There’s a urban legend among the Chinese that the tea washes away all the excesses of Dim Sum. They call it a cleanse or a detergent.
The truth of the matter is that Dim Sum is a comfort food (Dim Sum means “touches your heart”), like seven-layer dip with potato chips or shoe fly pie. Indulging shouldn’t be a daily or even weekly experience.
Here are the three Dim Sum you should avoid — or if it’s absolutely you’re favorite, cut back on the intake per category on other baskets you order!
Three Dim Sum items to avoid:
Chinese Pork Ribs: High calories
In terms of caloric intake for a single portion, nothing beats the Chinese pork ribs with sticky rice in black bean sauce. In 2005, the Public Health Branch of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department of Hong Kong analyzed 71 Dim Sum items and found that a portion of this tasty treat has a whopping 820 calories. And that was for a serving size of 100 grams — about half a cup (rice and beef). Who eats only a half a cup of this deliciousness?
The average adult needs between 2,000 and 2,500 calories a day. One “portion” of this yummy food then is about one-third of your daily need for caloric energy. (If you don’t use up that energy, it gets stored as fat.)
Xiao Long Bao Soup: Too much fat
In the area of fat, there are many contenders. But the king is Xiao Long Bao Soup Dumpling with a staggering 80 grams of fat, according to My Fitness Pal’s ranking. These jellied meats inside of a flour dough wrapping are so bad that Men’s Health magazine in Singapore called on readers to “dump the dumpling.”
Here are the runners-up in order from highest fat content, thanks to My Fitness Pal:
- Ham sui gok 42 gm
- Baked Bbq pork bun 39 gm fat
- Steamed chicken buns 37 gm fat
- Spring Onion Pancake 33 gm fat
- Char siu 叉燒酥 32.6 gm fat
- Deep Fried Wanton 31 gm fat
- Maomaomom buns 生煎包 28.9 gm fat
- Fried Spring roll 23 gm fat
- steamed Beancurd Sheet Roll 22 gm fat
- Puff Pastries Filled With Shredded Turnip 19 gm fat
- Chessnut cake 17 gm fat
- Tau Sar Piah 12 gm fat
- Deep fried yam dumpling 12 gm
Pan-Fried Minced Pork and Chives Dumpling: High sodium
Lots of foods add salt to heighten taste, but Dim Sum takes that cooking trick to new levels. Gordon Ramsey estimates that you will ingest 2,248 milligrams of salt if you eat 10 pieces of Dim Sum. That’s the maximum daily limit recommended by the American Heart Association!
But the saltiest of the Dim Sum? Sesame beef Pei Wei with 795 mg of sodium per serving, according to Eat this Much. The savory snack gives you more than one-third of your daily limit.
As a rule of thumb, the steamed Dim Sum are better than fried. As the Hong Kong report notes: Generally, steamed items are low in total fat while pan-fried and deep-fried dim sum are high in total fat,” according to Ho Yuk-yin, a consultant with the report. “But some dim sum items prepared by steaming are also found to be high in total fat.”
It would be wise to note that Dim Sum was originally a snack food, not designed to be an entire meal. If you love Dim Sum, make sure to share it with friends and go easy on the guilty stuff.
The universal recommendation is to NOT order vegetables because they are so much more cheaply and easily cooked at home. In contrast, we recommend you DO complement your order with some vegetables for your health. Don’t damage your body just because the price of the vegetable is five times higher than at home. If it fills you and gives you some fiber and nutrition, it is well worth it.
If you are interested in buying a Cuisine Natural which sells bamboo steamers on Amazon, click on the link or the image.