Some time again, my sister purchased a package deal of walnut stuffed purple dates from Costco and shared them with Mama Lin. In typical Asian mother style, Mama Lin took one take a look at them and declared that she may simply make them at residence too. Normally, we roll our eyes when Mama Lin makes these sorts of statements. On this case, nonetheless, I’m glad she found out the right way to make walnut stuffed purple dates. I really like snacking on them! As she labored on recreating this snack, she found that pecans work very nicely, too. That’s why I embody instructions on the right way to make the stuffed purple dates with each pecans and walnuts.
WHAT ARE RED DATES (紅棗)?
Purple dates, ziziphus jujuba, are quite a lot of dates which have been cultivated in Asia and the Center East for 1000’s of years. In China, Xinjiang Province is understood for its purple dates. Different frequent names of the fruit embody jujubes or Chinese language purple dates. I’ll be utilizing the identify purple date and jujube right here interchangeably. (Be aware: jujubes are completely different from dates that come from date palm bushes, like medjool dates.)
Unripe jujubes have a lightweight yellow-green shade. At this stage, the fruit could be tart. Because the fruit ripens, the outer pores and skin turns brown. Within the photograph above, you may see that the dates are transitioning into their full ripeness. Contemporary jujubes are barely crispy however not juicy. As a result of the flesh isn’t succulent, the feel is nearly foamy. By way of taste, jujubes style nearly like a candy apple although jujubes have milder taste.
When jujubes begin to dry, the flesh wrinkles and the pores and skin turns purple. That’s why they’re often called “purple dates” in Chinese language (紅棗 in conventional characters; 红枣 in simplified characters).
Dried purple dates are generally utilized in conventional Chinese language drugs (TCM). Specifically, purple dates are supposed to assist strengthen the bodily capabilities of the spleen and abdomen, nourish the blood, and calm and loosen up the thoughts. In case you are excited by studying extra concerning the medicinal properties of purple dates and the way they’re utilized in TCM, take a look at Historical Knowledge, Trendy Kitchen by Yuan Wang, Warren Sheir & Mika Ono. Apart from their medicinal properties, purple dates additionally add refined sweetness to a dish.
WHERE TO BUY RED DATES
In California, you may often discover contemporary jujubes on the farmers markets from September to early October. For dried purple dates, yow will discover them year-round in Asian supermarkets. In Sacramento, you may often discover purple dates in 99 Ranch Market, SF Grocery store, and Asian Meals Heart. It’s also possible to discover them on Amazon.
HOW TO MAKE PECAN & WALNUT STUFFED RED DATES
PREPARE RED DATES
Mama Lin makes use of medium-sized purple dates for this recipe principally as a result of that’s what she often retains in her pantry. They’re about 1” to 1 1/4” lengthy and about 3/4” extensive. Further giant purple dates (大紅棗/大红枣) work for this recipe as nicely. They’re typically about 1 1/2″ to 1 3/4” lengthy and 1” extensive, they usually’re often softer than the smaller purple dates.
Though it isn’t vital, Mama Lin likes to rinse the dates earlier than she makes the snack. Place all of the dates inside a bowl. Add a little bit of salt and flour into the bowl. The aim of the salt and flour is to scrub any particles lodged into the deep ridges of the dates. In the event you’re gluten-free, you need to use any kind of gluten-free flour or use extra salt.
Add some water into the bowl, sufficient to mean you can rinse the purple dates. You don’t need to use an excessive amount of water or else the salt and flour can be too diluted. Scrub the dates with the salt and flour. Drain the water and rinse the dates with two extra adjustments of water.
Drain the dates and unfold them over a baking sheet lined with a towel or paper towels. Then, pat the dates dry with one other towel.
Walnuts and pecans are nice for this recipe. Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Roast the pecans for 8 minutes; roast the walnuts for 9 to 10 minutes. Pecans are often smaller and thinner, in order that they’ll roast quicker. Let the nuts cool for at the very least 20 minutes.
One piece of pecan or 1/2 of a walnut half matches completely right into a medium purple date. In the event you’re utilizing walnuts, slice the toasted walnut halves in half. You don’t must slice the walnuts in case you’re utilizing giant purple dates. Additionally, you don’t must do something to the toasted pecans.
REMOVE THE PITS
Purple dates have a small, skinny pit on the heart. Mama Lin makes use of a stainless-steel straw to push the pit out of the date. Beginning with one finish of the date, push and twist the straw into the date. Hold pushing the straw till you attain the midway level. Then, take out the straw, and push the straw via the purple date on the opposite finish, till the pit comes out. Take away the pit from the straw.
The explanation why Mama Lin pokes the straw via each ends is as a result of the purple dates will look neater after the dates are pitted. Within the photograph above, my mother pushed the straw from one finish all through to the opposite aspect. Do you see how the date rips open when she does this? As a result of this makes the dates look messy, Mama Lin recommends poking the straw via each ends.
