Chinese Recipes: Benefits and Tips for Using Red Dates

red dates
Red dates are sweet and can benefit the spleen and stomach and calm the nerves. (Image: Phoebe via flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0)

The function of dates to enrich the body’s blood has been well-known in China for thousands of years, and they are used in a number of Chinese recipes. They can also enhance the body’s immunity, inhibit the development of cancer cells, promote the formation of white blood cells, reduce serum cholesterol, increase serum albumin, and protect the liver.

Rich in Vitamin C, red dates can transfer the excess cholesterol in the body into bile acids, thus reducing the probability of gallstone formation. Fresh red dates, rich in calcium and iron, also play an important role in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis and anemia.

Dates are very therapeutic for the elderly, young people during their growth period, and women prone to anemia. They are also a good tonic for people who are recovering from an illness.

There are several simple tips you should remember when consuming dates:

  1. Replace your energy drinks with date infused water
  2. Remove the core before using dates for porridge or soup.
  3. Soak in colder water for 5-10 mins to clean up before use
  4. In rare occasions, overindulgence can lead to bloating.
  5. Belong to the yang family of food in Chinese culture, bringing warmth to the body

Here are two Chinese recipes to enjoy red dates:

1. Date and ginger tea

Date and ginger tea is good for lifting depression. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Date and ginger tea is good for lifting depression. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)


  • Nourishes the spleen and the blood
  • strengthens the stomach
  • helps one repose
  • lifts depression


  • ginger, 500 grams
  • dates, 250 grams
  • salt, 100 grams
  • licorice, 150 grams
  • cloves, 25 grams
  • aquilaria, 25 grams


  • Pound all the ingredients into a rough powder and mix together
  • Decoct them or soak them in water
  • Drink several times a day

2. Date and chrysanthemum porridge

Porridge made of glutinous rice with Chinese red date

Date and chrysanthemum porridge can brighten your eyes. (Image: NTDTV)


  • Strengthens the spleen and enriches the blood
  • cleanses the liver
  • brightens the eyes


  • Red dates, 50 grams
  • rice, 100 grams
  • Chrysanthemum, 15 grams


  • Place all the ingredients along with some water into a pot
  • Poach till simmering
  •  Add some brown sugar when served

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