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Dim Sum, otherwise known as ‘to order as one wishes’ when translated from the Chinese characters, are small bite-sized portions of food served in steaming bamboo baskets. Some of these baskets can either be towering or come in short stacks. As we all know, Dim Sum has always been pretty popular with foodies of all ethnicities, but despite this popularity, the ubiquitous Dim Sum is rarely found to be Halal. Jumaiyah, a.k.a. Jums, went to Tang Tea House, one of the few eateries in Singapore where Dim Sum can be eaten by Muslim patrons. There, Jums learned more about what makes their Dim Sum consumable for Muslims and even got her hands dirty by making some Dim Sum on her own!
We talked to Sylvia Ler, the founder of Tang Tea House.
Sylvia stated that originally, Dim Sum uses pork-based ingredients in most, if not all, their dishes. From Lor Mai Kai to Char Siew, it’s no wonder Muslims cannot eat them! At Tang Tea House, they were able to remove these Haram components of Dim Sum and instead experimented until they were able to substitute other ingredients into their dishes.
A typical Dim Sum dish like Siew Mai would contain pork.
At Tang Tea House, they were able to replace it with chicken, chestnut, mushroom and prawns.
Another key component of Dim Sum which makes it non-Halal would be the fact that lard is added to the dough!
This actually comes from the belief that the lard helps to make fried Dim Sum even crispier. Here, lard was completely removed from the recipe to ensure all the fried Dim Sum remains Halal. After making and frying some chicken dumplings of her own, Jums got the ‘OK’ to work there from Sylvia! A bit more practice and she’ll become second chef, or maybe first to taste test? In conclusion, it is in fact quite a challenge for Muslims to try Dim Sum unless it has been Halal-certified in some way. We need to be cautious customers. Just because there are halal Dim Sum houses in Singapore does not mean that Dim Sum is automatically halal when we go to other countries.
Tang Tea House has a large array of Dim Sum for their Muslim patrons to choose from as well as being affordable and delicious.
Watch the full video interview with Tang Tea House here![youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMsXOInePmo]
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