Saturday, September 17, 2011

Chinese plum sauce

More plums courtesy of my colleague. This time I made a gloriously glossy Chinese plum sauce. Flavoured with ginger, garlic and star anise, this sauce will have add oriental flavour to many dishes over the coming months. It is brilliant as a dipping sauce or to serve with crispy duck pancakes, but there are more imaginative ideas too. No doubt I'll be using it as a base for many a stir-fry, but I'll also try using it as a baste for a pork joint and a glaze for roasted ham.

So far I've used it twice to make a delicious sauce to serve with duck breasts. Just heat in the pan you've seared the duck breasts in (minus the fat), add a little water to thin and bubble for a bit before pouring over the duck. It is so handy to have homemade sauces in the cupboard for nights when time is short - the duck dish makes a great dinner party main course with minimal effort. Roasted baby potatoes and carrots pureed with a little ginger and cumin went really well alongside.

I researched various different recipes, but eventually chose one from my favourite preserving book which is written by Thane Prince. It is called 'Jams and Chutneys - Preserving the Harvest'. As well as jams and chutneys, it also has great recipes for drinks, sauces, pickles and jellies. The recipe makes around 1 litre of sauce and keeps for up to a year. Decanted into pretty bottles and tied with a lovely ribbon, this sauce would make a lovely Christmas present for a foodie friend or a nice alternative to a box of chocolates when visiting friends for dinner.

Chinese Plum Sauce
From 'Jams and Chutneys - Preserving the Harvest by Thane Prince'


2kg ripe plums (any colour but I used red)
750g white onions
Cloves from 1.5 heads of garlic
20cm piece of ginger
250ml light soy sauce
1 litre rice wine vinegar (not to be confused with rice wine)
1kg light muscovado sugar
6 star anise

1. Firstly, prepare all the ingredients. Roughly chop the onions and garlic. Peel and chop or grate the ginger. Grind the star anise in a pestle and mortar.

2. Halve the plums and remove the stones.

3. Put all ingredients except for star anise and sugar into a preserving pan. Bring to the boil  and simmer for 20 minutes until the ingredients are very soft.

4. Push the mixture through a fine metal sieve - hard work!! If you have a mouli, you'll be grateful as it will make much shorter work of this somewhat tedious and surprisingly strenuous task. Push through as much as you possibly can.

5. Return the sieved mixture back to the cleaned pan, add the sugar and ground star anise and bring to the boil, stirring all the time as the sugar dissolves. Simmer for 30-60 minutes until you have a thick, glossy sauce. Pour into sterilised bottles and label when cool


Anonymous said...

Thanks for that. It looks great have been looking for a recipe like that to use up my plums.

Lucy said...

This looks delicious - I'm now craving some crispy duck pancakes with it now! Also, I love your pretty star dish.