persimmon cake (柿子饼—shìzibǐng)

Persimmon cake, or shìzibǐng(柿子饼), is a perfect autumn snack inspired by the traditional persimmon cakes made seasonally in Xi’an, China. The little orange cakes are made from ripe persimmons, which are plentiful in the fall time. Persimmon cakes and pomegranate juice are among many popular xiǎochī(小吃), or snack foods(literally, small eats), lining the streets in Xi’an’s famous Muslim quarter and elsewhere. There are several popular variations of the persimmon cake: some with sesame-walnut filling, others with red bean filling, sweet plain persimmon cakes, and more.

Ripe hachiya persimmon are best for making this dish. Be sure to let the persimmons ripen until they are very soft, even mushy. These persimmons tend to be strongly astringent until they get very ripe, then they become sweet and delicious.

Persimmon cakes are pretty simple: just mix the persimmon dough, add filling, shape, and cook. For a plain variation, add sugar directly to the dough and omit filling. These cakes are delicious as a side dish and best enjoyed as autumn xiǎochī. They are especially good with some fresh pomegranate juice!

recipe(with black sesame filling)

(2 serving)

2 ripe hachiya persimmon, peeled
½ cup wheat, ground
2 tbsp black sesame
4 tbsp rock sugar or jaggery
4 walnut (optional)
2 drop rose water (optional)

• mash persimmon
• mix in wheat
• let sit 15 minutes
• pound sesame, sugar, walnut, rose water
• divide dough
• fold around sesame filling
• shape into thick patties
• saute, covered, flipping periodically, or grill or bake
• serve

recipe(plain)

(2 servings)

2 ripe hachiya persimmon, peeled
½ cup wheat, ground
4 tbsp rock sugar or jaggery

• mash persimmon
• mix in wheat, sugar
• let sit 15 minutes
• shape into thick patties
• saute, covered, flipping periodically, or grill or bake
• serve