Dim Sum: Dim sum dish guide

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

There's nothing to fear inside those metal steamers. Most dim sum dishes really aren't that strange. You might even find that some options aren't adventurous enough for your taste buds. (You should find some chili oil on your table to help spice things up.) To help you get oriented, here are some of the most popular dishes you'll find on the carts, ranked from least to most adventurous.

Chee Cheong Fun: A moist rice noodle envelops several plump shrimp. A semi-sweet soy sauce usually is poured over the dish right before it's served. A word of warning: This is not the easiest dish to eat with chopsticks.

Har Gao: These pretty little shrimp dumplings are moist and generally harmless. Supposedly the more pleats you see in the thin flour wrapper, the better the dim sum chef.

Char Siu Bao: There are steamed and baked versions of this pork bun. Don't miss the steamed ones, which have diced, sweet barbecue pork peeking out from a pillow-like white dough - and don't forget to peel the thin layer of paper off the bottom before digging in.

Bok Choy: This spinach-like veggie dish is a healthy respite from all the pork and shrimp. Sunflower's stir-fried version is cooked with a bit of garlic.

Fried Chee Cheung Fun: Rice noodles are rolled up and fried with a hint of sweetness, creating a treat that's slightly crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.

Jin Dui: These sesame seed balls are beloved by little kids. They're a lot less sweet than their doppelganger, the Dunkin' Donut Munchkin, and they have a sweet lotus, red bean or peanut paste inside.