healthyD Announces Survey Results of Hong Kong People’s Favorite Dim Sum

by admin
May , 6 2015
healthyD Announces Survey Results of Hong Kong People’s Favorite Dim Sum

First-ever Dim Sum popular ranking in town reveals amazing consumption

  • “Shao Mai’ is No.1 favorite Dim Sum
  • 80% of Hong Kong people eat too much neglecting health concern
  • Nutritionist shows you how to eat smart on Mother’s Day

[Hong Kong – 06 May 2015] Mother’s Day is approaching, have you planned for the celebration with your beloved mums on this special day? Going to Chinese restaurants to enjoy delicious dim sum (Yum Cha) is one of the top choices for Hong Kong people. healthyD (, a healthy lifestyle website under ESDlife, has been undergoing a survey on ‘Hong Kong people’s most favorite dim sum’, by collecting online questionnaires of 1,388 people to understand their eating preferences and habits on Yum Cha and also the overall health awareness.

‘Yum Cha’ every 5 days Consumes over 800 million dishes per year

Our survey reveals that 95% of interviewees love Yum Cha, on average, they will go Yum Cha 5.6 times a month, which is about once every 5 days. By segmenting the interviewees into different age groups, it shows that the frequency of Yum Cha increases when people are getting older.  The number of times that people go Yum Cha per month on average are: 4.7 times for aged 20 or below, 5.5 times for aged 21 to 39 and finally reach 6.2 times for aged 40 or above. (please refer to Appendix – Table 1 for details). In general, there are usually 4 people on average per party, ordering 8 dim sums with 2 fried rice or noodles.

With the fact that there are around 6 million adults[A] aged 20 or above in Hong Kong, it comes to a total of annual consumption of more than 800 million[B] dim sums per year in among Hong Kong people. This is a very amazing figure as these dim sums can line up to surround the earth for 3 times[C]! 37% of interviewees expressed that they go Yum Cha because of family gathering whereas other 22% said that they go simply because they love dim sums. From above results, you can imagine how much fascination Hong Kong people have for dim sum while it is also a good choice for family gatherings.

“Shao Mai’ is No.1 favorite Dim Sum  Women’s calories intakes exceed 2.5 times per meal

Which dim sum is the most popular among Hong Kong people? As everyone may guess, this will be the tough war between Shao Mai and Shrimp Dumplings. Results showed that Shao Mai got the title of ‘No.1 favorite dim sum’ by gaining support from 65% of respondents. By eating about 5 pieces of Shao Mai on average, Hong Kong people consume a total of about 400 million[D] pieces of Shao Mai per year. On the other hand, Shrimp Dumplings got the second place (58%), Sweet Custard Bun ranks third (39%), fourth and fifth runner ups are taken by Steamed Chicken Claws (38%) and Steamed Beef Meat Ball (32%) respectively (please refer to Appendix – Table 2 for details).

Apart from dim sum, 68% of interviewees will order fried rice or noodles when Yum Cha, the most popular main dishes are fried rice with Shredded Dried Scallop and Egg White (13%), first runner-up goes to Singapore-Style Fried Vermicelli (12%) and Shredded Pork Fried Vermicelli with Salted Mustard (12%), remaining are Braised E-Fu Noodles (9%) and Fried Noodles with Vegetables (8%) respectively (please refer to Appendix – Table 3 for more details).

Nutritionist Cynthia Wong roughly estimates that each adult will absorb about 1,260 calories from Yum Cha (please refer to Appendix – Table 4 for more details), it is about 2.5 times exceeding the suggested amount of absorbing 500 calories per meal for females; and also about 1.8 times exceeding the suggested amount of absorbing of 700 calories for males. One of the ingredients of Shao Mai is fat pork and the fat induced a high level of calories that is 56% of total. Too much absorption of saturated fats will lead to an increase of cholesterol and results in higher chance of having cardiovascular diseases. Fried rice with Shredded Dried Scallop and Egg White looks healthy, but in fact its calories are even higher than a tastier Singapore-Style Fried Vermicelli. Among those 5 popular main dishes, only Shredded Pork Fried Vermicelli with Salted Mustard is healthier when compared to the rest which contain higher saturated fats and more oil.

