Asian Plum Sauce – Plum Sauce Recipe

Asian Plum Sauce is a delicious way to use fresh plums. And it’s that time of year when plums are ripe and available in stores, farmer’s markets, and backyard trees. 

Asian Plum Sauce

Plum Varieties

Plums come in a huge variety of sizes and colours. But there are two main types of plums: Japanese plums, like the black plums that I’m using in this plum sauce, and European plums. Japanese plums are round, while European plums are oblong. I found this awesome pictorial of the many plum varieties that you may want to check out: Types of Plums and Pluots, Plus Everything Plum.

Homemade Plum Sauce Is Best

I’ve always loved plum sauce, but not the glutinous pink stuff that comes in little packets at Chinese restaurants. Well, ok, really, actually I did like that stuff once upon a time. Until I made real plum sauce, from real plums, and never looked back.

Asian Plum Sauce


Spices for Plums

Plums have a great affinity for spice, so I really loaded up this sauce with them. Allspice, ground cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger, along with garlic, really complement the plummy flavour. This sauce is tangy, sweet, and spicy all at once.

Asian Plum Sauce is a Versatile Pantry Item

Asian plum sauce is really easy to make and it’s a really great staple to have it in the pantry. I used it for a dipping sauce when I made Pork and Plum Kebabs, and it’s perfect for spring rolls, too. Plum sauce makes a nice glaze for grilled or baked chicken (wings, anyone?) or even a topping for turkey burgers or salmon. Or, serve it with baked brie, or on a charcuterie board of cured meats and cheeses. See what I mean? I really could go on & on. It’s just a really handy little pantry item.

The sauce is quite thick, so it works great as a spread, but you can also thin it with apple cider vinegar for a great dipping sauce, so it does double duty. This recipe is a very small batch, only 4 half-pint jars, so if you want more to have in your pantry, double the recipe. This yummy plum sauce also makes a great addition to a homemade gift basket over the holidays or a hostess gift.

Asian Plum Sauce

Processing Your Filled Jars

If you process your filled jars in a boiling water canner, the jars will keep in the pantry for at least a year. If you don’t have a canner, you can use an existing pot. The pot needs to be at least 3″ deeper that the height of the jars, and should have a rack to elevate the jars so that the boiling water can circulate around the jars. You can use a cake rack, or use extra screw bands on the bottom of the pot.

After processing your jars of plum sauce for 15 minutes, remove them using canning tongs and place them on a kitchen towel to cool for 24 hours.

How to Tell if Your Jars are Sealed 

To check your cooled jars for seals, remove the screw bank and press down on the center of each lid. If the jar is properly sealed, the center will be concave and there will be no movement. If the jar is not sealed store it in the fridge and use it within a week.

Store sealed jars in the pantry for up to one year.

Asian Plum Sauce

Fresh plums make a delightful Asian Plum Sauce that's easy to make and a versatile pantry staple that's so great to have on hand. 
4.08 from 14 votes
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Jams, Jellies, & Preserves
Cuisine Canning & Preserving
Servings 64 tbsp
Calories 34 kcal


  • 1 lb plums finely chopped. Should be about 2 cups
  • 1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced or crushed
  • 2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tsp dried red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp each allspice, ground cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger.


  • Combine plums, brown sugar, and vinegar in a large stainless steel pot.
  • Over high heat, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 3 minutes, stirring. Add all other ingredients, stirring continuously and bring back to a simmer.
  • Continue to simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened.
  • Remove from heat.  
  • Use an immersion blender right in the pot, or transfer to a blender and process until sauce is smooth.
  • Transfer to clean, sterilized jars. Process jars for 15 minutes in a boiling water canner.


This Asian plum sauce is quite thick, so if using for a dipping sauce, (which is delicious), you can thin it with some rice vinegar, soy sauce, or whatever works best for your dish.
This is a vinegar-based recipe, so be sure to have good ventilation during the cooking process.


Serving: 1gCalories: 34kcalCarbohydrates: 8gSodium: 56mgPotassium: 56mgSugar: 7gVitamin A: 100IUVitamin C: 2.6mgCalcium: 7mgIron: 0.1mg
Keyword plum sauce, plums, spiced plum sauce
Tried this recipe? What changes did you make?Let us know how it was!


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27 thoughts on “Asian Plum Sauce – Plum Sauce Recipe

  1. Hi, my double batch is taking forever to reduce to thick. I followed the recipe and doubled the ingredients using 4 cups of plums (whirled in the food processor) with 4 cups of cider vinegar and 3 cups of brown sugar? Anything I need to different next time. This has been on high heat for 30 mins and has reduced but it’s very thin.


    1. Hi Karen. This recipe is always very thick whenever I make it. I can only think of two reasons why your sauce is thin. If you use plums that are very ripe or overly ripe, they will not have as much natural pectin, which is the thickening agent. Also, most plums are high in pectin, except the Italian variety, so if you used Italian plums, they may not give you a thick sauce. I hope it worked out in the end. Would love to hear back.

  2. Hi Colleen, I did just wing it and doubled the recipe it turned out amazing, just a super explosion of flavors, some tartness, some sweetness, some warmth right at the last. My biggest problem was the conversion of weight to cups since the wild plums are smaller than the regular black plums. And I live in Kansas and my aunt brought me a bag full and told me she will bring me more later in the week. I am planning on wild plum jelly and fruit leather with them. Thanks again for the great recipe!

    1. Hey Lynda, that’s really awesome that it worked out with the wild plums. Thanks for the feedback on the conversion of weight to cups, too. I think that I will now tweak some recipes regarding that. And I think wild plum jelly and fruit leather sound amazing!Cheers!

  3. This recipe looks amazing! Would I need to change the recipe if I am using wild plums since they are tart, and I would be doubling it?

    1. Hi Lynda! I’ve never tried what you are proposing, but I would just go ahead and wing it. If the plums are tart, yes more sugar, unless you love the tartness. I would really love to hear how they turn out, and, where you found your wild plums. (Secretly, of course 🙂 )

  4. Great recipe! Thank you for posting it. Easy to prepare. I wanted to use all my plums because they wouldn’t last much longer, so I had closer to 3 cups of chopped plums. I also used only 1 1/4 cups brown sugar, which was plenty. Next time I’ll used only 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes—the heat really climbs as the sauce simmers! I ended up with 5 pints of ruby red plum sauce—lovely for both the eye and the palate!

  5. My momma would say that’d make a rabbit hug a mean hound!” This is so delicious. Thanks for the recipe. I’ve just canned 13 pints. Can’t wait to use it.

    1. Hi Trish, the recipe should read “1 pound, which, when chopped, should be about 2 cups” Thank you for bringing that to my attention!

  6. I love plum sauce so much! I haven’t had it in ages (my mom used to make it) but this looks like a really great recipe. The plums are a little late here this year but hopefully they’ll be ready soon.

  7. AHah I’m one of those who still love the commercial kind of plum sauce, I need to change this ASAP! This recipe looks DIVINE! Doing this soon for sure!

  8. I honestly have to say I don’t think I’ve ever had plum sauce that didn’t come out of a packet or a jar!! I am so excited to try this with some spring rolls!

  9. Colleen, I just made plum jam in the process of cleaning the fridge before we leave. I wish I saw this sooner, I would have made it for sure. Maybe in October when we get back.

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