Plum sauce is a popular condiment with a delightful balance of sweet and tangy flavors that complements a variety of dishes.
Its unique taste and versatility make it a favorite ingredient in many cuisines, adding depth and excitement to meals.
However, there may be times when you find yourself in need of a suitable substitute.
Whatever the reason, seeking a plum sauce alternative doesn't mean you have to compromise on taste or quality!
There are plenty of delicious and accessible options to explore, from fruit-based substitutes to homemade variations, ensuring your culinary creations remain just as delightful.
- Plum sauce substitutes can be used for marinating, glazing, stir-frying, as dipping sauces, or in salad dressings, offering a wide range of culinary possibilities.
- Sometimes you may need plum sauce substitutes due to availability or dietary preferences.
- Plum sauce substitutes can be categorized into various groups, including sweet and tangy options, spicy alternatives, and homemade variations.
- When substituting, remember to adjust the sweetness, spiciness, and other flavors to match the dish you're preparing.
Uses of Plum Sauce
Plum sauce is a versatile condiment that can be incorporated into a variety of dishes.
Here are some ways you can use it in your cooking:
- Marinades: You can use plum sauce as a marinade for meats like pork, chicken, or beef. Its sweet and tangy flavor will enhance the taste of your dish while tenderizing the meat.
- Dipping sauces: Plum sauce makes a fantastic dipping sauce for appetizers, like spring rolls, dumplings, and crispy fried wontons, and for roasted meats or vegetables.
- Glazes: The thicker consistency of plum sauce also makes it suitable as a glaze for roasted and grilled dishes. Brush the sauce onto meats, such as ribs, chicken, or duck, or vegetables like carrots or bell peppers.
- Stir-fries: Adding plum sauce to your stir-fry brings a unique richness to the meal. The sauce blends well with other flavors, such as garlic, ginger, and soy sauce, and thickens the sauce to coat the ingredients.
- Salad dressings: Mix plum sauce with some olive oil, vinegar, and a touch of honey to create a sweet and tangy salad dressing. This dressing pairs well with leafy greens, grilled chicken, and fruit.
Reasons To Seek Plum Sauce Substitutes
Sometimes, you might find yourself in need of a plum sauce substitute, and there are various reasons this could happen.
- Limited availability: Plum sauce may not always be readily available in your local grocery store, especially if you live in an area where Asian ingredients are not as common.
- Dietary restrictions: Plum sauce might include some ingredients that don't align with your dietary preferences, such as gluten or added sugars.
- Personal taste preferences: While plum sauce is fruity and sweet, it may not appeal to everyone's taste buds. If you can relate, an alternative can help you enjoy your meal without compromising on flavor.
- Variation in recipes: Incorporating different sauces can add variety to your cooking and keep your dishes from feeling repetitive. Trying plum sauce substitutes can be an excellent way to mix things up.
Remember, finding a suitable plum sauce substitute isn't as difficult as you might think. Give the alternatives a try, and enjoy discovering new flavors in your cooking journey.
15 Delicious Plum Sauce Alternatives: An Overview
Finding the perfect plum sauce substitute can be quite the challenge, but fear not! We've compiled a list of 15 delicious alternatives that you can easily incorporate into your recipes.
When using any of these substitutes, keep in mind that they may not be an identical match to plum sauce, but they will definitely add a delightful twist to your recipes.
|Best Used For
|Sweet, mildly tangy
|Egg rolls, dumplings, as a dipping sauce
|Grilled meats, sandwiches, appetizers
|Seafood, chicken, glazing for grilling
|Pad Thai, Indian and Southeast Asian dishes
|Sweet, slightly tart
|Meat glazes, desserts, sauces for poultry
|Sweet, salty, umami
|Stir-fries, marinades, as a condiment
|Sweet, savory, soy-based
|Grilled meats, stir-fries, marinades
|Sweet soy sauce (kecap manis)
|Sweet, thick, caramelized
|Noodles, rice dishes, marinades
|Black bean sauce
|Salty, umami, fermented
|Stir-fries, Asian dishes, as a condiment
|Spicy, garlicky, tangy
|Asian and Mexican dishes, condiment
|Southeast Asian dishes
|Red curry paste
|Spicy, aromatic, curry flavors
|Thai curries, soups, marinades
|DIY plum sauce with plums/prunes
|Sweet, tangy, customizable
|Customized to dishes, can be used broadly
|Plum jelly with chili flakes
|Sweet, spicy, tangy
|Glazes, condiments, dipping sauces
|Plum BBQ sauce
|Sweet, smoky, tangy
|Grilled meats, barbecue dishes
|Sweet, tart, rich
|Salads, roasted vegetables, drizzling
|Rice vinegar and sugar
|Sweet, mildly tangy
|Asian-inspired salads, marinades
|Apple cider vinegar and honey
|Sweet, tangy, honeyed
|Chicken, pork, dressings, glazes
|Creamy, nutty, savory
|Satay, noodle dishes, dipping sauces
|Creamy, nutty, sweet
|Asian-inspired dishes, dipping sauces
Please note that conversion ratios may vary depending on the specific recipe and personal preference. Adjust to taste as needed.
