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Easy yum cha (aka dim sum)… with a rice cooker

And we’re making all these yum cha recipes in a rice cooker.


If you’ve never experienced the delicious-ness that is yum cha (aka dim sum), this is your sign! It’s a totally awesome and utterly unique restaurant dining experience. Yum cha cuisine is one of those things that’s designed to be eaten surrounded by family and friends. Think lots of little dishes like dumplings, meats, steamed buns and desserts all on the table ready to be shared and enjoyed. It’s a similar vibe to an Asian tapas, I guess! Regardless of how you want to describe it, it’s one of my favourite ways to eat out with loved ones. It got me thinking though… How can I get the same experience at home, but even easier? It was time to step into Marion’s Test Kitchen and figure out how to make yum cha recipes – just simpler. Enter the humble rice cooker…

Pork and prawn siu mai (or shumai) dumplings are a classic part of almost every yum cha or dim sum menu, and for good reason… they’re delicious! Even better, they don’t require any fancy folding technique, so they come together super quickly. Make sure you vigorously mix the filling to get the characteristic ‘bouncy’ siu mai texture, plus keep some of the prawns roughly chopped so you get little bursts of textured prawn-y goodness throughout.

For me, black bean pork ribs are a much-loved part of a yum cha or dim sum menu. Here, I’ve given them a softer, more tender texture than the typical Asian version by slow-cooking them, and I think they’re all the better for it. This set-and-forget rice cooker recipe is perfect served as part of a larger banquet if you want to impress your guests without spending all day in the kitchen!

Every yum cha banquet needs a steamed bun of some description. These spring onion ones have a savoury and fragrant filling, making them delicious in their own right, but even better dipped into sauces or used for mopping up flavours. Fresh and fluffy, they’re made in a rice cooker using the steam function, but you could absolutely cook them the traditional way instead if needed.

I love ordering chicken congee as part of a yum cha lunch – it’s a comforting and classic addition to the table. This version though is a total cheat’s version, as we’re reducing the cook time and all the stirring considerably (it’s all thanks to my unconventional ingredient choice!). Grab your rice cooker and rustle up this speedy porridge – there’ll be zero regrets. Serve as a delicious and filling breakfast or as part of your next homemade dim sum banquet.

Light and fluffy crepes, filled with whipped cream and tropical mango… what a dessert recipe! So simple, yet so delicate and divine. You could totally make these pancakes on the stovetop in a frying pan, but I like the way the rice cooker function gives them a gorgeously even colour all over and a gentle cook without all the work.

These recipes were made using the Panasonic 10-cup Rice & Multi Cooker (SR-CN188WST).

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