Plum sauce

I was visiting my mum and step dad last week, and in their gorgeous garden they have a beautiful big plum tree, which is absolutely laden with fruit at this time of year. So I came away with a nice big bag full!

I wanted to use some of the fruit to make a sauce, and an obvious choice is Chinese style plum sauce. However most of the recipes I’ve seen involve onions and garlic, and I was keen to come up with one that didn’t use them.

So I’ve used celery as a base, and a little pinch of asafoetida along with the more traditional plum sauce spices, just to add that savoury edge that onions would’ve done. If I’d had any, fresh fennel would’ve made a great addition too!

The sauce is delicious, and such a lovely colour! I used some in a dressing for a rather unusual salad, I’ll be posting the recipe for that tomorrow.

Homemade plum sauce

Homemade plum sauce

serves 4 -6


10 plums, roughly chopped

2 sticks celery, finely diced

1 tsp oil

1 star anise

1 inch piece of ginger, finely chopped

a small pinch of asafoetida

1/2 inch piece of cassia bark

10 cm x 10 cm piece of nori, torn into little pieces

4 tbsp tamari

2 Indonesian long peppercorns (or 4 regular)

1/2 tsp molasses


Heat the oil in a small saucepan on a medium heat. Saute the celery for around 6 minutes, stirring often, until softened and starting to brown. Add all of the other ingredients to the pan, and bring to a simmer.

Cook for 15 minutes, stirring often to ensure it doesn’t catch. The sauce should be thickened and glossy. It will probably taste a little tart at this point, don’t worry, the flavour will mellow.

Leave to cool and then pass through a sieve, so that you end up with a lovely smooth sauce.


By E.

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