Like everyone else on TikTok, I became an Emily Mariko fan after trying her viral salmon rice recipe.

Emily Mariko shot to fame with her viral salmon rice bowl recipe.


Screen shot of Emily Mariko/TikTok



Emily Mariko, a content creator with over 10.6 million followers on TikTok, shot to fame in October when her salmon rice bowl recipe went viral. Though she now regularly gets well over 1 million views on her food and lifestyle videos, her original salmon rice bowl recipe on TikTok has amassed 6.3 million views as of Friday.

I, like a lot of people on TikTok, saw the recipe back then and couldn’t help but try it. Like my colleague Palmer Haasch, who wrote about her experience trying it, I thought it tasted pretty good and was filling. 

When I saw Karlie Kloss posted a TikTok with Mariko, showing off an easy-looking chocolate-covered date recipe, I thought I’d give it ago.

GettyImages-karlie-kloss

Karlie Kloss.

Christian Vierig/Getty Images


Being a fan of Mariko’s previous recipes and as someone who has a sweet tooth, I couldn’t help but want to try the chocolate-covered stuffed date recipe Mariko is seen making in a TikTok posted by supermodel Karlie Kloss

The video, posted to Kloss’ account on Wednesday, has amassed over 1.1 million views as of Friday. 

The recipe seemed slightly familiar as it’s a recreation of Mariko’s original chocolate-stuffed dates she shared in February. 

The first thing I did was de-seed the Medjool dates, which left my fingers super sticky even though I mostly used a knife.

Step one is to dig out the seeds from the dates.

Step one is to dig out the seeds from the dates.

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The first thing Kloss and Mariko do in the video is de-seed the Medjool dates, which obviously looks very quick and easy on TikTok but takes a little bit of time in reality. 

After getting started, I quickly discovered just how messy things were going to get. Even though I was using a knife, I found myself having to dig into the date with my fingers, and everything just ended up a bit sticky in the end. 

To avoid sticky hands and save some time, I’d recommend just buying pitted dates.

I'd recommend just buying pitted dates to avoid this step.

I’d recommend buying pitted dates to avoid this step.

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If I end up making this recipe again, or if someone asked for advice, I’d recommend sailing past this step and buying pitted dates. 

My reasoning: Why make more of a mess when you don’t need to?

I chopped up a handful of almonds. Disclaimer: this was way too much.

The next step is to chop the almonds.

The next step is to chop the almonds.

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As previously mentioned, Mariko doesn’t really include measurements in her recipes on TikTok. 

In the first video from February, she uses a handful of almonds. But in the video with Kloss, she looks like she’s using pre-chopped pecans. 

I prefer almonds so I opted for them and used a similar amount to Mariko. For the number of dates I had (nine), this was way too much. 

On top of chopping way too many almonds than I needed, the crumbly pieces got absolutely everywhere.

The almond crumble got everywhere.

The almond crumble got everywhere.

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Chopping almonds is probably one of the messiest kitchen tasks I’ve encountered. Because of their rounded shape, the bits of nut you slice tend to go left, right, and pretty much everywhere but your chopping board. 

After I’d finished, I found crumbly pieces all over the table and on the floor. Bizarrely, I also found some under my laptop.

At this point, I definitely regretted not buying pre-chopped almonds. 

With my almond crumble and peanut butter ready, it was time to stuff the dates.

I put on my best Emily Mariko-inspired concentration face.

I put on my best Emily Mariko-inspired concentration face.

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Trying to emulate Mariko’s staple concentration face when she makes her recipes, I got started on stuffing the pitted dates and putting them onto a glass tray to later be refrigerated.

I ladled in around a teaspoon of peanut butter and then sprinkled on some of the chopped almonds. I personally liked the fact there were some larger chunks of almonds among smaller crumbles because I thought that would give the final result an interesting texture. 

My assembled dates didn’t look anywhere as neat as Mariko and Kloss’ and there was crumble everywhere — again.

My assembled dates didn't look as neat as Mariko and Kloss' and there was crumble everywhere.

My assembled dates didn’t look as neat as Mariko and Kloss’ version.

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I know food is not about looks, it’s about flavor, but it was somewhat disheartening that my carefully constructed stuffed dates didn’t look anywhere near as pretty as Mariko and Kloss’. 

I don’t know if they were cleaning up in between takes or are just magically meticulous when working with their hands but whatever they did, I simply could not emulate. 

My only hope was that the flavor would surpass any visual faux pas. 

After warming up the chocolate with a couple of spoonfuls of coconut oil, I dunked my dates in the mixture.

Next up, I dunked my dates in the melted chocolate and coconut oil mixture.

Next up, I dunked my dates in the melted chocolate and coconut oil mixture.

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I poured 100 grams of dark chocolate sprinkles and coconut oil into a microwave-safe bowl and added a couple of spoonfuls of coconut oil. Again, Mariko doesn’t specify the amount but I thought this looked similar to how much she was using the video. 

I ended up having to microwave the mixture for two sets of 25 seconds, at 600 and then 850 watts, as it was slightly too dense the first time around. 

Afterward, I gave each stuffed date a little dunk into the chocolate to get it covered on all sides and then brought my glass tray to the freezer. 

Things took a turn for the messier when I nearly dropped the dates on the floor.

Things got even messier when I nearly dropped the dates.

Things got even messier when I nearly dropped the dates.

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This is when disaster struck. On my way to the freezer, I almost dropped the glass tray and every sticky date rolled around. 

The result was probably the least appetizing dessert ever made.

I once again had to remind myself that food is not about looks. But this was a tough pill to swallow. 

After around 15 minutes, the dates were ready and they turned out surprisingly OK-looking.

But the dessert did end up looking somewhat neat in the end.

The dessert did end up looking somewhat neat in the end.

Maria Noyen/Insider


Even though my process so far wasn’t as aesthetically pleasing as Mariko and Kloss’, I was proud of the end result.

The dates were still totally covered in chocolate and looked pretty much the same as the ones in the TikTok. 

The dates were super sweet and a little salty from the nuttiness, but the whole recipe was just a tad too messy for me to make again any time soon.

This photo summed up the experience: messy.

This photo summed up the experience: messy.

Maria Noyen/Insider


I’m a big fan of dates in general because they’re sweet but also make me feel healthy eating them over ice cream, so I knew I’d end up liking this dessert.

Taking a bite of the first date, I definitely enjoyed the sweetness of the date and the chocolate blending with the saltiness of the almonds and the peanut butter. I also loved the texture differences between the smooth exterior and crumbly interior — it’s definitely a rich, flavorful dessert that fills you quite quickly.

But the sheer amount of mess I made in the process and the amount of chocolate I ended up getting all over my face, hands, and somehow my sweater later on, was slightly frustrating. 

If I had to score this Mariko concoction, I’d give it a 6/10 — would have again, but not for a long time. 


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