This sweet dessert is rich with the goodness of Chinese red dates. Red dates are often heralded by the Chinese as a super food, making their way into traditional Chinese medicine prescriptions, but just as commonly found in almost every Chinese household kitchen.
Red dates are widely featured in almost every facet of Chinese cooking – in dried form as sweet, chewy snacks, or cooked in porridge, savoury soups and sweet desserts, and even as edible food decoration. They are particularly rich with Vitamin C, as well as Vitamins A, B1 and B2. Nutritionally, they are a good source of protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron and magnesium.
In traditional Chinese medicine, red dates are believed to strengthen the spleen and stomach, replenish qi, nourish and stimulate the production of blood, and to calm an overactive mind. It is also believed to suppress cancer cells due to its high anti-oxidant composition (source: www.theworldofchinese.com).
Here is a recipe that lets you enjoy red dates as a sweet dessert. Though the recipe calls for both ginger juice and evaporated milk to be added, if you are either lactose-intolerant or simply not fond of either, the soup will still taste great without these, so do take in the goodness of this vitamin-packed, anti-oxidant rich fruit and make these a regular part of your family’s nutrition!
This recipe serves 4 to 6 persons (source: ‘100 Chinese Desserts’ by author, Winnie)
200 gm Chinese Red Dates, cored
(be sure to check each and every one even if
the package says pitted dates)
100 gm Rock Sugar
2 tbsp Ginger Juice
1/4 cup Evaporated Milk
1 1/2 tbsp Corn Flour, mixed in 3 tbsp water for thickening
1. Cook red dates in 3 cups of water in a pot for about 20 minutes. Add some water if the liquid dries up too quickly. When done, pour into a high-powered blender. Blend till smooth, pour through a sieve, discarding the bits in the sieve, and set aside.
2. Cook rock sugar in 1 cup of water in a pot until the sugar dissolves completely. Add the blended red dates, and bring to a boil. Slowly stir in the corn flour solution, letting it cook through before adding more, until it thickens slightly. Add milk slowly, tasting as you add (you may adjust the amount to add, if you like more or less of it) and ginger juice. You may omit either one, or even both, if desired. Stir to mix well and serve hot or warm.