It’s been almost a decade since I’ve stepped into an authentic Dim Sum teahouse. Back in those days, we would brunch every other Sunday in Mayflower Tea House. And afterwards Dad would order dumplings, paus, and chicken feet to go. Mom and Dad spoiled my dogs way more than I do. If dogs were allowed, all our nine dogs would have dined in with us; after all it’s a family ritual.
I miss those days and I’m sure my dogs miss those Dim Sum.
Although there are many doggie café springing up every month; none that I’ve seen serves Dim Sum. It’s sad, because there are many delicious dishes for both owners and dogs to enjoy. One of the things I like about Dim Sum, beside using Chinese herbs, is that most of the dishes are “finger food” which make it great for dog parties and gatherings. Armed with basic animal nutrition knowledge and love for food, you could easily whip up healthy wholesome Dim Sum for dogs. As always with most of my dog food recipes made easy, this one is no exception, it is suitable for both humans and dogs consumption.
Even a black golden doodle puppy is attracted to the mouth watering aroma of the delicious chicken even though it can do no more than smell it at that age, which is only to be expected as dim sum is an excellent dish that they simply cannot do without and both master and pet have a morbid weakness for as even my mom and dad always used to feed the dogs from time to time as mentioned above.
Wonton has become universally known that there are at least 20 recipe versions from Mexican to Greek. Since I’m talking about Dim Sum, I’m going to do the traditional Chinese wonton. Other than substituting Chicken for pork, I’ve also added water chestnut into my ingredients, which many don’t use these days.
Nutritional and Medicinal Properties of Water Chestnut: Besides its natural sweetness, water chestnuts have considerable amounts of starch and phosphorus. It’s considered as a “cooling” (Yin) vegetable according to the Chinese. It’s an antidote for those who consume too much rich (fatty) or fried food.
One human and 3 – 4 small dogs
- 1 large Chinese cabbage, finely chopped 2 leaves. With the remaining leaves to be used as lining the streamer.
- 2 spring (green) onion, finely chopped
- ½ inch ginger, finely chopped
- ¼ cup of water chestnut, finely chopped. Although canned is fine but I much prefer using fresh water chestnut. Fiddly to peel but well worth the effort.
- ½ pound minced chicken (use only chicken breast for healthy reason)
- 2 teaspoon of sesame oil
- 36 3-inch square wonton wrappers
Place the shredded cabbage leaves, spring onions, ginger, water chestnut, chicken, sesame oil in a bowl and mix well. Line the bamboo streamer (all, depending how many layers you have) with cabbage leaves. Place a heaped teaspoon of the filling in the center of the wonton wrapper. Lightly dampen the edges with water. Lift the wrapper up around the filling, gathering it to form a “purse.” Squeeze the wrapper firmly around the middle, then tap the bottom to make a flat base. My wonton has an opening top so that my human guests can see what’s in it. Otherwise, you may want to close up the “purse.” Evenly spread the wontons on top of the cabbage leaves in the bamboo streamer. Cover it and let it stream for 12 to 15 minutes, until tender.
Do not discard those cabbage leaves in the streamer. They can be eaten alone or use it as vegetable wrapper for the wontons. You may want to dip the wonton with light soy sauce and chilli oil and wrap it up with the cabbage leave before eating them. As for the dogs, they can eat the cabbage leaves as they are. At the very least, you know both you and your dogs have some greens that day! How’s that for good healthy diet?