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Yangmei season spawns “Steak and Blood Eggs”

yangmei box
It’s yangmei season. I didn’t know what this little fruit was until a friend bought me a box. We sat in the sun and ate until our lips stained blood red. A little investigating, and I discovered these berries are the fruit of the Chinese bayberry tree. Sometimes called wax berries or bayberries, they taste like a cross between raspberries and pomegranates. Tart and juicy, they bear seeds similar to those of cherries.

yangmei biteSince I was on my own again this weekend, I wanted to let my hair down in the kitchen. I was free to experiment. The only person I needed to feed was me, and I didn’t even care if it worked or not. I just wanted to turn my kitchen into a studio of sorts and simply create whatever came to mind. I knew I wanted to make something with yangmei. The other rule I gave myself was that the ingredients had to already be in my fridge. No big shop. No big spend. Simply create three courses with a box of yangmei and a few leftovers.

Course 1: Chorizo with Slaw and Yangmei Mayonnaise

chipotle yangmei mayo(chipotle powder, Japanese mayo, and yangmei juice)

My first course (if you can call it that) was pan fried chorizo topped with a red cabbage slaw with chipotle, yangmei mayo.

chorizo and cabbageThis didn’t really do much for me. Maybe because I wanted more of it. The mayo, however, did marry the tang and spice nicely.  I could see turning this into a full fledged slaw that might go well with fried chicken.

Course 2: Steak and “Blood Eggs”

yangmei jus beginsFor the second course, I came up with “steak and blood egg”. Earlier, I had separated an egg for my dessert. I was looking at the yolk, and it inspired me to make a “blood” white out of a yangmei and balsamic reduction. I made a yangmei jus by reducing the fruit flesh with water, a little ginger, and a pinch of sugar.

yangmei jusAfter straining the solids, I reserved some jus for my dessert, then reduced the remainder with equal parts balsamic vinegar. Once the reduction was thick and sticky, I had my “blood” for the yolk. I steamed the yolk separately which I had to do twice as the first time I overcooked it.

I plated the reduction and yolk alongside leftover strip steak which was sliced and tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper.   Looking at it, I wasn’t sure whether I had gone crazy, but after tasting it, I was relieved to find out it actually worked.

Course 3: Mascarpone Ice Cream with Yangmei Jus

mascarpone baseFor the dessert, I decided to transform a tub of leftover mascarpone cheese into ice cream. I beat the cheese with a little milk, egg white, sugar, and vanilla bean, then let it set in the freezer.

ice cream pre freezeWith a biscuit cutter, a bit of jus, and a fresh yangmei later, and it actually turned out to be a respectable dessert. Perhaps I will takes these little experiments further. Perhaps they will just stay as one offs. You definitely don’t have to delve this deep into yangmei to enjoy them. As I can guarantee my next box will be bought simply to just eat.

ice cream



  1. this looks amazing!!! never had yangmei, but will have to try it when i go to hong kong!!!

  2. Ben mulock

    I haven’t tried these yet but I can’t wait too! Nice peice treacle!

  3. Tess

    I looooove the photo of the yangmei in their (glam, black) little plastic basket. Nice, Jen.

  4. Wow… I really need to come to HK and get in on your experimentations. I just love that you have this in you. Yes please.

  5. Want. Some. Of your berry mayo on fried chicken…sounds like a rather good idea!

  6. Ooh I’ve never had a yangmei before. Always something new eh? So true that many Asian fruits don’t get made into more desserts because they are often the best on their own. Thanks for sharing, HF

  7. Linus

    bloody beautiful.
    lets see what i have in my fridge…

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