asian plum sauce

What do you do with those ripe plums ready to pluck from the tree? Asian plum sauce is the answer. In my neighborhood, plums are akin to zucchini, and a request for plums usually results in multiple bags left on your doorstep. This sweet and savory recipe features ripe plums simmered with ginger, garlic, soy and pepper to make a delicious dipping sauce for spring rolls, egg rolls, a marinade for chicken or perhaps a saucy noodle dish. I use italian plums, which create a bright burgundy colored sauce sparkling inside the canning jars. 

asian plum sauce

Serves: yields 4 half-pints
Cooking Time: 1½ hour


  • 2½ pounds plums, washed, cut in half and pitted (5 cups chopped or processed)
  • 1¼ cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup cider vinegar
  • ½ small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon jalapeño or Serrano pepper, finely chopped
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
  • ½ tablespoon dried mustard



Place pitted plums in the bowl of a food processor; pulse briefly until coarsely chopped (do not purée). You can also chop the plums by hand if you prefer a coarser texture. You should end up with about 5 cups of chopped plums.


In a large saucepan, combine brown sugar, vinegar, onion, pepper, soy sauce, garlic, ginger and mustard. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Add chopped or processed plums and return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and boil gently, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching, until sauce is thick and syrupy, about 25 minutes.


While sauce is cooking, prepare canner and wash/sterilize 4 half-pint (or equivalent) canning jars. Keep jars in hot (not boiling) water until ready to use.


Ladle hot jam into jars, leaving ¼ inch of headspace.


Wipe the rims clean and top with lid; screw on ring until finger tight. Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Remove from water and let cool completely, 12 to 24 hours. Check seals. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used within 1 month.

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