It’s the height of plum season and the markets are overflowing with plums in dark purple, pale yellow, ruby red. The variety is amazing – some have yellow flesh, others are bright red.
I love how plums, when made into jam, or chutney, or this delectable Asian style sauce, glisten like rubies.
I use this sauce as a dipping sauce for fried wontons stuffed with sauteed shitake mushrooms, ginger & garlic. But mostly I use this sauce for grilling – pork, chicken or tofu marry perfectly with the zippy fruity tang.
I made up this recipe for Plum Sauced Pork Tenderloin last year, as my first entry to food52. It was selected as a finalist, but was bested by this brilliant smoky pork burger recipe by my friend Jen. (Try the burgers – ambrosial!)
But I’m getting off track.
Recently, I didn’t have a tenderloin, but I did have two beautiful pork chops, so I treated them the same way. On a very hot grill, quick sear the chops on each side, then move them off the direct heat to finish the cooking indirectly, basting with the plum sauce from time to time. My chops were pretty thick and took 16 minutes on the grill, total, and then rested for 10 minutes before serving with warm plum sauce.
Spicy Asian Plum Sauce
adapted from the Ball Blue Book of Preserving
makes 5-6 half pints
2 lbs pitted and chopped plums, any type, any color, but try to get some tart and some sweet
1/2 c white sugar
1 c packed dark brown sugar
1/2 c cider vinegar
1/2 c chopped onion
1-4 chopped jalapeno or mixture of hot peppers
2 tsp mustard seed
1 tsp kosher salt
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T fresh gingeroot, minced
1 t galangal (substitute ginger, if necessary)
Bring all ingredients except plums to a boil in a non-reactive pan. Stir in chopped plums. Reduce heat and simmer until thick, stirring often – about 30-45 minutes, depending on the moisture content of the plums. The mixture should be reduced by half.
Puree in a blender, or use an immersion blender, or even mash with a potato masher – the sauce can be smooth or chunky. I prefer pieces of plum, so use my immersion blender.
Fill hot half-pint jars with hot sauce, leaving 1/4″ headspace.
Process in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes.