Chinese Plum Sauce


July 25, 2012 by hoosieroutwest

So Greg and I love Asian food. We liked it when we still lived in Indianapolis but that like has definitely turned into love since moving to Seattle. For one, there are many more Asian Seattleites than Asian Hoosiers and that means more authentic Asian restaurants.  I mean, you can’t fake the taste to those who are used to their mom’s version.

Also, there are many more types of Asian food available. In Indianapolis it was basically Chinese, Japanese and a random Thai place. We hadn’t had Vietnamese cuisine until moving to the west coast – had no idea what Pho was, but man we’re glad we’ve had it.

So when I started to get the canning bug and the local grocery store had a sale on plums I knew exactly what I was going to make – Chinese Plum Sauce. Now Greg can have Chinese almost whenever he wants.

plum sauce simmering

Since this recipe makes 4 pints you’re probably thinking, what the heck am I going to do with all that plum sauce?!? Never fear! I have a couple of suggestions for you!

1) Mu Shu Pork with Plum Sauce (recipe coming soon!)

2) Use like BBQ sauce, marinate chicken (or pork – mmmm ribs!) in the plum sauce and grill, yum

3) Crock pot meatballs! Throw frozen meatballs (I like Trader Joe’s frozen party meatballs), sliced red onion and plum sauce in a crock pot, set on low and cook for 4-5 hours – until meatballs are warmed all the way through.

Chinese Plum Sauce Recipe

adapted from Canning for a New Generation by Liana Krissoff

Chinese Plum Sauce Printable

Makes about 4 pints

1 cinnamon stick

2 pieces star anise

1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds (can also use anise seeds)

4 pounds black plums, pitted and coarsely chopped (about 8 cups)

1 medium onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1/4 cup chopped peeled fresh ginger

1/2 cup rice vinegar (4% acidity)

3 tablespoons dark soy sauce, or more to taste

1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar, or more to taste

1/2 cup pitted prunes

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Prepare for water-bath canning: Sterilize the jars and keep them hot in the canning pot, put lids in heatproof bowl.

Put the cinnamon, star anise, peppercorns and fennel seeds in a spice bag or several layers of cheesecloth and tie shut.

Put the spice bag and all the remaining ingredients in a wide, 6-8 quart preserving pan (or non-reactive pot) and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the onion is very soft, about 30 minutes.

Remove the spice bag. In batches, puree the sauce in a blender, covering the lid with a towel to keep the hot liquid from exploding, and return it to the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently to prevent burning, until thickened slightly and a shade darker in color, about 10 minutes.

trying to keep an explosion from happening

Taste and add more soy sauce or brown sugar as necessary. Sauce should be quite sweet and salty.

Ladle boiling water from the canning pot into the bowl with the lids. Using a jar lifter, remove the sterilized jars from the canning pot, carefully pouring the water from each one back into the pot, and place them upright on a folded towel. Drain the water off the lids.

getting ready to go back in the canning pot

Ladle the hot plum sauce into the jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace at the top. Use a damp paper towel to wipe the rims of the jars, then put a flat lid and ring on each jar, adjusting the ring so that it’s just finger-tight. Return the jars to the water in the canning pot, making sure the water covers the jars by at least 1 inch. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes to process. Remove the jars to a folded towel and do not disturb for 12 hours.

ready for storage

After 1 hour, check that the lids have sealed by pressing down on the center of each lid. If it can be pushed down it hasn’t sealed and the jar should be refrigerated immediately. Label the sealed jars and store in a cool dark place.


3 thoughts on “Chinese Plum Sauce

  1. Johanna says:

    You are amazing!

  2. Kari says:

    A question for you. When you say “two pieces of star anise” do you mean two full stars or two petals of a star?

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