Spicy Plum Sauce


I’ve missed the window for our monthly discussions about Karen Martini on The Cookbook Guru from March, but I thought seeing as I made this sauce that I would still share it with you all because it was a great recipe.

A weekend just recently I thought I would tackle Karen Martini’s Spicy Plum Sauce recipe. With a glut of cheap plums around town and a household that are lovers of chutneys, salsas, pickles and sauces this seemed like a great chance to try something new and mix up the selection in the pantry for the next few months.

I found this recipe very easy to follow and the ingredients are relatively accessible if you have a well stocked supermarket or an asian grocers nearby. The smell through my house as the plum and spice mixture were reducing was divine and only confirmed my choice of this particular recipe. A taste test had me noting the beautiful sweet base and warming tones of the chilli to my palate. My only slight criticism was that once the shrimp paste was added there was a fishy nose to the whole thing at bottling which I’m hoping will dissipate as the flavours marry together over time. Karen does recommending storing for a minimum of 24 hours before using the sauce.

As this literally came off the stove a few weeks ago I’m yet to play around with different recipes that you can use to accompany this sauce but I’ve been speculating about pulled pork not too far from the recipe that I posted this morning on Sharing The Food We Love, of serving it as a condiment with some grilled lamb, or perhaps as a seasoning along with some soy sauce when I’m making a stir fry. I see a good future in my kitchen for this sauce when it’s all said and done.


Spicy Plum Sauce

from Karen Martini’s Cooking At Home

  • 2.5kg blood plums
  • 700g brown sugar
  • 300g castor sugar
  • 3 star anise
  • 4 dried chillis, finely sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 300g tamarind puree
  • 2 tbl sp. shrimp paste
  • 600ml red wine vinegar
  • 2 red onions finely diced.


Place all the ingredients into a large pot, except the shrimp paste and tamarind paste.  Bring the plums to a slow boil and then turn the heat down and allow to simmer for about 2 hours.  Stir occassionally to prevent the sauce from sticking to the bottem of your pot.  It is  ready when it has turned into a thick consistency.  At this point cook the shrimp paste in a dry fry pan over a hot heat until it starts to caramalise.  Add it to the sauce and combine well.  Add the tamarind paste as well and cook for a further 20 minutes.   Remove the sauce from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

Sterilise approx 8 jars or enough to fit approximately 2 – 21/2L of sauce.  Pour the sauce into the jars whilst warm and seal with a metal lid.  If this is done whilst the sauce is still hot then it will create its own seal and keep for up to a year in a cool dry location.  Allow the sauce to rest for at least 24 hours before using.

Serve with spring rolls, roast pork or add to your next stir fry.

Happy Preserving and Happy Eating,



4 Comments Add yours

  1. Oh la la! Nice use of shrimp paste!


    1. Leah says:

      thank you! great recipe I borrowed from Karen Martini for a sauce with bite and lots of flavour. I think it would be a great based for slow cooked pork when I get my act together 🙂


  2. ladyredspecs says:

    Look forward to a taste test! xx


    1. Leah says:

      remind me when you’re here, but you definately can have a taste and maybe even a sample to take home 🙂 xxx


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