Get the Recipe
I like sugar as much as the next human, but a person should only eat so much of it. When I saw super ripe Italian prune plums on sale at my farmer's market this weekend, I knew that I had to put them up. But with plum jam already in the pantry, I wanted to find a sweet, yet savory, application.
Instead of jamming the plums, I pitted them, chopped them, and then let them stew in a little water with onion, ginger, garlic, and hot peppers. As they cooked, the skins gave off their beautiful color, staining the whole batch purple. Next, I added red wine vinegar and brown sugar for sweetness and acidity, and a splash of soy sauce to build a layer of savory, umami flavor. Finally, I stirred in black peppers, fennel seed, whole cloves, star anise, cinnamon, and sichuan peppercorns.
The resulting sauce is tangy, sweet, and umami-rich. Heavily spiced, it's almost like ketchup and definitely out of the realm of the transparent sweetness of most preserves. It makes a great addition to your pantry because so many meals can rely on it to provide foundational flavor. It also makes a great dipping sauce for dumplings, and I can't wait to try it alongside roast chicken or duck, either on its own or in lettuce wraps.
All products linked here have been independently selected by our editors. We may earn a commission on purchases, as described in our affiliate policy.