Generally, the pit will get caught contained in the straw. When that occurs, my mother makes use of an extended BBQ skewer to dislodge the pit from the straw.
Some store-bought dates are extremely agency and dry. In the event you’re having hassle pushing the straw via the dates due to their dryness, you need to steam the dates. Steaming the dates helps soften them and makes the dates extra nice to eat.
STEAMING RED DATES
Mama Lin doesn’t all the time steam the dates. Like I discussed above, the steaming course of can soften very dry dates. To steam purple dates, result in 2 inches of water to boil inside a wok. Place a tall steaming rack contained in the wok. Unfold the purple dates over a plate and steam them for five to eight minutes. It’s also possible to do that in every other steaming setup. Let the dates cool fully earlier than pitting them.
SLICE RED DATES
Take a pair of kitchen scissors and poke one aspect of the scissors into the middle of the pitted date and reduce alongside the size of the date. The date ought to now open up like a ebook. Just be sure you don’t reduce the date into two separate items since you’ll must nestle the nuts contained in the dates later. In the event you don’t have kitchen scissors, you can too slice the purple date with a knife.
STUFF DATES WITH NUTS
Open up a purple date and insert a chunk of pecan or a half piece of walnut contained in the date. Then, squeeze the date shut to safe the nut inside. Switch the date to a plate and repeat till you’re completed stuffing all of the purple dates with the nuts. These stuffed purple dates ought to preserve for two to three weeks.
MORE MAMA LIN RECIPES
Servings: 70 items
Stuffed Purple Dates with Walnuts & Pecans
- 1 cup walnut or pecan halves
- 70 to 75 medium-sized dried purple dates, about 1” to 1 1/4” in size, see be aware 1
For Rinsing Jujubes
- beneficiant pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons flour
- baking sheet
- chrome steel straw, see be aware 2
- lengthy BBQ skewer (to take away pits caught inside straw)
Place an oven rack to the middle place. Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Unfold the nuts over a baking sheet. In the event you’re utilizing pecans, bake them for 8 minutes; for walnuts, bake them for 9 to 10 minutes. Allow them to cool for at the very least 20 minutes. You may roast the nuts a number of days forward.
In case you are utilizing walnuts, slice them in half.
Rinse Dates (Elective)
Place the purple dates inside a bowl. Add the salt and flour into the bowl. The aim of the salt and flour is to scrub the deep ridges of any particles lodged contained in the ridges of the purple dates.
Add some water into the bowl, sufficient to mean you can rinse the purple dates. You don’t need to use an excessive amount of water or else the salt and flour can be too diluted. Scrub the dates with the salt and flour.
Drain the water and rinse the dates with two extra adjustments of water.
Unfold the rinsed dates over a baking sheet lined with a towel or paper towels. Pat the dates dry with one other towel and allow them to dry fully.
Take away Pits
Take a purple date and push the straw into one finish of the date. Hold pushing the straw till you attain the midway level. Then, take out the straw and push the straw via the jujube on the opposite finish, till the pit comes out.
Take away the pit from the straw. If the pit will get caught contained in the straw, use the BBQ skewer to push the pit out. If the purple date is just too dry, it is going to be troublesome to push the straw via the date. Steam the dates to melt them. See be aware 2 for steaming instructions.
Take a pair of kitchen scissors and poke one aspect of the scissors into the middle of the pitted date and reduce alongside the size of the date. The date ought to now open up like a ebook. Just be sure you don’t reduce the date into two separate items since you’ll must nestle the nuts contained in the dates later.
In the event you don’t have kitchen scissors, you can too slice the purple date with a knife.
Open up a purple date and insert a chunk of pecan or a half piece of walnut contained in the date. Then, squeeze the date shut to safe the nut inside.
Switch the date to a plate and repeat till you’re completed stuffing all of the purple dates with the nuts.
- A be aware about straws: In the event you don’t have a stainless-steel straw, attempt to discover one thing else sturdy. Bamboo straws must also work. If attainable, clear the within of the straw after you pit all of the dates.
- Utilizing extra-large dates: It’s also possible to use the big, plump purple dates (大紅棗/大红枣) for this recipe. As a result of these dates are bigger, you may insert a whole walnut half into the date and it’ll match completely. Due to this fact, if you wish to make 70 to 75 stuffed purple dates utilizing the bigger dates, you’ll must roast 2 cups of walnuts.
- Steaming instructions: To steam the purple dates, boil about 2 inches of water inside a wok. Place a tall steaming rack contained in the wok. Unfold the purple dates over a plate or pie dish and steam them for five to eight minutes. It’s also possible to do that in every other steaming setup. Let the dates cool fully earlier than eradicating their pits.
Serving: 7items | Energy: 155kcal | Carbohydrates: 21.9g | Protein: 3.1g | Fats: 7.8g | Saturated Fats: 0.7g | Sodium: 2.8mg | Fiber: 2.5g | Sugar: 6.1g