This Chinese-inspired spicy plum sauce makes the perfect condiment for stir-fries – excellent with sliced duck breasts, vegetables and noodles.

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Makes 2 x 300ml bottles (approx. 20 servings)    (Stir fry serves 2)

For the Plum Sauce:
400g South African plums, pitted and chopped
1 large red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
150g demerara or light muscovado sugar
2tsp Chinese five-spice powder
1tsp ground ginger
2tbsp light or dark soy sauce
350ml white wine vinegar
For the stir-fry:
2 nests egg noodles
2tbsp vegetable oil
2 skinless duck breasts, thinly sliced
1 bunch spring onions, thinly sliced
1 carrot, thinly sliced
100g sugar snap peas or fine green beans, sliced
2 heads pak choi, shredded

Nutritional values Plum Sauce
Per 67g servingPer 100g
of which saturates0g0g
of which sugars10.3g15.4g


Nutritional values Stir-fry
Per 494g servingPer 100g
of which saturates2.7g0.6g
of which sugars16.1g3.3g

  1. Put the South African plums into a large saucepan with the onion, garlic, sugar, Chinese five-spice powder, ginger, soy sauce and vinegar. Add 150ml water and bring up to the boil.
  2. Reduce the heat and simmer gently until the plums are very soft and the mixture has reduced and thickened – about 30-40 minutes. Pour into warm, sterilized bottles or jars. Seal and leave to cool.
  3. For the stir-fry, first cover the noodle nests with boiling water and leave to soak for 5-6 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil in a wok or large frying pan and stir-fry the duck for 2 minutes. Add the spring onions, carrot and sugar snap peas or green beans and cook for 2 minutes more. Finally add the pak choi and cook for another few moments. Drain the noodles and stir them in gently with 3-4tbsp of the plum sauce.
  4. Serve immediately, with a little extra plum sauce spooned over.


Cook’s tip: If you wish, puree the plum sauce in a blender or food processor, (or use a hand-held stick blender) to give a smooth consistency.

Related Recipes