To be completely honest, I’m not going to make dim sum at home. But that’s because I live fifteen minutes from Koi Palace. Like many of the best dim-sum parlors in this country, KP is a palatial dining hall situated in a nondescript suburban strip mall. (I imagine the proprietors of the Outback Steakhouse next door looking longingly at the endless mobs of customers that swarm Koi Palace every day.) Koi Palace never fails to boggle the mind with the consistency and quality of its dumplings, buns, fried morsels, and Chinese barbecue.
I’m spoiled on the dim-sum front. But maybe you live in a sad, Koi Palace-less corner of the world, where quality dim sum is but a distant dream. Or perhaps you’re just an ambitious home cook. Then this video, the fourth episode of our People Cooking Things series, is for you. The Thing, in this episode, is the classic shrimp dumpling known as har gow. The People are Chef Chen, of Koi Palace, and Martin Yan.
That’s right, Martin effing Yan. Martin has been a fixture of TV cooking programs for more than three decades. He is a wildly knowledgeable and charismatic educator. His importance to bringing Chinese food to Americans can’t be overstated. And he is entertaining as hell. Producing cooking videos can be a lesson in patience, but with Martin you just turn on the camera and watch the magic happen. Enjoy, and then check out our recipe. —Chris Ying