80% Hong Kong people eat too much from Yum Cha neglecting health concern

‘Due to the small size of each dim sum, people tend to eat more than usual without knowing it’ said by the nutritionist, Cynthia Wong. Survey found that 80% of interviewees will eat up to 80% or more full from Yum Cha, and about 13% interviewees will even eat until 100% completely full. Cynthia reminds the public that they should eat slower and have to stop eating until 70% full since our brain will only realize the feeling of fullness 20 minutes after we start eating. She also suggests that we can start eating with some dim sums like buns or steamed rice-rolls which are easier to give a full feeling; and also drink some water in between to feel fuller in order not to eat too much resulting in absorbing too many calories and become over-weight; as over-weight is one of the reasons that leads to cardiovascular diseases and cancers.

With the temptations of dim sum, about 55% interviewees think Yum Cha is an healthy meal, this surely proved that Hong Kong people misunderstand and do not have adequate knowledge on food nutrition, but they do not reckon lots of saturated fats that comes with the fatty pork meats when making some steamed dim sum like Shao Mai and Shrimp Dumplings. Nevertheless, 68% of respondents refuse to eat less even though they may think it is unhealthy. Seen in this light, the culture of Yum Cha still occupying Hong Kong people’s heart and that is also the reason why Chinese restaurants are so full all the time, especially in holidays (Appendix – Table 5).

Pu’er is the most popular tea for Hong Kong people 

Pu’er is the most favorite’s tea among Hong Kong people, 34% of Hong Kong people love Pu’er, its supporters is far more than the second, third and the fourth runner ups, which are jasmine tea (16%), Tieguanyin (14%) and narcissus tea (13%) respectively. Apart from that, 36% interviewees think drinking tea can facilitate digestion, but nutritionist Cynthia mentions it is a misunderstanding and clarifies that drinking tea cannot help digestion nor reduce the oil absorption in bodies, the only way to loose calories is by doing exercises.

Warm tips on getting a healthier meal on Mother’s Day

Cynthia suggests a few tips for Yum Cha on Mother’s Day:

1. Suggest to choose some healthier dim sum, this can help reduce the chances of getting cardiovascular disease like stroke and heart disease , please refer to below table:

Health classification of dim sum

Green light
(contains less than 30% of saturated fats among total calories)
Vegetable steamed dumpling – Chiu Chow-style, Vegetable dumpling, Steamed dace ball, Steamed rice-roll with scallop, Steamed rice-roll with shrimp, Steamed chicken bun, Barbecue pork bun, Sweet custard bun
(without extra seasonings)
Yellow light
(contains 30%-50% of saturated fats among total calories)
Shrimp dumpling, Steamed dumpling – Chiu Chow-style, Steamed rice-roll with barbecued pork, Cattle Boye, Steamed carrot cake
(without extra seasonings)
Red light
(contains more than 50% of saturated fats among total calories)
Steamed sponge cake, Steamed chicken claws, Steamed beancurd sheet roll, Shao Mai, Steamed beef ball, Steamed pork ribs with black bean sauce, Steamed fish head with black bean sauce, Steamed chicken with fish maw, Steamed beancurd sheet roll with chicken, Baked barbecued pork puff, Spring roll
(without extra seasonings)

2. Remember not to add any extra seasonings. Lots of seasonings such as salt, soy sauce, MSG etc. are added during cooking. With those seasonings, most of the dim sum contains more sodium and saturated fats than other food; however, our survey found that more than half of interviewees (52%) will add extra seasonings to their dim sum hence leading to more consumption of sodium and oil.  According to World Health Organization’s suggestion, every adult should consume less than 2000ml[E] of sodium per day, which is about a tea spoon of salt.  This is a very small amount that people will easily exceed, and too much consumption of sodium will result in higher risks of having high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases, for instance, stroke and heart disease.

Other suggestions:

1. We should eat at least 1 dish of vegetables during Yum Cha every time; or else should eat more vegetables in the next meal and 2 portions of fruits afterwards in order to absorb enough fibers. Around 59% of interviewees will only eat a very small amount of vegetables (1-4 pieces), and 40% of them even would not order vegetables, it is mainly due to the expensive price and its small proportion (62%) and thus normally cannot absorb enough fiber.

