Five Spice Plum Sauce Recipe

Photographs: Emily Teel

A savory, sweet, and spicy condiment to preserve that's perfect for when you've got plenty of fruit, but you don't need another jar of jam.

Recipe Facts

Active: 90 mins
Total: 0 mins
Serves: 60 servings
Makes: 5 twelve-ounce jars

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  • 4 pounds plums, pitted and chopped

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 2 to 3 inch chunk fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

  • 2 to 4 chile peppers (hot), stemmed and chopped

  • 2 cups red wine or apple cider vinegar

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce

  • 1 whole (3-4 inch) cinnamon stick

  • 4 whole star anise pods

  • 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorn

  • 1/2 teaspoon whole fennel seeds

  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves

  • 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns


  1. Prepare boiling water canner and sterilize five 12-ounce jars by boiling them for ten minutes. Wash lids and rings and bring to a simmer in a separate, small saucepan of water. Turn off heat and allow jars, lids, and rings to sit in hot water until you need them.

  2. In a heavy-bottomed, non-reactive pot, bring plums, water, onion, garlic, ginger, and chile peppers to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.

  3. Add to plum mixture sugar, vinegar, spices, and soy sauce and continue to simmer until plums are falling apart and the mixture is quite soft, about 20 minutes.

  4. Remove cinnamon stick and pass mixture through a food mill in batches into another non-reactive saucepan.

  5. Return the mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until the texture is pulpy and saucy.

  6. Remove from heat and ladle into prepared jars, leaving a half inch of headspace. Wipe the rims of the jar lids with a clean kitchen or paper towel and seal.

  7. Place the sealed jars back into the canning kettle. When all jars are added, make sure that the water level clears the jar lids by at least one inch. Add more water if necessary, and, over high heat, bring the water back up to a boil. Once the water boils, set a timer for ten minutes.

  8. After ten minutes, turn off heat, and allow jars to sit in water for five additional minutes. Then, using a jar lifter, remove the jars to a cooling rack.

  9. Once jars have reached room temperature, remove rings and test that all lids have sealed properly. If any have not sealed, store them in the refrigerator. Label and store sealed jars in a cool place out of direct sunlight.

Special equipment

Boiling water canner, a jar lifter, a food mill

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
30 Calories
0g Fat
7g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 60
Amount per serving
Calories 30
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 79mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 5mg 23%
Calcium 8mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 75mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)