It’s now mulberry season on the Eastern belt in China. A lovely time of year here. The sun is out with a few days of intermittent rain, and the fruits available are more varied. I usually go fruit-picking at Tian Gong Zhuang Yuan in Yinzhou District, Ningbo, around about now. Next month the waxberries will be out but for now, I am taking advantage of all the mulberry punnet I can see as I turn the corner to the local fruit shops. These berries are extremely weak, they cannot take much movement at all, so carry the punnet home carefully and eat them immediately. Mulberries start to go off as soon as 1 day after picking. This is one recipe for preserving them for a few days longer and enjoying them with company. There is no need to add sugar to this recipe, the mulberries are lovely as they are not at all tart. If you prefer sweetened coconut milk, however, you could add some raw local honey to it before serving.
This recipe serves 4 small portions.
For the stewed mulberries
Fresh mulberries, 1 punnet
Cinnamon, 1 stick
Star anise, 4-5
For the spiced coconut milk
Coconut milk, 1 can
Cardamom, 3 tsp
Cinnamon, 1 stick
Almond flakes, a handful
1. Remove the stalks from the mulberries and add them to a saucepan with 300ml water, the star anise and cinnamon stick.
2. Stew on a medium-heat for around 10 or 15 minutes.
3. In the meantime, pour out the coconut milk into another small saucepan, add the cinnamon stick, crush the cardamom pods and those too.
4. Heat the coconut milk for less than 10 minutes until warm and bubbly.
5. If you wish, you can gently toast the almond flakes in a dry pan for around 2 minutes before garnishing. Serve the mulberries in small dessert bowls and the warm spiced coconut milk on the side.
Garnish with a few fresh mint leaves.