2. Adjust the frequency of Yum Cha
Do not go Yum Cha every day, and it is not recommended to go Yum Cha more than once per week. If one meal contains more meat and fats, the next meal should be lighter, less meat but more vegetables, less seasoning and less oil too, for instance, shredded pork Udon with mixed vegetables or steam rice with fish and tofu.

3. Have adequate exercises
More than half of the interviewees (51%) have less than one session of exercise per week, and 13% of them never do exercise. Cynthia suggests everyone to exercise at least three or four times per week, each time consists of 30 minutes oxygen-consuming exercises, for instance jogging, cycling, running and swimming.  This will enhance our heart and lung functions and burn the calories that we have absorbed, help us maintain a healthy weight.

Last but not least, as Mother’s Day is approaching, if one’s mother has long term illnesses such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes, remember to avoid eating too much dim sum that contains high amount of salt, oil and sugar., such as Deep-Fried Meat Dumplings, Deep-Fried Spring Rolls, Fried Squid and Sticky Rice Wrapped in Lotus Leaf, to prevent any bad influences to the body.

Wish everyone a happy and healthy Mother’s Day!

[A] Figures from ‘2014 year-end population by sex and age group’, Census and Statistic Department. HKGOV

[B] Calculated by ‘Yum Cha’ 67.2 times on average per person a year with 2 dim sums each time

[C] Based on 16cm diameter of each dim sum

[D] Result also showed that base on the calculation of 6 million adults, each interviewee are having about 60 Shao Mai’s per year.

[E] World Health Organization. Diet, nutrition and the prevention of chronic diseases: Report of a Joint WHO/FAO Expert Consultation. Geneva: WHO; 2003.

Photo Captions


Table 1 : Frequency of Yum Cha – Based on different age group

  Yum Cha frequencyper month on average
Age 20 or below 4.7
Age 21-39 5.5
Age 40 or above 6.2

Table 2: Top 10 most favorite dim sums

1 Shao Mai
2 Shrimp dumpling
3 Sweet custard bun
4 Steamed chicken claws
5 Steamed beef ball
6 Steamed barbecued pork bun
7 Steamed rice-roll with barbecued pork
8 Vegetable dumpling
9 Steamed sponge cake
10 Steamed rice-roll with shrimp

Table 3:  Top 10 most favorite fried dishes

1 Shredded dried scallop and egg white
2 Singapore style fried vermicelli
3 Shredded pork fried vermicelli with salted mustard
4 Braised E-Fu Noodles
5 Fried noodles with vegetables
6 Fujing fried rice
7 Steamed rice with pork rib, chicken claw
8 Fried noodles with black bean sauce
9 Fried rice with salted salmon and chicken
10 Yangchow Fried Rice

Table 4: Average amount per calories per each person in one meal
(Based on the op 8 the most favorite and 2 main dished that mostly ordered)

Food Proportion Calories
Shao Mai 1 pcs 61
Shrimp dumpling 1 pcs 50
Sweet custard bun 1 pcs 120
Steamed chicken claws 1 pcs 50
Steamed beef ball 1 pcs 93
Barbecued pork bun 1 pcs 150
Steamed rice-roll with barbecued pork 1 roll 110
Vegetable dumplings 1 pcs 50
Shredded dried scallop and egg white 1/4 dish 300
Singapore style fried vermicelli 1/4 dish 275
  Total 1259 Calories

Source from: Centre for Food Safety

Table 5: Will Hong Kong people stop Yum Cha by the concern of health?

No 68%
Will decrease accordingly 32%
Will not eat again 0%

Table 6: Top 10 most popular tea

Pu’er 33%
Jasmine Tea 16%
Tieguanyin 14%
Narcissus Tea 13%
Furry Peony Tea 9%
Water 7%
Chinese Camomile with Pu’er 3%
Longjing Tea 2%
Chinese Camomile 2%
Oolong tea / Oolong tea with ginseng 1%

– END –

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