Deep-Fried Persimmon Cakes

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After touring the Muslim market in Xi’an, we headed to the edge of the market, and before getting back into our tuktuk, we had two quick bites… First, these persimmon cakes that I just had to feature and the post is dedicated to Footloose, who is somewhat appalled by my limited and unfavorable stance towards persimmons. I will be honest, and say, I just haven’t tasted a nice ripe persimmon yet, so I am definitely a neophyte. At any rate, these fried persimmon cakes are common in Xi’an, and legend has it they go back hundreds of years to the Ming Dynasty, when on a military quest, soldiers decided to incorporate fresh persimmons with flour and fry them and they were so delightful that the snack are credited with helping overcome the opposing army… or at least that’s the shorthand version of the story.

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Simply mix flour, ripe persimmon mash and sugar and form a batter/dough. Here it is a rather wet looking dough. Form into patties and put into hot fat and let it fry into a solid persimmon doughnut of sorts.


Notice the beautiful orange hue of the batter. I want to try this with ripe mangoes to see if that works… Or bananas for that matter.

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The deep-fried cakes are cooled and sold for maybe 50 cents or so.

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It was incredibly tasty, with enough fresh persimmon to make it fruity and flavorful, but with all the goodness of fried dough. Very nice. Footloose would be in persimmon heaven. :)


And nearby was a table of dried persimmons as well.


The night before, Mrs. MM and I bought several dried persimmons and I ate one of them while walking around. They were VERY good. I liked the dried version much, much better than the fresh persimmons I have tasted before — the flavor was sweet and concentrated, the texture a softer version of dried turkish apricots, and the color quite appealing. I should have definitely bought more dried persimmons to take home in our luggage. I am not a full persimmon convert yet, but the dried and fried versions were a pleasant revelation.


13 Responses

  1. LIke Footloose I am a beeg persimmon lover, fresh and nicely ripened or dried.

    MM try this paleo recipe with your banana pancake…does not require flour.
    1-2 very ripe bananas, 1-2 TBSP cashew or almond butter, half a tsp of vanilla, 1 large egg. Mash bananas and mix well with rest of the ingredients then drop a large spoonful and fry in a lightly greased pan to form small pancakes. Healthy and dalish!

  2. Persimmon and our mabolo belong to the same genus, Diospyros, literally wheat of Zeus, figuratively, divine food, thus alined with chocolate which is Theobroma and the mythical olympic nourishment, Ambrosia. There are two distinct types, the astringent variety which are the ones that are dried or allowed to freeze on the tree and the other that are ready to eat out of hand as soon as ripe. You can get the current version of what were once limited to the consumption of the Shogun’s household in the food basements of major department stores in Japan at perplexingly exorbitant prices due to labour cost; they are purported to be individually massaged as they freeze-dry thereby distributing the sugar evenly and giving them a chewy soft texture. And as if these attentive manipulation were not enough, they turn them into all sorts of treats too such as stuffing them with walnuts or highly refined bean paste which is another absolute favourite, see a pic here:

  3. Truly a fruit fit for the gods…and I have yet to get a taste of the other persimmon treats.

    @Footloose: Would you know if the Chaan Paai blog posts can be read/displayed for subscribers only? I tried to click on the title of the posts but only the pictures are displayed. Thanks.

  4. Absolutely love persimmons! So plenty in California and Korea. When in season, those from China get to our markets. Maybe it’s just me but it tastes like first class chesa without the powdery texture. If a fuji apple and a chesa were to marry, the offspring might as well be a persimmon!

  5. I am always looking forward to late October when sweet persimmons are available in Oriental market. I planted two persimmon trees in my backyard and both have few fruits this year. Love, love, love persimmons. I have yet to try dried ones though.

  6. @Connie C, thanks for the LowCarb recipe which I shall try soon. So far, I have only tried LC cheddar biscuits which did not turn out like the ones served at Red Lobster but are nevertheless tasty, probably due to its high butter component. I don’t read that blog, linked it for the picture alone.

    I’m mystified that a resemblance between persimmon and tiesa other than their common colour can be discerned at all. Longtime followers of this blog attested their universal dislike of tiesa here:

  7. I am probably one of the few who is not revolted with the taste of tiesa though I must say I don’t find the older varieties as good as the new variety available now. My neighbor just gave me a tiesa as big as my fist and it was good…fully ripened, it had no astringent taste and it was creamy rather than mealy.

    @ Footloose, once again, to remember an archived post from 2007, you just amaze me, but then I tend to remember your comments as well including something from the Lapham Quarterly which I now browse from time to time.

  8. bennym, yes, a mashed maruya fritter indeed, perhaps sprinkled with a cinnamon sugar mix even… and yes, Mary, I do want to try the mango thingee…

  9. I just love persimmons. I can’t wait for the season. There is a persimmon farm in Fairfield, CA. which I discovered last year. Owned by a retired fellow countryman. I couldn’t believe I harvested more than sixty pounds from just one tree! I like to eat it when it is nice and crisp. I just eat it like an apple. No need to peel. Looking forward to going back there in late October. There are 2 kinds of persimmons I am familiar with: Fuyu and forgot the name of the other. Apparently, fuyu is good for baking. Personally, I don’t like it. Hmm, got to Google that name.

  10. Footloose, you have to forgive the comparison between persimmon and tiessa. My taste is sometimes wierd e.g. a good kamote tastes like castanas; a good mabolo trumps a red delicious apple; a chilled caimito is far superior to gelato. But only in my book.



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