Dim Sum Overload: Trying Cantonese Food in Tampa, Florida!

By Kach Umandap - Howe November 17th, 2021 Posted in Destination, Restaurant and Recipes, Travel Blog, Travel Guides No comments

Are you a fan of Chinese cuisine particularly, Cantonese food? This article is for you! Discover more about types of delicious dim sum in Florida below!

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Chinese food is always a delight! For this reason, it is not surprising to see a lot of Chinese restaurants everywhere. When I was in Tampa, Florida, I never skipped this cuisine as they are one of my favorites! I went to China Yuan Restaurant in Tampa and here, I had a lot of Cantonese Food! More of these mouthwatering dishes, below.

What is Cantonese Food?

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Cantonese cuisine is a type of food originating from the Southern part of China particularly in Guangzhou including Hong Kong, and Macau. It is known for its delicious dishes that are popular all over the world. This food includes Dim Sum, Wonton noodles, steamed pork buns, sweet and sour pork ribs, and a lot more that we all love! Wherever you are, it’s impossible not to run into a Chinese restaurant which is cool because we get to taste these amazing cuisines.

What is Dim Sum?

 

As I mentioned above, one of the most popular Cantonese food is Dim Sum, but what really is that? Dim Sum or Dumpling is a traditional Chinese food that is served either as a snack or a main course. It can also be served steamed or fried with various fillings such as fresh seafood, meat, and vegetables.

Cantonese restaurants that serve Dim Sum are very common. For that reason, you won’t have a hard time looking for the best and tastiest Dim Sum in your area. However, if you’re not quite familiar with different types of Dim Sum or Cantonese food, in particular, you’re on the right page. Just read more below so you’ll have an idea. 

How to Order?

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If it’s your first time ordering dim sum, you might get confused especially if there’s no English menu. Since I was at a Chinese restaurant in Florida, there’s English of course. However, the ordering method is the same in China. Commonly, they have a menu that has all their dumpling listed down. All you have to do is write a number that indicates the quantity of your order (per dim sum). The most usual is 1 per order, and that’s what I also had.

Furthermore, since the dim sum is served with tea, it is also common that you will be asked what type of tea you want to order. Cantonese restaurants usually have Black Tea, Jasmine, and Oolong tea.

15 Things You Should Order

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I went to China Yuan Restaurant in Tampa, Florida, and I really had a great experience trying out a lot of Dim Sum and their other Cantonese cuisine! Here are the 15 best dishes that I think you should try.

1. Siu Mei

Another common dumpling is the Siu Mei. The most popular filling for it is the combination of pork and shrimp that most people love!

2. Shrimp Dumpling 

From the name itself, it’s a dumpling filled with shrimp. The expectation is it should be juicy and springy inside but dry outside. A perfect pair with chili sauce!

3. Sesame Ball

These sticky rice balls covered with sesame will then be deep-fried to perfection that is truly mouthwatering. They are gooey in texture and are served as desserts.

4. Shrimp Rice Paste

Another dim sum classic consists of plump shrimp that’s wrapped in rice noodles (Cheung fun). It is best served with sweet soy sauce.

5. Steam Roast Pork Bun

This is one of the most common dishes you could find in any Cantonese Restaurant. They’re so fluffy and stuffed with slightly sweet roasted pork inside. A must-try!

6. Fried Dough Rice Paste

Also called “Zhaliang”, this dish is a type of dim sum that consists of Chinese fried dough or “Youtiao” that’s wrapped in silky rice noodles. 

7. Fried Taro Dumpling

A fried Taro dumpling is a type of dumpling where the outer part is made from boiled and mashed taro while the filling is usually made from ground pork. 

8. Fried Chive Dumpling

This tasty and translucent dumpling is filled with Chinese chives, garlic, and sometimes dried shrimp. This may not be for everybody but the uniqueness and chewiness of it is a must-try!

9. Shrimp and Scallop Dumpling

If shrimp is not enough for you, why don’t you try a combination of shrimp and scallop? The semi-sweet and salty flavor of shrimp is perfect for the mild and sweet flavor of scallop.

10. Pan Fried Dumpling

Pan-Fried Dumplings are typically filled with vegetables and ground meat wrapped in thin pieces of dough. 

11. Steamed Spare Ribs

A dim sum favorite dish that’s made from pork riblets. For a traditional Chinese method of cooking this dish, they use a while black beans. However, it’s quite difficult to find this outside the Chinese market so a jarred black bean sauce can also be used. 

 

12. Chicken Feet

As weird as it may sound for others, but this dish is actually really delicious! The chicken feet are steamed with black bean sauce and when cooked thoroughly, it becomes a delicious feast! You should try it at least once!

13. Beef Tripe

The Beef Tripe or the springy part of a beef stomach is steamed to perfection along with a spicy black bean sauce.

14. Stuffed Tofu

In this dish, the tofu skin is used to wrap around pork or chicken together with bamboo shoots, radish, taro, and plum mushroom. It’ll be extra delicious when you dip it in oyster sauce.

15. Lotus Paste Steam Bun

People say that it is like the Chinese version of a hamburger. However, instead of using a ground beef patty, it uses lotus paste as a filling.

I hope that this Dim Sum guide would help you decide which one to order on your next Cantonese Restaurant visit. I’m pretty sure you’ll have a great feast!

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Written by Kach Umandap - Howe

Founder of Two Monkeys Travel Group. Since 2013, Kach has visited all the 7 continents (including Antarctica) and 146 countries using her Philippines Passport. In 2016, she bought a sailboat and went on sailing adventures with her two cats - Captain Ahab & Little Zissou in the Caribbean for 2 years. She now lives in Herceg Novi, Montenegro where she's enjoying her expat life and living on a gorgeous Stonehouse. She writes about her experiences traveling as a Filipina traveler with a PHL Passport. Also tips on backpacking trips, luxury hotel experiences, product reviews, sailing & adventure travel.

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