I want to shout this entire post, do it in all caps, but then you would shout back at me because of your eyes. So, fine, I won’t. Just please know that I am actually shouting. Because the thing is, if goop and Gwyneth Paltrow were talking about a kale and granola salad served in a mason jar, I would know that that’s not my place and step away. But now she’s coming for dim sum. They’ve just gooped dim sum. And I am not OK.
This is goop’s Dim Sum for Dummies (seriously), a how-to on dim sum and a guide to their favourite dim sum spots around the world. The post opens with an introduction to their dim sum expert, Carolyn Phillips, “a food writer and artist who worked for decades as a Mandarin translator and interpreter in both Taiwan and California”.
Here’s what Carolyn recommends right off the top:
1. Order from the menu, rather than the carts. This slows you down and also ensures that your food arrives piping hot.
2. Get just two or three things at a time. Don’t rush this meal, as it’s designed to be a time for relaxing and lingering. Call the waitperson over when you’re about finished with one round so you can request a couple more items. Repeat until you’re full, but leave at least a little room for dessert.
Dim sum served from carts is pretty old school. If you go to a place that serves from carts and you order from the menu, you’re getting a side-eye. You don’t want to f-ck with a side-eye in a Chinese restaurant. As for ordering from a menu and doing it only two or three things at a time…
Look. There are places to go for dim sum where the menu is literally a menu, you open up the pages and all the items are there. And sure, you can take your sweet time and order two or three things at a time but what most commonly happens at dim sum across the diaspora is that you get a piece of paper with all the dim sum items listed on it and check boxes beside with a pencil. You tick off what you want, you hand it to the server, and your items come out in a flurry and it’s f-cking delicious and there’s a lineup at the door and nobody has time for you to sit there for three hours and order things two or three at a time when they could be turning over tables and making more money from new customers because if there’s one thing that a Chinese restaurant needs to be at dim sum hour it’s efficient.
This, however, is goop dim sum. Which means it’s high class dim sum and not necessary civilian dim sum. At high class dimsum? Sure. Order one wonton at a time if you want to. But at regular dim sum? If you keep ticking off only two items at a time off your piece of paper and calling the server over who’s running around trying to clear tables and get more customers in? Again. You will get the Chinese side-eye. But hey, who am I to tell you how to do dim sum when goop is bringing dim sum to the “dummies”.
And goop is also modifying dim sum for the … people who want their dim sum modified? It was working perfectly before goop got here but, sure, let’s modify the dim sum.
This is how goop modified shrimp shumai (or siu mai in Cantonese) - by using cabbage as the wrap which makes the dish accessible to those with allergies and gluten issues. If you don’t have dietary restrictions though, grease is essential to dim sum. Dim sum is like hangover food. The grease is what you want in dim sum before you go back home and take a nap. But then you come to the end of the recipe:
“Don’t forget the squeeze of lime at the end—that bright acidity makes all the difference!”
On siu mai?!?????????????????????
What the f-ck is lime juice doing on siu mai?!
I have never seen lime anywhere near a f-cking siu mai in my life. You want to throw some xo chili sauce on it? Great. Sriracha? Sure.
LIME on siu mai?
You know what isn’t on here? Chicken feet. You want a true dim sum experience? Get the chicken feet. OF COURSE goop isn’t touching the chicken feet.