Article: "A Day in the life of Dim Sum makers"

Altho this is written about an LA dim sum restaurant, the “behind the scenes” frenzy applies everywhere. It’s a short but good read:


Cool. I have visited this place too: NBC Seafood Restaurant. I particularly like the restroom sign. :wink::wink:
Despite dim sum is popular, I still think it is underappreciated. The amount of work and the variety of dishes, and very reasonable (cheap) prices. Underappreciated for sure.

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We have yet to see any reporting on the maybe more measured, but just as hard-working, effort that goes on at wholesale dim sum factories.

‘About a year ago, Chen decided to replace all of their steel dim sum steamers with natural bamboo ones, an effort to be more hygienic and environmentally conscious, he says.’

Environmentally conscious, i get. Hygienic?

I am not saying bamboo is not hygienic, but I am curious why bamboo is more hygienic than stainless steel.

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Actually, it is questionable for the environment claim. This is why I do not buy the “Green cookware” advertisement. While green pans tend to have a smaller environment impact than Telfon pans, green pans do not last as long. So it is a very questionable claim.

Not quite the same here. However, it is not clear cut. While stainless steel steamers have far great negative impact for the environments than bamboo steamers, stainless steel steamers also last longer.

I am not entirely clear for his reasoning for hygienic, but it can mean two things. One can mean cleanness, and the other is toxicity. Some people simply believe stainless steel to be more toxic than bamboo. As for cleanness, stainless steel can rust and can form black particles. In this case, a bamboo steamer does look cleaner.

So, don’t go for dim sum at 2pm, the cooks all left an hour ago? :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Weren’t bamboo steamers banned in LA or something? I recall K K talking about it in Chowhound before and managed to dig up another topic:

and some random google scholar search:

“the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services forbade using bamboo steamers.”

Maybe they reinterpreted this information?

In the end, bamboo steamers are probably more toxic than stainless steel—- I’ve been on the lookout for Bamboo steamers, and the ones that markets carry all have Prop 65 warnings (California warning about chemicals hazards). Apparently the glues contain BPA. Online there are brands that are BPA free, but they’re more expensive.

Those prop 65 warnings are so frequent now I don’t know if I pay attention to them any more. I mean, I sit in a building every day where there is such a warning and drink prop 65 coffee.

With that said, I don’t know where the prop 65 around steamers are about.

This is great to bring up. I will look into this. So far, I feel it is either due to potential of heavy mineral or potential of wood (bamboo) dust during manufacturing. If it is the latter, then I don’t think there is anything to be worry about as a steamer.
The Prop 65 is a pretty good idea that it is empower customer to make that personal choice.