This is the easiest plum sauce for duck you'll ever make. Only a few ingredients are required, and the sweet sauce pairs perfectly with any duck dinner. A simple, 10-minute plum sauce recipe suitable for any occasion!
A good entree requires a great sauce, and for roasted duck, I usually opt for this easy plum duck sauce. Chinese plum sauce also works well for baked duck breasts or crispy duck.
This is such a quick and easy recipe, and the sweet plum paired with star anise is the perfect accompaniment to duck. However, you can also serve this with other entrees!
Why you'll love it
- Easy to make plum sauce
- Quick 10-minute recipe
- The best sauce to serve with duck
- A traditional flavor combination
- Customize the seasoning to suit your preferences
- Dairy free, gluten free, and nut free sauce recipe
- Vegan and vegetarian option available
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Plums: Fresh plums are the main ingredient in this sauce. You can also use frozen plums. These add a lot of flavor to the sauce, and also gives it a thick, lovely consistency.
Red wine: Gives the sauce a rounded flavor. You can omit this if you like, or use a teaspoon of red wine vinegar instead for a similar effect.
Beef broth: The liquid base of the sauce. Alternatively, use vegetable stock or chicken broth if you prefer. You can even use water, although this would make the sauce even sweeter. Instead of using premade beef broth, you can also use a bouillon cube and water.
Star anise: Adds a lot of flavor to the sauce. Optional.
You can find full instructions + ingredient measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of this page
Cut the plums into small pieces, and remove the pits. Place these in a small pot, along with the brown sugar, beef broth, red wine and star anise.
Whisk the sauce to quickly dissolve the brown sugar. Bring the sauce to a boil over medium heat, and reduce it to a simmer. Allow to cook for 5-10 minutes, or until the plums are soft.
Serve the plum sauce immediately, or allow it to reduce by simmering it for a few minutes longer. The sauce will gradually thicken the longer it cooks.
- Use the back of a wooden spoon, or even a potato masher to gently mash the cooked plums.
- Make sure to remove the star anise before you serve the sauce. This tough spice is not edible, and will already have added flavor to the sauce.
- You can make the sauce ahead, and simple warm it up before serving.
- If the sauce is too thin, you can cook it for longer to reduce it, or add cornstarch slurry or an extra plum. The mashed plums will thicken the sauce significantly.
- Remove the pits from the plums before use. You don't have to peel the fruit.
Plum sauce is a delicious sauce to serve with slow cooked duck, or any other duck entree or main course. You can also serve this sweet sauce with other meaty entrees, such as roast beef topside, turkey steaks or air fryer pork tenderloin.
The sauce can also be served with sweet dishes, over panckes, french toast, ice cream or cakes.
With jam: You can use plum jam instead of fresh plums if you prefer. This also allows you to shorten the required cooking time.
Without wine: You can omit the wine if you wish, or use non-alcoholic wine. The red wine is only added for flavor, but is completely optional.
Mixed fruit: Mix the plums with other fruits, like blackberries, raspberries or grapes. This will change the flavor of the sauce, but any of these fruits will taste great with duck.
Vegetarian plum sauce: Use vegetable stock instead of beef stock.
Spicy plum sauce: Add a little chili paste, sriracha or other hot sauce.
To make this sauce, all you need is a small pot or sauce pan. Additionally, you might want to use a sharp knife and cutting board to slice the fresh plums.
This sauce is easy to make ahead. If you want to prepare it in advance, you will need a storage container to refrigerate it in until you're ready to serve the sauce.
Store left plum sauce in a sealed container in a refrigerator for up to 4 days. You can serve the sauce cold, or reheat it on the stove or in a microwave for a few minutes to serve it warm.
You can also freeze plum sauce for up to 6 months. If you serve duck or other roast meats regularly, you can make a big batch of plum sauce, and freeze it down in serving sized containers.
Defrost and thaw frozen plum sauce in a refrigerator overnight, and rehest it before serving.
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Frequently asked questions
Duck sauce is typically made with some kind of fruit, like plums or apricots. Plum sauce is one of the sauces most commonly used for duck.
Yes! This plum sauce can also be served with other entrees, like chicken, beef or pork.
Absolutely. Feel free to omit the star anise if you want. This spice is commonly used in plum sauce, but can also be made without.
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Plum Sauce for Duck
- 3 plums
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- ¼ cup red wine
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 star anise
- Cut the plums into small pieces, and remove the pits.
- Place the plums in a small pot, along with the brown sugar, beef broth, red wine and star anise. Whisk the sauce to quickly dissolve the brown sugar
- Bring the sauce to a boil over medium heat, and reduce it to a simmer. Allow to cook for 5-10 minutes, or until the plums are soft.
- Remove the star anise from the sauce. Use a potato masher or the back of a spoon to carefully mash the soft plums. This will give the sauce a thicker consistency.
- Serve the plum sauce immediately, or allow it to reduce by simmering it for a few minutes longer. The sauce will gradually thicken the longer you cook it.
- Store leftover sauce in a refrigerator for up to 4 days. This is a great sauce to prepare in advance.
- You can use vegetable stock or chicken broth instead of beef broth if you like. A bouillon cube and water can also be used.
- Omit the wine to make a child friendly version.
Food safety tips
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove