n. (context Australia English) Various kinds of Chinese-style meat dumplings related to shumai and other dim sum and usually steamed or deep fried. Most commonly seen at fish & chip shops.
A dim sim is a Chinese-inspired meat or vegetable dumpling-style snack food, popular in Australia and to a lesser extent in New Zealand. The meat variety dish normally consists of small amounts of pork or lamb, cabbage, and flavourings, encased in a wrapper similar to that of a traditional shumai dumpling. They can be served deep-fried or steamed and are commonly dressed or dipped in soy sauce. An alternative way of cooking dim sims is to barbecue them, by cutting the dim sim in half along the long side and placing on a hot BBQ. Vegetarian-style dim sim normally contains cabbage, carrot, vermicelli, or other vegetable fillings, along with spices. Dim sims differ from typical Chinese dumplings in that they are often much larger, have a thicker, doughier skin and are shaped more robustly. They are primarily sold in fish and chip shops, service stations, corner stores, and some Chinese restaurants and takeaway outlets in Australia. Chinese yum cha wholesale outlets and Asian frozen food companies also commonly sell this snack frozen for home cooking. They can also be found at Chinese food outlets in New Zealand.
Chinese diners view dim sims as Westernized food, but many Australians see the snack as being primarily Chinese in nature, due to its origins in local Chinese restaurants. The term dim sim dates as far back as 1928, although the modern recipe of the dish most likely was developed in Melbourne's Chinatown in 1945 by chef William Wing Young (father of TV chef Elizabeth Chong) for his restaurant Wing Lee.