Yum cha

From WikiMD's Food, Medicine & Wellness Encyclopedia

Yum Cha is a traditional Chinese style of brunch tea, which involves drinking Chinese tea and eating dim sum dishes. Yum cha in Cantonese Chinese literally means "drink tea".

History[edit | edit source]

The practice of yum cha originated in Canton (Guangzhou) during the Qing Dynasty, when travelers along the Silk Road needed a place to rest and rejuvenate. Thus, tea houses were established along the roadside. Rural farmers, exhausted after working hard in the fields, would also go to tea houses for a relaxing afternoon of tea. At first, it was considered inappropriate to combine tea with food, as people believed it would lead to excessive weight gain. People later discovered that tea can aid in digestion, so teahouse owners began adding various snacks, leading to the tradition of yum cha.

Traditional Dishes[edit | edit source]

Yum cha is associated with the tradition of dim sum, which are small bite-sized portions of food served in small steamer baskets or on small plates. Common dim sum dishes include Har Gow (steamed shrimp dumplings), Siu Mai (steamed pork and shrimp dumplings), Char Siu Bao (barbecue pork buns), and Cheong Fun (rice noodle rolls). Desserts are also served, such as Egg Tarts and Mango Pudding.

Modern Yum Cha[edit | edit source]

In modern times, yum cha is popular in many parts of the world, including cities with a significant Chinese population. It is common for families to gather for yum cha on weekends. In addition to traditional dim sum dishes, many restaurants also offer an extensive menu of dishes, including vegetarian and vegan options.

See Also[edit | edit source]


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD