The Proper Dining Etiquette For A Yum Cha Meal

The Proper Dining Etiquette for a Dim Sum Meal

Yum cha is not only delicious, it's a lot of fun eat with friends and family. Still, the dining process can be confusing or intimidating for those who haven't tried it before. If you follow these basic ground rules, you'll look like a yum cha pro.

Photo by Paul Joseph.

Yum cha (or if you're in the US or UK, "Dim sum") is a type of Chinese cuisine where small portions of a wide variety of dishes are brought to the table on plates or in steamer baskets. So how does it all work? The whole meal is family style, where everyone has a little bit of everything. Chinese culinary expert Carolyn Phillips, author of The Dim Sum Field Guide, shares some of the most important ground rule with Food52:

  • Serve others tea before yourself

  • Never lay claim to any one dish, but share

  • Finish a dish only if everyone else declines the last piece

  • Take only a bit at a time

  • Use a serving spoon or the top ends of your chopsticks to serve yourself or others; no one likes cooties

Also, only use your hands for foods like large buns, never leave chopsticks sticking out of your food, and signal you're full by placing your chopsticks on your plate parallel to you. You can learn more helpful information about yum cha etiquette at the link below.

How to Dim Sum Like a Pro [Food52]


Comments

    I'm assuming the above is intended to cover dining with people you don't know well.

    We go for yum cha with friends regularly and don't bother with any of that pretentiousness.

    Want the last piece of something? Just take it, we can always grab some more.
    Want a dish all to yourself? Go ahead, we'll just grab another if others want it too.

    In fact the only "rule" we have is, if you take the last of the tea it's your job to get the pot refilled.

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