Spicy Chinese Plum Sauce

Karen Hart, Plums

This sauce adds a zing to any stir-fry. You can also use it as a baste on pork joints or chops towards the end of cooking to give them extra flavour. It keeps for a year.

  • Makes 1 litre


  • 2 kg ripe plums
  • 5 – 6 medium sized onions, chopped
  • cloves from 1 head of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 20 cm fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 4 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 4 red chilies, deseeded and chopped
  • 5 cups brown sugar
  • 6 star anise, ground


  1. Cut the plums in half and remove the stones.
  2. Put all the ingredients, except the sugar and star anise in a large saucepan or preserving pan.
  3. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until or the ingredients are very soft. Pass the ingredients through a mouli or course sieve and return to the cleaned saucepan or preserving pan.
  4. Add the sugar and star anise and bring back to the boil, stirring frequently to ensure that the sugar dissolves.
  5. Simmer for an hour until the mixture is thick and creamy.
  6. Pour the sauce into sterilized bottles and seal with vinegar-proof lids.

HINT: You can use plums of any colour for this recipe.