Asian Plum Sauce is a great way to use fresh plums. And plums are ripe and ready everywhere right now here in the Okanagan, lucky for us. I’m fortunate to get a bag of fresh picked ones from my neighbour’s yard.
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.
Plums Love Spices
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 Super Versatile
Asian plum sauce is super 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.
How to Make 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.
- 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.
These small jars are simple to boil in a large pot of hot water to be kept in the pantry. Because this is a condiment, it's best to process. (Unless you are using for a large gathering)
Asian Plum Sauce