Asian-style plum sauce

Photography by Mark Roper


Making the most of the end-of-season plums, we like to bottle this sauce to use in stir-fries or serve with Chinese barbecued duck. The sauce needs to mature for a few weeks but will keep for ages in the fridge.


Makes 750ml


1 cinnamon quill
4 each cloves and coriander seeds
2 star anise
150ml cider vinegar
500g red plums, halved, stones removed
1 eschalot, chopped
100ml port
Juice each of 1/2 lemon, lime and orange
1/4 tsp five-spice powder
4 tbs redcurrant jelly
1/4 firmly packed cup (50g) brown sugar



Place the cinnamon, cloves, coriander and star anise in a muslin bag or a clean chux and secure with string. Place remaining ingredients, except the sugar, in a preserving pan or large saucepan. Add the bag of spices, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Preheat the oven 160°C. Place sugar on a lined baking tray and heat in oven for 2-3 minutes until warmed through (this helps the sugar dissolve into the sauce). Stir the warm sugar into the plum mixture and cook for a further 45 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent catching, until reduced and thickened. Cool slightly, discard spices, then blend in batches until smooth. Pour  the Plum Sauce into warm, sterilised bottles, then seal and store in a cool place for 2-3 weeks before serving. Keep in the fridge for 2-3 months after opening.


Delicious. – March 2009
Recipe by Valli Little