Dried Jujubes Are for Snacking and Steeping

Use this versatile fruit as a flavoring or a sweet treat.

Rich in minerals and vitamin C, jujubes have been valued by Asian cultures for their medicinal properties for thousands of years. The green-red fresh jujube is hard to find in the United States (the plant is grown primarily in China), but the red, wrinkly, dried version, also known as the red date, Chinese date, or Indian date, is widely available.

Traditionally, dried jujubes are used in soups and stews (such as our Multicooker Hawaiian Oxtail Soup), infused in alcohols or tea, or eaten as a snack. We bought some recently for tasting: Their dark, creased skins yielded with a satisfying snap, and their interiors, drier than dates', were light, fluffy, and a bit tacky, like a marshmallow. Their flavor is similar to that of dates, though not quite as sweet and with a hint of tannic bitterness from their skin. They are delicious on their own or chopped and used anywhere you'd toss raisins, dates, or dried cranberries or cherries. Try them in granola or oatmeal, stirred into yogurt, or tossed into grain or green salads. Alternatively, chop up a handful of dried, pitted jujubes and combine them in a pot with a few slices of peeled fresh ginger and a quart of water. Simmer them for 15 to 20 minutes, and then strain and sweeten the liquid for an invigorating tea.

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