Over the years, my friends have heard about the "dim sum parties" which my family holds around major holidays. Usually, my recounting of these family gatherings are met with incredulous looks and a request for left over dim sum. It never occurred to me to take pictures of what we did (mainly because I'm often too busy rolling out shrimp dumpling dough) but the last time my family got together, I decided to pull out a camera and prove to the world that these events actually happen.
|Seven pairs of hands on the table and that's only half the kitchen. The other eight people were stationed at the stove, counter, sink and refrigerator - dim sum is a full operation. :)|
|The bamboo steamer and the deep fryer are all set up and ready to go!|
Usually, me and 28 of my closest relatives get together around Christmas or during the summer holidays for a full afternoon and evening of food preparation and, of course, eating. Spearheaded by my 6th and 7th aunts, the rest of us just fall into the assembly line with our designated roles having been organically assigned over the years. Mine, as mentioned before, is rolling out of the shrimp dumpling dough. A very specialized skill, I know, which has been honed after years of practice. :P I'm less adept at the actual wrapping of the shrimp dumplings but can do it if necessary. We usually churn out around 300 shrimp dumplings in an evening - and most of them are gone by the end of it. Some make it to the freezer for future enjoyment.
|Usually, this platter would be only one of four.|
|Sometimes a little experimentation occurs to figure out the perfect steaming time.|
The dim sum menu changes from gathering to gathering depending on the mood of my aunts. The unalterable, staple dish though is the shrimp dumplings which are produced every time without fail. In addition to the dumplings though, our last party also consisted of spring rolls and steamed buns. The picture above with all the hands depicts at least five of us (it would have been six if I hadn't been the one taking the picture) working on the rolling.
|The hands of one of my cousins mid-roll.|
|Again, this platter is usually one of two or three.|
|We aim for a crispy golden brown. Mmm...smell the grease. ;)|
I know my last post also had steamed buns but these ones look a bit more professional. These were savory buns containing meat and egg. Quite filling.
So there you have it! Proof that these mass gatherings for dim sum production actually happen. They are a lot of work from preparation to clean up but I like to think that they are unique to my family and always a whole lot of fun!