Why It Works
This traditional Shanghai dish celebrates the fragrance of herbal-sweet osmanthus flowers along with the deep red, honey-sweetness of red dates (also known as jujubes). Served hot, each date bursts with a soft core of sticky rice, drenched in osmanthus-infused syrup. It may look impressively difficult, but it's actually very easy to make. This dish is part of our seven-course Mid-Autumn Festival feast.
- 7 ounces granulated sugar (approximately 1 cup)
- 1 tablespoon dried osmanthus flowers
- 24 large red dates
- 1 3/4 ounces glutinous rice flour
Adding 1/2 cup water and sugar to a saucepan, bring to boil then reduce heat and simmer for three minutes. Add osmanthus blossoms, stir, and set aside.
Soak red dates in 1 cup boiling water for 15 minutes. Drain and cool. Then, using pointed scissors, cut dates upon along one side and carefully remove seed.
Combine rice flour and 2 tablespoons water, mixing until it reaches a Play-Do consistency.
Pinch off small pieces of rice paste and roll into cylinders. Place cylinders into each date and press closed.
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add dates, boil for 3 minutes, and drain. Serve immediately with osmanthus syrup poured over the top.
Dried osmanthus flowers can by found in Chinese grocery stores, tea shops, or online.