food. The family business continues after Ken Cheng bestowed the secret recipe to his sons, now expanded into a 2nd shop in the Emporium Melbourne shopping arcade. You can also stock up on spring rolls and chicken dim sims on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Pearl Garden - 36 Main Street, Upwey, Ferntree Gully. Phone (03) 9754 6684
Fried or steamed dim sims of impressive size but needing just a bit more spring onion crunch are 3 for $3.60. Dine in for the quaint fortune cookies and warm handtowels or order take away containing generous servings, capable of sating the hungriest diner. Mongolian Beef and garlic prawns are popular dishes for the main meal.
Marathon Dim Sims in the freezer aisle of your local supermarket
Containing beef, the Marathon Dim Sims brand was the popular choice during the corner shop era. Now available for bulk buys at Coles or Woolworths in bags of 30 or 60, you can steam, fry or microwave your own dim sims at home, avoiding the steamy torture of soggy dim sims during the drive home. The home cooking process invites experimentation, as dim sim devotees develop their own tricks to cook the perfect snack. A taste-tested method involves steaming, then lightly coating in mix of dry and wet soy sauce before microwaving briefly to infuse the pastry and filling with soy flavour before eating hot.
Dim Sims (by Tah Wah)
Where have you dined on delectable dim sims? Please let us know with a comment.
The Best Dim Sims you ever tried from the first bite to the last morsel left.
Shhhh.....can't tell you the secret but........I saw the sign at Woolworth Ashwood at the cafe they have there and the head Bartista said after I mentioned the Dim Sims...."Ohh yum...they're new, but you've sold out!"
He said smiling......."We decided to add the famous South Melbourne Dim Sims to our food list and as you can see they've been a huge hit. We actually have sold out just now and also we just can't keep up with the demand and we're waiting for the order to come in!"
How hood is that for those who have eaten them before and those who want to taste them for themselves.
Once tried .....you're Hooked! Promise....it's true.