A Chinese-inspired recipe for roasted Plum Sauce infused with garlic, shallots, chilies, ginger, and five-spice to use on chicken, pork or lamb with a sugar-free alternative. Freeze for the winter months!
Many of you have been asking for more recipes highlighting juicy end-of-summer plums. Most summers I’ll can a bunch of Plum and Shiso Jam, but this year I tried something different. Plum Sauce!
What is Plum Sauce?
Plum Sauce, if unfamiliar is a Cantonese sweet and sour sauce or condiment typically used as a dipping sauce for fried spring rolls, moo shoo, or Chinese Duck. This version is not authentic but rather, Chinese-inspired.
It is just slightly sweet, tangy with a good amount of depth and umami- the perfect sauce to pair with five-spice chicken, or pork, or even lamb!
What I love about this Plum Sauce recipe is that is is not cloyingly sweet like many jarred or storebought versions, and actually tastes like plums!
Freeze in mason jars for a delicious winter treat!
Try to seek out red-fleshed plums- they make the most beautiful sauce. Then be sure to wait until they are soft and juicy! This way you really won’t need to add any sweetener.
Then roast away with the onion, garlic and ginger. Add fresh chilies if you want a spicy sauce.
To use the Plum Sauce right away, simple heat gently in a saucepan.
Or freeze for the winter months!
A simple way to preserve a little bit of summer for the colder months.
You may also like:
- Five-Spice Chicken ( or Tofu!)
- Plum and Jicama Salad
- Plum Duck
- Plum Galette
- 50 Farmers Market Recipes!
- Plum Shrub
A Chinese-inspired recipe for Roasted Plum Sauce infused with garlic, shallots, ginger and five-spice to use on chicken, pork or lamb.
- 1 red onion sliced into 1/2 inch rings
- 1 lb plums (red-fleshed, soft and juicy!) cut into 1/2 inch thick wedges (4 extra-large plums, 6 medium or 8 tiny plums)
- 4–6 cloves garlic
- 3 thin slices ginger, about the size of a quarter, the peel is OK.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil or peanut oil.
- Fresh chilies ( optional, see notes)
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce (or GF liquid aminos)
- 1–3 tablespoons water (optional)
- 1–3 teaspoons honey, maple syrup, (or one prune, soaked in hot water)
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon Five-Spice, more to taste.
- pinch cayenne- optional
- 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar (optional)
- water to desired consistency: 2-4 tablespoons
- Preheat oven to 450F.
- Roast the plums: Slice the shallots or onion and plums and place in a 9 x13 inch baking dish or edged sheet-pan. Add the whole garlic cloves and slices of ginger and drizzle with oil generously to coat. Toss well and place in the hot oven. Check at 15 minutes, (set a timer) toss, lowering the heat to 4ooF. Roast 10-15 more minutes, until onions and garlic are tender.
- Blend: Scrape the plums, shallots, garlic (optional chilies- start conservatively) and all the juices and browned bits from the pan into a blender. Add the soy sauce and five-spice and pepper. Blend until silky smooth. Add a little water to loosen the sauce, 2 to 4 tablespoons or more. Blend again.
- Taste: Add honey (or the soaked prune) and vinegar to taste. All plums have different levels of sweetness and tartness. For example, I added 1 tablespoon honey and 1 teaspoon vinegar. Find the balance. If your sauce is too sweet, add more vinegar. If it is too tangy add honey. If too salty, add more water. If you want to taste more Five-spice, add another 1/4 teaspoon. For a bit of a kick add chili flakes or cayenne.
- To serve now: Place the Roasted Plum Sauce in a saucepan and gently warm over low heat until ready to serve. Serve with pork, 5-Spice Chicken (or Tofu) or lamb!
- Freeze: Let cool, then place in a mason jar with at least an inch of headroom for expansion. Tighten the lid and freeze.
Fresh Chilies: If you like a little spice and heat, feel free to add some fresh chilies to the roasting pan with the plums. Add gradually to the blender to taste- getting the heat level perfect for your tastes buds- you don’t need to use them all- add them conservatively. I suggest using red chilies so they don’t muddy up the color, like green chilies could. 🙂 Or feel free to just add cayenne or chili flakes at the end.
Keywords: Chinese Plum sauce, Roasted Plum Sauce, Plum ginger sauce, plum sauce recipe, How to make plum sauce