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Fruits, Desserts, and Other Sweet Foods
2 pounds fresh or dried Chinese dates
1 Tablespoon coarse salt
1 and 1/2 pounds Chinese brown slab sugar, crushed
1 perilla leaf
3 slices licorice root
1. Rinse dates, soak for one hour in cool water, then drain.
2. Add salt to the jujubes, mix well, then soak them again in six quarts of room-temperature water for twenty-four to thirty-six hours. Drain and rinse under cold running water for five minutes. Drain well.
3. Prepare a two quart or larger sterilized jar. Put in a layer of the jujubes, cover with a layer of sugar, another layer of the jujubes, etc. alternating until all are in the jar. Top with the perilla leaf. Cover with several pieces of cheesecloth held in place with a rubber band. Set aside in a cool dark place for two months.
4. Discard the leaf, and set the jujubes out on a wire rack to air dry, turning once or twice. This can take a day or two. Then serve.