Stuffed Red Dates with Walnuts & Pecans
You can make these stuffed red dates with medium-sized dried red dates, or the extra large dates. The directions in the recipe describe how to make this snack using medium-sized dates. See note 1 for more information on making the snack with extra large dates. To prepare the red dates, my mom likes to clean off any debris that might be stuck inside the ridges of the dried dates. Admittedly, I don’t do this unless I can see obvious signs of dirt on the dates. I included directions for cleaning the dates below. You can use walnuts, pecans, or a mixture of both for these stuffed red dates. However, note that pecans usually roast quicker than walnuts. This recipe makes about 70 to 75 pieces
Servings: 70 pieces
- 1 cup walnut or pecan halves
- 70 to 75 medium-sized dried red dates about 1” to 1 1/4” in length, see note 1
For Rinsing Jujubes
- generous pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons flour
- baking sheet
- stainless steel straw see note 2
- long BBQ skewer (to remove pits stuck inside straw)
Position an oven rack to the center position. Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Spread the nuts over a baking sheet. If you’re using pecans, bake them for 8 minutes; for walnuts, bake them for 9 to 10 minutes. Let them cool for at least 20 minutes. You can roast the nuts several days ahead.
If you are using walnuts, slice them in half.
Rinse Dates (Optional)
Place the red dates inside a bowl. Add the salt and flour into the bowl. The purpose of the salt and flour is to clean any debris lodged inside the deep ridges of the red dates.
Add some water into the bowl, enough to allow you to rinse the red dates. You don’t want to use too much water or else the salt and flour will be too diluted. Scrub the dates with the salt and flour.
Drain the water and rinse the dates with two more changes of water.
Spread the rinsed dates over a baking sheet lined with a towel or paper towels. Pat the dates dry with another towel and let them dry completely.
Take a red date and push the straw into one end of the date. Keep pushing the straw until you reach the halfway point. Then, take out the straw and push the straw through the jujube on the other end, until the pit comes out.
Remove the pit from the straw. If the pit gets stuck inside the straw, use the BBQ skewer to push the pit out. If the red date is too dry, it will be difficult to push the straw through the date. Steam the dates to soften them. See note 3 for steaming directions.
Take a pair of kitchen scissors and poke one side of the scissors into the center of the pitted date and cut along the length of the date. The date should now open up like a book. Make sure that you don’t cut the date into two separate pieces because you’ll need to nestle the nuts inside the dates later.
If you don’t have kitchen scissors, you can also slice the red date with a knife.
Open up a red date and insert a piece of pecan or a half piece of walnut inside the date. Then, squeeze the date shut to secure the nut inside.
Transfer the date to a plate and repeat until you’re done stuffing all the red dates with the nuts.
- Using extra-large dates: You can also use the large, plump red dates (大紅棗/大红枣) for this recipe. Because these dates are larger, you can insert an entire walnut half into the date and it’ll fit perfectly. Therefore, if you want to make 70 to 75 stuffed red dates using the larger dates, you’ll need to roast 2 cups of walnuts.
- A note about straws: If you don’t have a stainless steel straw, try to find something else sturdy. Bamboo straws should also work. If possible, clean the inside of the straw after you pit all the dates.
- Steaming directions: To steam the red dates, boil about 2 inches of water inside a wok. Place a tall steaming rack inside the wok. Spread the red dates over a plate or pie dish and steam them for 5 to 8 minutes. You can also do this in any other steaming setup. Let the dates cool completely before removing their pits.
Serving: 7pieces | Calories: 155kcal | Carbohydrates: 21.9g | Protein: 3.1g | Fat: 7.8g | Saturated Fat: 0.7g | Sodium: 2.8mg | Fiber: 2.5g | Sugar: 6.1g