Rich Asian Plum Sauce

Asian Plum Sauce

Usually when I make a make a new recipe it takes me several days to publish it. There are of course exceptions. For holidays I like to get a recipe up a few days before the date, so people looking to round out their holiday menu can actually reference it, rather than pinning and forgetting about it for the following year. And then there are recipes that are so absolutely amazing that I can’t wait to share! This plum sauce is one of them.

The sauce is tangy–sweet, salty and a nice kick of spice. It’s rich with plums, ginger, soy sauce and savory spices like cinnamon, fennel and anise. On the lazy side, I see it as my new dipping sauce for Chinese takeout. Perfect for fried dumplings or egg rolls, or anything else that needs a hint of flavor. It’s so good, it might even inspire me to make my own spring rolls or lettuce wraps. Might. Oh the, let’s call it the Asian fusion, side of the spectrum, I’m thinking glazed chicken wings, pan-seared pork medallions, roast duck breasts…the list is really endless.

After dumping everything together, simmering until very soft, pureeing and letting it thicken a bit, my final yield was 3 1/2 cups. Had my husband and I not sampled so much, I think we could have easily ended up with 4 cups. I originally halved the recipe before adapting it, thinking 8 cups was way too much, though now I regret my choice a bit. 3 1/2 cups isn’t going to last until next summer. We’ll be lucky if there’s any left in January.

Disclaimer: Yes, you can see from the photos it is a canning recipe. BUT. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t can. The recipe is small, only making about 3 1/2 cups, depending on how thick you like it and the steps aren’t very difficult. Even if I didn’t can, I’d totally put this up as a freezer recipe in small containers. The point is, this is a recipe that MUST get made.

Asian Plum Sauce (Adapted from Canning for a New Generation) Makes 3 1/2 cups

  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 2 pieces star anise
  • 1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 lb methely or black plums, pitted and chopped
  • 1/2 c chopped white onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 c fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 c rice vinegar (4% acidity)
  • 1/4 c soy sauce
  • 2/3 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 c pitted prunes
  • 1 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

Put cinnamon, star anise, peppercorns and fennel seeds in a spice bag or several layers of cheese cloth and tie shut. Put spice bag and all remaining ingredients in a 3.5 quart dutch oven and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid has reduced slightly and onion and garlic are very soft, about 45 minutes.

Asian Plum Sauce Blend

Remove spice bag and puree mixture until smooth with an immersion blender or in batches with a food processor. Return mixture to a simmer and continue stirring and cooking until it thickens slightly, about 10 minutes more. Taste and add additional soy sauce or brown sugar as needed.

Asian Plum Sauce Pureed

IF CANNING: ladle mixture into hot, sterile half-pint or 4oz jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Sealed jars will keep for at least 1 year. IF FREEZING: Ladle into freezer containers (I recommend 1 cup portions), remembering to leave some space at the top for when the containers expand. Will keep in freezer for about 6 months.


11 thoughts on “Rich Asian Plum Sauce

  1. Yum! I am a big fan of plum sauce, particularly on pork and chicken. Love your fresh homemade version, way better than the sticky and undefinable versions at Chinese restaurants! I have no idea how to cook authentic Asian food but I reckon you could use this to marinate a beautiful pork fillet, before grilling it and serving it with noodles or something. Hm, I’ll have to hunt for a recipe! Thanks for the gorgeous inspiration! xx

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