Chinese Plum Sauce

A recipe to keep in mind for plum season.

On the other hand, you may well have some frozen, even bottled.  Probably you could even use tinned plums, though I’d steer way from those that have been canned in syrup.

I was fortunate in that my daughter Stephanie happened to have some bottled stewed plums (no sugar added) so was able to use those to make this sauce.  The end result would be delicious served with duck, but visitors to our house at the weekend declared it sensational with pork.  I’d even cooked up some plain simple sausages (to make piggies in blankets for the grandchildren – recipe in next post), and they were gobbled down with the sauce as well.

So certainly this sauce is well worth having on hand.  I think it would be a great addition to a stir-fry type dish.

Chinese Plum Sauce

1kg plums (weight with stones removed), chopped

375g onions, diced

1 knob garlic, peeled and chopped (about 10 cloves garlic)

200g fresh green ginger, chopped

125ml soy sauce

¼ cup mirin

2 cups white or cider vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

500g brown sugar

3 star anise, ground finely

2 teaspoons beetroot powder or a few drops natural red food colouring, optional

Place the plums, onions, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, mirin, vinegar and salt in a saucepan.  Bring to the boil, stirring, then simmer for 30 minutes.  Press mixture through a sieve or food mill.

To the resulting sauce, add the sugar and star anise.  Bring to the boil, stirring, then simmer for 40 minutes.

For better colour, stir in the beetroot powder** or red food colouring.

** Generally available from spice shops