My Spicy Plum Sauce


This sauce is amazing! Chilled in the fridge,it works as an accompaniment to cold meats or pies, but equally if you pour a jar of it into a casserole and add some water and a few chicken breast fillets, it makes a very quick, satisfying and tasty mid-week dinner served with rice and some steamed pak choi.


It’s got lots of goodies in it, but the method is simplicity itself. I think it would make a really acceptable hand-made gift for a suitably deserving recipient!


  • A medium sized casserole, or a stovetop method works well too, as long as you keep it on a really gentle heat.
  • some sterilised jars



  • A large carton of plums (mine came to 680g when I weighed them today), de-stoned, and cut into quarters
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic finely sliced
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken in two
  • teaspoon of five-spice powder
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of honey (or to taste)



It looks almost good enough to eat even before you cook it!

  • Into your casserole put everything except the honey and soya sauce
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Cover, and put into the oven at 160 for 45 minutes
  • After the 45 minutes, take it out, give it a gentle stir, and add the honey and soy sauce.


  • Take a spoonful, let it cool slightly, then taste it  – careful – It will be hot!
  • Adjust the seasoning to your taste
  • Return it to the oven, uncovered this time, for an further 30 minutes until it’s reduced a little.

As you can see here – it’s darkened and reduced a little compared to the previous picture.

  • Pour carefully into sterilised jars, seal immediately and once cool, transfer to the fridge.
  • This can also be frozen at this stage, in usable portions, for future use.
  • I got two jars out of this recipe today – one slightly larger ( 370g) than the other( 240g)

I started writing down recipes in an old copybook when I was about 16. With 6 children at home, my Mother was always glad of a hand in the kitchen, and really allowed us to experiment - as long as we washed up afterwards, and left the kitchen immaculate! Having a tidy kitchen has followed me through my life, as has the habit of writing down my favourite recipes; except that these days I write them for my website, and add photographs when I can. The website really started when it occurred to me that my daughter might like to have these recipes when I've forgotten them. In my early days of cooking for family and friends, I used to phone my Mum all the time to ask her for the recipe for some of our favourite family dinners. She rarely had a recipe to hand - I think, like me, she made a lot of it up as she went along.. So welcome to Eating for Ireland - these are the recipes that my friends and family having been eating these past 40 years.. yes, I truly am ancient! They are tried and tested, and have worked for me for all that time - I have updated them as new ingredients became available - I really hope you'll find something that you can make into a family favourite of your own. You don't have to tell anyone where you found these great new dishes that you're serving up - it can be our little secret, but I'd really love it if you could give me a sneaky 'follow' on Facebook and Instagram.. So off you go - have a good rummage around, you're bound to find something new! My sincere thanks to all of you who have found a recipe that you liked and dropped me a line to tell me - I really do love to hear from you! Happy Cooking! Becks xx

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