I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again… anything homemade just tastes better. This Chinese dipping sauce is testament to that – it’s sweet but not sickly, delicately spiced with natural goodness and there are no nasties in sight. Because when you make it with your own hands in your own kitchen, you know everything that goes into it! Great with spring rolls, money bags and more, this is my homemade plum sauce.
• 4 prunes, soaked in 4 tbsp hot water for 10 minutes
• 500g (1 lb) black plums, cut into chunks, pits discarded
• ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
• ½ cup caster (superfine) sugar
• 3 large slices ginger
• 2 cloves of garlic, lightly bruised
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 2 whole star anise
• 1 tsp Chinese five spice (check out my homemade five spice here!)
• 1 tsp sea salt
• 2 tsp cornflour (cornstarch) or potato starch mixed with 1 tbsp water (optional, only if necessary)
Start by adding the prunes and their soaking liquid to a medium-sized saucepan, along with the black plums, vinegar, sugar, ginger, garlic, cinnamon stick, star anise and five spice. Simmer for 10 minutes, then remove from heat and take out the ginger, garlic, cinnamon stick and star anise. Discard these as they aren’t needed again.
Next, transfer the plum mixture into a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour into a clean saucepan and simmer over medium heat for another 2-3 minutes until it’s thickened slightly. At this point, give it a taste and season with salt. If the mixture is too thin, just add the cornflour and simmer again until thickened. However, if the sauce is thick enough for your liking, simply transfer the sauce into jars.