Dates are a big thing in China. Chinese dates, called jujubes, are not only a snack, but are also used in Chinese traditional medicine, as well as in tea. In this case, they are part of a delicious pudding. The great thing about this pudding is that you can make it and store it until it’s ready to be served. It was my first hot pudding, and I really enjoyed it. However, if you are a fan of the super-sweet, try using apples or palm dates.
You might be able to find jujubes at H-Mart (possibly only dried ones). If you can't, grab some dried dates from the Koko Market in Greektown. You can make the almond powder yourself by throwing some chopped almonds in a coffee grinder or food processor.
The Recipe! (4 Servings)
What you need:
- 1/3 cup sweet rice flour (the same used for tang yuan)
- ¼ cup sugar (or slightly less if using Splenda)
- ½ cup cold water
- 2-2 ½ cups cold milk
- 4 tablespoons almond powder
- 1 cup sliced, pitted dates (Chinese jujubes)
What to do:
- Mix together rice flour and almond powder
- Add water and mix until the mixture becomes a paste
- Add ½ cup milk and mix
- Pour mixture into a saucepan and add remaining milk
- Cook on low heat, stirring constantly (very important!) to avoid lumps and burning*
- Cook until just boiling; mixture should be the consistency of a thin gravy
- Store pudding until ready to serve
- Cook pudding on low heat until warm, about 2 minutes
- Add dates and sugar
- Simmer, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens a little
- Serve topped with whole almonds
*You must stir constantly to keep the lumps at bay!