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I just don’t want to look back and think “I could have eaten that.”

Dim Sum at JS Chen’s

Hi everyone. I’m sorry it’s been a month since I’ve posted anything. My life is quite busy and chaotic at the moment. It hasn’t stopped me from eating delicious foods, but it has made me too tired to tell you about it. I will try harder to be a better blogger. Promise!

Anyway, I had the opportunity to have dim sum at JS Chen’s twice in the span of two weeks. I went with my parents first and then with my co-workers for Bria’s birthday the second time. Going twice means I have a lot of pictures to share with you in this post. Woohoo!!!

Firstly, let me give you some information for JS Chen’s. There’s actually 2 locations and each locations has their own website. I’m not sure why, but I’m sure there’s a good reason.

The first one is located at 3948 Legacy Dr, Plano, TX 75023 and the second one is located at 240 Legacy Dr. #118, Plano, TX 75023. They’re both on Legacy which is funny, but the first one is in West Plano and the second is close to I-75 towards East Plano. According to the website dim sum is served all day at the 240 Legacy location, but 11 am to 3 pm (Mon – Fri) and 10:30 am to 3 pm (Sat & Sun) at the 3948 Legacy location.

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JS Chen’s has a decent selection of dim sum. It’s not huge like Kirin Court or perhaps Maxim’s. If you go on the weekends they serve dim sum by pushing carts by your table. If you go during the week you select what you want off a menu. The good thing about ordering dim sum off the cart is that you get it right away. Instant gratification. Ordering off the menu requires wait time.

However, I think I like ordering off the menu better, because you actually have a list that you can choose from. The carts don’t have everything so it was almost like what you see is what you get. If it’s not on the cart then it’s not an option. I’m not saying you can’t order it even if it’s not on the cart, but if you’re not familiar with dim sum you don’t really know what the options are. You know what I mean?

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This is cha siu bao. Steamed buns filled with Cantonese style barbecue pork. You can’t have dim sum without ordering cha siu bao. There are two types of barbecue pork buns. The steamed kind, which you see here and the baked kind. I like the steamed buns better. There’s just something about the light and airy bun that makes it delicious to me. It’s all pillowy goodness.

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Doesn’t that look amazing??? There’s a version with ground pork and vegetables that is to die for as well. Those are typically larger than the barbecue ones. You can also get it plain with no filling. I was told that those are used in place of rice.

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These are shrimp/prawn dumplings or har gow. The dumpling wraps are translucent and pleated. There’s at least 7 and preferably 10 or more pleats on these dumplings. Is there a significance to the number of pleats? I think there is, but I can’t quite recall why… Do you know?

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Here’s what the shrimp dumplings look like on the inside. It’s a mix of shrimp paste and chunks of shrimp. This is so good!

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I don’t think you can have dim sum without having shumai or shrimp and pork dumplings. It’s synonymous with dim sum don’t you think? There are a variety of shumai. The differences are the ingredients. Of course. Each regional version of shumai has their own wrap and fillings. This one is the Cantonese standard and consists of ground pork and chopped shrimp

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These are shrimp and Chinese chive dumplings. My dad loves these things. I really should have taken a picture of the filling so you could see what it looks like. My bad. Have you ever had Chinese chives or garlic chives? They are also used in scallion pancakes if you’ve ever had that. To me, the taste of garlic is pretty strong. If you like garlic then you’ll like this dumpling. I happen to love garlic. 🙂

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This odd looking dish is the stuffed bean curd skin. Bean curd skin or tofu skin is made by boiling soy milk in a shallow pan. It’s the skin that forms at the top of the liquid. The film/skin is taken and dried to make tofu skin. I didn’t know that’s how bean curd skin was made until I looked it up. You learn something new every day.

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This dish is basically like an egg roll with gravy. Look at the filling. Doesn’t that remind you of egg roll filling? It was really good.

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This is the Shanghai style steamed dumplings. There’s a version of this that’s called soup dumplings. The filling includes aspic which when steamed causes the gelatin to melt into soup. This is just the regular pork filling kind. It’s still good, but I’ve always wanted to try the soup dumpling. I saw Anthony Bourdain use a straw on a really big one once on a No Reservation episode in China.

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There’s not a lot of vegetable options in dim sum, but you’ll usually find Chinese broccoli with oyster sauce. This is a must.

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This is the Deep Fried Savory Dumpling. We had no idea what this was when we ordered it, but the name alone made us order two portions. We were pretty excited when this dish was placed on the table. It’s deep fried glutinous rice flour dumplings filled with barbecue pork. At least I think it was barbecue pork. It was damn good no matter what the filling was. The rice flour had a sweetness to it that added to the savoriness of this dumpling. You need to try this one.

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These are sesame balls. They’re glutinous rice flour balls with sweetened red bean paste thats fried and coated in toasted sesame seeds. There are other fillings besides red bean. There’s lotus seed and black beans to name a couple. We usually eat these at the end as a dessert. Look how much red bean you get. A lot of the times the balls are hollow or there’s very little filling.

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This is the Barbecue Pork Fun Roll. It’s barbecue pork and scallions wrapped in sheets of rice noodle/skin with a sweet soy sauce on top. It’s really light and not as heavy as some of your other dim sum options. This was okay. I don’t normally order this one.

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This is the Scallops with Garlic Sauce. It was really yummy and had a spicy kick to it. I know that’s just one tinny, tiny sliver of jalapeño, but there was definitely heat to that dish.

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This is the House Cantonese Crispy Noodle. It was not on the dim sum menu, but for some reason we thought dim sum wasn’t going to be enough and ordered this baby off the regular menu. Our dim sum choices were definitely enough, but this dish was a wonderful surprise. It’s egg noodles fried to a crisp that’s topped with shrimp, barbecue pork, scallops, squid, vegetables and a savory gravy. So dang good. I highly recommend this one.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the dim sum visuals that I’ve provided in this post. If you haven’t tried dim sum before, I suggest you do so. If you have had dim sum before and you haven’t been to JS Chen’s then I recommend that you give them a try.

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