The absolute best way to spend a weekend morning (or, you know, early afternoon) isn't eating underseasoned eggs Benedict at some bottomless brunch place. The real brunch move is dim sum, grabbing small dishes off roaming carts, eating to your heart's desire. That being said, some weekend mornings just beg to be spent at home, whether it's because you pounded too many whiskey sodas last night or because… nah, it's definitely the whiskey. The good news is that you can make your ball-out dim sum brunch at home—cart not included.
Crunchy Salt and Pepper Shrimp
This recipe for jiaoyan suxia comes from self-proclaimed Chinese food junkie and All Under Heaven author Carolyn Phillips, which is probably why it's so good. Frying the shrimp to golden crispness in rice bran oil definitely doesn't hurt, either. These shrimp are naturally sweet, perfectly crunchy, and tossed with simple aromatics. Eat the whole thing—the crispy legs might just be the best part.
RECIPE: Crunchy Salt and Pepper Shrimp
Pork and Chive Dumplings
Every good dim sum feast should end with one too many dumplings and the old unbuttoning-the-jeans routine. Cooking at home should be no exception. Luckily, we put together a roundup of our favorite dumpling recipes to satisfy all your doughy, chewy needs. This ultra-classic pork and chive recipe is a great place to start—they're rich, fresh, and flavorful.
RECIPE: Pork and Chive Dumplings
Pork and Shrimp Shumai
Even easier than those delicious pork jiaozi might be shumai, an open-topped dumpling of Mongolian origin. There's so much umami in these little baskets of goodness, thanks to shiitake mushrooms, pork belly, and the amazing not-so-secret weapon known as MSG. The difficulty-to-deliciousness ratio on this recipe is absurd—and yes, it's very in your favor.
RECIPE: Pork and Shrimp Shumai
Stir-Fried Chinese Greens
Sometimes a side of greens is an afterthought. That won't be the case with this stir-fried water spinach recipe, which you can really make with any leafy greens you like. The flavors of fermented tofu, ginger, garlic, and chiles might make this dish the star of the show.
RECIPE: Stir-Fried Chinese Greens
Mimi Cheng's Scallion Pancake
Whatever you do, don't overlook the scallion pancakes. These traditional discs of doughy, golden deliciousness are ridiculously simple to make, and they're the perfect way to round out your homemade dim sum extravaganza.
RECIPE: Mimi Cheng's Scallion Pancake
The best part of dim sum is that you're meant to try a little bit of everything—in other words, you have an excuse to cancel your brunch plans, hole up, and make every single one of these recipes.