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Dim Sum Gets Deep Fried And Bacon-Wrapped At This Unconventional Spot

There’s a beauty that comes from sitting down to dim sum with your friends and family. Going into a restaurant with a roaring hunger and eagerly watching those dim sum carts like hawks as servers roll by with steamers full of delicious Chinese cuisine is all part of the rewarding process that leads to a stomach full of mouthwatering bites. To some, it’s a morning tradition.

Tradition can be a beautiful thing, but sometimes it doesn’t hurt to change things up a bit.

Dim sum restaurant 18 Folds in Anaheim, CA, is doing just that by offering an unconventional twist on some classic dim sum items.

Photo: Peter Pham

While the restaurant offers time-honored dim sum items like shumai, har gow, braised pork belly, and sticky rice served in a lotus leaf, they also offer some more modernized alternatives.

Patrons can find out of the norm dim sum iterations like deep fried spare ribs and bacon-wrapped shumai on the restaurant’s ’18 Folds Originals’ menu.

Photo: Peter Pham

The shumai is made by mixing together ground pork and shrimp with herbs and spices and hand-folding the meat together inside a wonton wrapper. The tedious, six-hour process is typically done before service even begins. Once the restaurant is open, the shumai is steamed and wrapped in bacon before dropping into the deep fryer.

Photo: Peter Pham

Rather than braise these ribs like the pork belly, chefs marinate them for an hour before dunking them into the deep fryer. Succulent with a crunch that could wake the dead, this was definitely the first time I saw someone attempting to deep fry ribs. As a BBQ smoker, my concerns with the way these ribs were tackled were essentially flash-fried away. Paired with a spicy chili oil, these ribs were hand-to-heart game changing.

If your heart is set on the traditional, however, the restaurant also does dim sum proper. It also helps that it’s one of the few spots that offer dim sum in the later hours of the day. While my heart will always belong to traditional dim sum, there’s just something so enticing about these deep fried items. Why can’t a guy just enjoy both takes?