At the little Korean grocery store, a bag of pretty red wrinkly fruit made me curious enough to ask about it.
The young woman did not speak much English but with a few words and some pantomime I understood that it was for tea and to make it, poke the fruit (slice?) and cook with honey. I could make it very sweet, or not.
I asked about savory, salty, meat, vegetable dishes. She put her fingertips together to make a basket and said “a small chicken, a little hen.” Indicating with a slicing motion down her stomach, that one could fill the chicken with rice—not rice, sweet rice—and put in ginger and daechu (which she said too quickly for me to learn the word myself), and cook in a pot.
Doesn’t that sound delicious?
In Korea, Daechu (jujube) is synonymous with autumn fruit and has long been used as a medicine and in a variety of Korean dishes. The best daechu fruits are large, lustrous and deep in color. When the fruit ripens to a rich red, it is dried and ready to be made into tea. The tea is known as a powerful agent in combating colds, reducing fever, soothing neuralgia, warming the body and aiding digestion.
~~from the Visit Korea website
A little Google brought me this instructive video:
Daechucha – Jujube Tea 대추차
about 4 cups
- 20 dried dates (daechu | jujube | Chinese dates) ~10 ounces
- ¼ cup sliced ginger
- 6 cups water
- ½ cup honey
- some dates and pine nuts for garnishing
Wash the dates and make a deep cut into each. Pour the water into a pan and add the ginger and dates. Bring to a boil and cook for twenty minutes on medium high. (watch the video to see how to make the date flower garnish.) Add the honey and cook for five minutes on high. Strain the tea. Discard the ginger—the cooked dates are still tasty! Serve hot or cold.
I made only half this recipe for the two of us with the idea that I’ll try the Cornish game hen recipe. (My brother gave me some (frozen) partridges he shot last fall up north, and I think they will be perfect!)