Plum sauce

Spiced with cinnamon, star anise and red chilli, this homemade plum sauce is a revelation in terms of complexity and depth of flavours. Use as a dipping sauce to spice up braised Asian greens or serve alongside beautifully roasted meats.

  • 30 mins preparation
  • 1 hr 50 mins cooking
  • Serves 6
  • Print


  • 500 gram whole plums, quartered, stone removed
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 clove garlic, chopped
  • 4 centimetre piece ginger, chopped
  • 1/2 medium brown onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 small fresh red chillies, seeded, finely chopped
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 stick cassia bark or cinnamon stick
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar


  • 1
    In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients, except star anise, cassia bark (or cinnamon stick) and sugar; bring to the boil.
  • 2
    Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes or until mixture is pulpy. Strain mixture through a fine sieve into large bowl; discard solids.
  • 3
    Return plum mixture to pan with sugar and sauce. Tie cassia bark (or cinnamon stick) and star anise in muslin; add to pan. Stir over high heat, without boiling, until sugar dissolves.
  • 4
    Reduce heat; simmer, stirring occasionally, about 1½ hours or until sauce is thick. Discard muslin bag.
  • 5
    Spoon hot sauce into hot sterilised jars; seal immediately. Label and date jars when cold.


Store in a cool, dark place for one week before opening. Sauce will keep in a cool, dark place for up to six months; refrigerate after opening. It will keep for many months in the refrigerator.

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