During the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907), a peaceful time of no civil war, enjoying food was a part of enjoying life. The emperor at the time wanted to eat many different dishes at the meal time.

Dishes were served smaller and known as ‘dim sum’ which literally means ‘taste of different flavours to fulfill one’s heart’s desire’ had to meet three essential characteristics: appearance, taste and smell. Failure on one feature condemns the dish as a failure

Other than the emperor, only the very rich could afford such extravagance. Dim sum although available in restaurants was too expensive for normal civilians and it wasn’t until the next century that the dishes became affordable and everyone could enjoy them.

Siu mai, one of the most popular dim sum, was traditionally steamed. The classic ingredients were king prawns and pork wrapped in a thin pastry. Over the years, the recipe has also included chicken, fish and vegetables.