3 Dishes That Prove You Should Stay For Dessert After Your Next Chinese Dinner Out
Most, if not all, classic Chinese dishes are entrees or appetizers, like the Pu-Pu Platter, fried rice, and crab rangoons. However, this mentality lends the short end of the stick to the vast array of culinary pleasures that awaits the diner who decides to ask for a dessert menu after enjoying some Far Eastern cuisine. Here are three authentic Chinese dessert options (not fortune cookies- those are American) that prove that a dessert menu is worth asking for next time you head out to your local Chinese eatery like Lilac Blossom Restaurant.
Jin deui, also known as "zeen doy" or simply "sesame balls", are a classic Sichuan dessert which are similar in shape and size to a donut hole, but have a wildly different flavor. Made from rice flour and often filled and coated in sesame seeds, these little sugary spheres of deliciousness are very popular wherever you can find them, but finding them is the tricky part. Looking for a restaurant that specializes in food that originated in the Sichuan region of China is a good start, especially dim sum restaurants.
Eight-Treasure Rice Pudding
Authentic Chinese eight-treasure rice pudding is nothing like tapioca, like you might think, but instead is closer to the consistency of bread or plum pudding from England. Eight-treasure rice pudding is sometimes served with a light syrup, or simply covered in fruits and nuts at more traditional restaurants. Some extra ingredients that might make their way into this dish in addition to rice flour include kumquat, dates, and other candied fruits, all of which carry symbolic significance.
Dou Sha Bao
Dou sha bao is the Sichuan term for a classic, plain and simple red bean paste-filled steamed bun. The red bean bun is similar to the first item in this guide, but with a distinct flavor that's worth a try if you want something a little less busy than jin deui. Red bean buns are often just made with rice flour and a red bean paste filling, which makes them a good starter dessert for those looking to slowly wade into the waters of post-dinner Chinese cooking. Dim sum restaurants will often serve red bean buns along with the other delicious buns and pockets that fill the classic hot food cart.
If you love Chinese entrees, appetizers and sides, then you've got to give real, authentic Chinese desserts a try, since they offer a new perspective on some of the same flavors that you're already so fond of, and help to complement your meal in a way a little fortune cookie simply can't.