Plum Sauce with Fresh Plums

plum sauce with fresh plums

If you love Asian food then this plum sauce with fresh plums is one you need to master to fully enjoy it. Plum sauce, like many Asian sauces, is both sweet and spicy and has an incredible taste it imparts into food. Plum sauce is mainly used as a dipping sauce traditionally, but feel free to cook various dishes with it as a featured sauce right in the recipe itself.

Plums are a wonderful fruit to use in sauces and you can use them in differing amounts of hot and sweet depending on the dish you are making. Plums aren’t just a fruit to use in dessert preparation or the making of jam and they’re commonly used in Asian cooking. You can dial the heat up or down as you prefer.

I only recommend using one of the bird’s eye chilies so as not to go overboard with the heat. It’s always better to start tame and then adjust up to your heat threshold as it is harder to tame it than to increase it. So if you like fiery Asian sauces just adjust the chili level. You can also use a lot less or even omit the chili for a mild result.

A Word of Caution about Bird’s Eye Chilies

Bird’s eye chilies are delicious but also very hot (spicy) so adjust the heat level of this sauce to your liking by adding them sparingly and repeat the spice adjustment stage until you reach your heat tolerance level.

With that word of caution out of the way, bird’s eye chilies are one of the nicest tasting of the chilies but you do need to take care when using them. It’s recommended that you wear plastic gloves while handling them to protect yourself. And always wash your hands afterwards with hot, soapy water.

Oh – and definitely keep them away from your eyes! Such an incident wouldn’t make you remember this plum sauce with a fresh plum sauce recipe in a favorable light!

How Long Does Plum Sauce with Fresh Plums Keep?

Got leftovers? Homemade Chinese plum sauce will keep for a week or so in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can also freeze it in portions.

An old fashioned plum sauce recipe is a worthy addition to your cooking repertoire. Whether you want to enjoy this with chicken or duck, try it as a dipping sauce for wontons or simply have it with crispy fried shrimp, you are going to love the balance of sweet, savory, sour, and spicy!


Plum Sauce with Fresh Plums

Plum sauce is a typical Asian dipping or cooking sauce. It features a common taste profile in Asian cooking of sweet and sour or sweet and spicy – whichever term you prefer. Plum sauce with fresh plums is a nice, versatile blend of Asian flavors which go beautifully with roasted duck or you can serve it as a dip. I love making plum sauce for duck – the flavors just marry incredibly.

  • Author: Victoria Haneveer
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Stove
  • Cuisine: Chinese


  • 3 pounds (1360g) pitted, halved fresh plums
  • 1½ cups (375ml) apple cider vinegar (Bragg’s is a good choice)
  • 2 cups (400g) dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 or 2 minced birds eye chili peppers
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Put all the ingredients in a pan and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the sauce for 25 minutes or until the plums are nice and soft and the sauce is thicker.
  3. Transfer the hot liquid to a blender.
  4. Because blending hot liquids can mean the lid blows off (and trust me, you don’t want to clean the kitchen after that happens!) it’s best to leave a hole in the top with a thick towel over it or else have the lid a little loose so the steam may escape. Another option is to use an immersion blender.
  5. After pureeing, return to sauce to the pan over the heat.
  6. Bring it to a boil again and adjust the heat (spiciness) with additional chilies if not hot enough.
  7. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes or until nice and thick.
  8. Repeat the blending process so no large piece of chilies remain in there.
  9. You can allow the sauce to cool before enjoying it with your favorite appetizers.


  • Plums not only impart a wonderful flavor into this recipe but they also make it a very appealing sauce to look at visually. Now this is very important as we eat with our eyes first, so a visually appealing sauce elevates any dish it is served with before your guests or family ever eat it.
  • This is one of those Asian dishes I suggest starting out with just one of the lovely little birds eye chilies. But of course if you are brave go ahead and adjust it with more to your liking.
  • Just start slow and notch it up until you get to where you want to be as it is always easier to make something hotter then to mellow it out if do you get carried away.

Keywords: plum sauce, fruit, plum sauce with fresh plums, how to make Chinese plum sauce, how to make Asian plum sauce, plum sauce for duck, plum sauce Thai, Chinese plum sauce recipe

plum sauce with fresh plums