Canning season is in full swing around our house! Green beans, potatoes, pie fillings, pickles, applesauce…it’s been one crazy, canning summer. Truth be told…I’m kind of tired of making the same old preserves, the same old jellies. BOR-ING. I mean, we use these items all year long, so they are very practical. However, I want something different. Something that will help diversify our preserved pantry.
About a week or so ago, I stopped at my favorite roadside produce cart. I’ve been getting produce here for a few years; the typical onions, potatoes, peppers, squash, melon. When I approached the cart, I noticed something new. I can’t even imagine my expression when I saw a huge container of small golden plums, three pounds for a dollar! Golden plums? GOLDEN PLUMS? At that moment, I had no idea what I was going to do with them, but KNEW I needed at least six pounds. At least. (After making this recipe, I went back for six more pounds and another round of canning.)
A plum tart? Plum pecan conserve? Plum preserves? (ugh…pass) Cinnamon plum something or other? I really didn’t baked products, like bread or a cake. We just don’t need those types of foods around here right now. I started thinking about savory. Yeah…savory.
Of course, I then got my Google on. Ding! Ding! Ding! There it was. I found it. Asian Plum Sauce. The ingredients were quite simple, having all of the herbs available in my garden! So, I made the sauce. Holy. Cow. This stuff is delicious! It’s thick, sweet and sour with a kick of garlic and just the right heat. It can be used as a dipping sauce for eggrolls or dumplings, used in stir-fry or even as a glaze for chicken or pork chops. I liked it so much that I canned two batches, each making four 8 oz. jars…8 jars total. Even if you don’t want to jar it, cut the recipe in half and use for your next Asian meal.
Asian Plum Sauce
(my recipe plugin is apparently not working today – how nice)
- 6 cups pitted chopped plums – leave skin on
- 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar (organic)
- 1 cup cane sugar
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 small onion (1/2 cup minced)
- 1 teaspoon crushed dried chili pepper flakes
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce or 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon Thai basil or 1 tablespoon tarragon, minced (or a combo of both)
- 1 tablespoon basil, minced
Place all ingredients in a large heavy bottom pan bring to boil stirring until thick and syrupy 1 1/2 hours when it reaching 215 F degrees. You’ll know it’s finished because it’s thick and jelly-like (see photo above.)
Fill jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rims and place lids and rings and process 15 minutes in a water bath. If you aren’t familiar with water bathing, it just means submerge and boil the jars in a large pot of water with at least an inch of water over the top. If you don’t have a proper water canner, just fold a kitchen towel and place on the bottom of the pot to keep the jars from bouncing around and breaking.
Remove to a towel-lined counter to cool in a draft free spot. I put a kitchen towel over a cooling rack, just to ensure that the countertop doesn’t discolor. Leave overnight. The seals should pop “inwards”, meaning they don’t pop back up with you press on them.
Remove rings and wipe clean, label and place in storage in a cool, dark place.