Dim sim, sometimes known as “dimmies,” are a type of Chinese dumpling. They first gained popularity in the 1940s and have since become an iconic dish in Melbourne and worldwide. The dumplings are served in a variety of forms, including steamed and fried.
No one however really knows who invented dim sims. The history and ideas about who invented the dumplings is very complicated.
William Chen Wing Young, a Chinese Australian businessman, is often acknowledged as the inventor of dim sim.
Chen’s daughter, Elizabeth Chong, a well-known Chinese Australian food show host, however, disagrees with the notion. According to Elizabeth, her father is sometimes mistakenly credited with inventing the dim sim and owning the Wing Lee restaurant. The 90-year-old celebrity chef states he did not originate the dim sim. She however believes that if it weren’t for her father, dim sim wouldn’t be what it is. It wouldn’t be an Australian fast-food icon.
The beginning of dim sim
The origins of Australia’s dim sim began in 1942 when William Chen Wing Young noticed how popular Cantonese dim sum had become in Australia. The term “dim sum” refers to a variety of dumplings and other delights served with tea. Siu mai, flowerpot-shaped pork, and prawn dumpling was one of the most popular dim sum meals.
After noticing the popularity of the sui mai Chen came up with an idea to mass-produce sui mai. At the time, he thought some of the jobless friends he had could sell the dumplings on food trucks and earn a living.
In the 1940s, however, Australians found siu mai to be too difficult to speak. Instead, Chen referred to it as “dim sim,” which has the same meaning as dim sum but is spoken in a different Canton dialect.
Chen named his company Wing Lee after his middle name, Wing, and his wife’s maiden name, Lee. But it wasn’t until his son stepped in that the meaty dumplings became famous. Chen’s son propelled Wing Lee to become the first Chinese factory to commercialize a fast food for the masses.
The dumplings were in high demand at every fish and chip establishment. Supermarkets had begun to request them. “It wasn’t long before dim sims became a fixture in every fish and chip store in Victoria.
Part of Australian history
In the present day, the dim sims have brought a lot of people together from all walks of life. Such people visit Australia to celebrate something so simple yet something that means a lot to so many. It’s safe to say that dim sim is an iconic Australian cuisine. The dim sim serves as a reminder to Australia that it has been a welcoming country that isn’t hesitant to embrace foreign cultures and cuisines.
Wing Lee, Chen’s company, didn’t last as long as the Australian dumpling he invented. After he retired in the late 1950s, the company was listed on the stock exchange and bought out by Marathon and Chien Wah, two additional brands.
Since then, shops and companies of all sizes have constructed their own dim sims.
Chong’s daughter and her family, on the other hand, have continued to have an impact on the Australian food industry in different ways over the years.