Fruit-Based Plum Sauce Substitutes
Remember to experiment with these fruit-based substitutes based on your preferences as each one offers its distinct taste and texture. Happy cooking!
Despite its name, duck sauce does not usually contain duck meat; instead, it’s a fruit-based sauce. It’s a perfect substitute for plum sauce because of its sweet and sour taste.
Typically made from a blend of fruits like plums, apricots, and peaches, duck sauce provides a delightful fruity flavor to your dishes.
Best use: You can use it as a dipping sauce or to glaze meats and vegetables.
Made from peaches, this chutney has a sweet and tangy flavor profile, comparable to plum sauce. You can use peach chutney in your cooking to add a lovely fruity taste to your dishes.
Best use: Serve it as a condiment or use it as a marinade.
Mango puree can be used as a plum sauce substitute, particularly in dishes that require a tropical hint. Its natural sweetness and tartness make it a suitable replacement for that sweet and sour taste of plum sauce.
Although it may not be an exact match in flavor, mango puree adds a fresh and fruity touch to your recipes.
Best use: Mango puree can be used as a marinade or glaze for meats, poultry, and seafood or as part of your stir-fry or grilled dish sauces.
Tamarind paste is another plum sauce substitute. With its sour and tangy taste, it can help you achieve a similar sweet and sour flavor. Just add some sweetness, like brown sugar or honey, to achieve your preferred taste.
Best use: Use tamarind paste in stir-fries, marinades, or sauces for a unique and tart flavor.
Raspberry jam can also serve as a plum sauce substitute when you're in a pinch. This jam has a fruity and tart profile, which can be useful in mimicking the sweet and sour taste of plum sauce.
While it may not be an exact match, raspberry jam can still bring a tasty twist to your recipes.
Best use: Try using it as a glaze for meats or mixing it with other sauces to create a delightful fruity flavor.
Soy-Based Plum Sauce Substitutes
In this section, we will explore various soy-based alternatives for plum sauce, which are perfect for adding unique flavors to your dishes.
While these may not be an exact replacement for plum sauce, these soy-based alternatives provide delicious and diverse flavors that are worth exploring in your culinary adventures.
One of the most popular plum sauce alternatives is hoisin sauce, which shares similar characteristics with plum sauce.
This thick, fragrant condiment, often used in Chinese cuisine, is made from soybean paste, sugar, vinegar, and spices and has a sweet and tangy taste.
Best use: You can use hoisin sauce in stir-fries, dipping sauces, or even as a glaze for meats.
Another delicious soy-based plum sauce substitute is teriyaki sauce. This Japanese sauce is made from soy sauce, mirin (a sweet rice wine), and sugar, resulting in a sweet and savory flavor profile.
It might not have the fruity tang of plum sauce, but it does provide a delightful balance of flavors for your dishes.
Best use: You can try using teriyaki sauce in stir-fries, marinades, and as a glaze for your favorite proteins like chicken, beef, or tofu.
Sweet Soy Sauce (Kecap Manis)
Sweet soy sauce (kecap manis) is an Indonesian delight that features a thicker and sweeter consistency compared to regular soy sauce.
It is made by simmering soy sauce with palm sugar, resulting in a syrupy texture and a sweet, slightly smoky flavor.
While it might not have the fruity tang of plum sauce, it does offer a delicious sweet and umami taste.
Best use: Use it in stir-fries, marinades, and dipping sauces, or drizzle it over cooked dishes for an extra touch of sweetness.
Black Bean Sauce
Black bean sauce is another flavorful option that also provides a savory taste. Often used in Chinese cuisine, this sauce is made by fermenting black soybeans with salt and spices, making it a thick and strong condiment.
While it doesn't possess the sweet and sour taste of plum sauce, black bean sauce can still be a useful alternative when looking to add depth and umami to your creations.
Best use: Incorporate it into stir-fries and braised dishes or as a base for dipping sauces.
Spicy Plum Sauce Alternatives
Sometimes, you might want to add a bit of heat to your dish, and looking for a plum sauce substitute that has a spicy kick can be a great idea.
In this section, we'll explore three spicy alternatives that you can use in place of plum sauce while also adding some extra excitement to your recipe.
Remember, when you try any of these spicy alternatives, start with a small amount and adjust according to your taste preferences, making sure to balance out the spice with sweetness and tanginess to mimic plum sauce.
If you love the combination of spice, garlic, and sweetness, sriracha sauce can be an excellent option.
This popular Thai condiment is made from chili peppers, garlic, sugar, and vinegar. It adds heat without overpowering the dish, making it a perfect substitute for plum sauce.
To get the desired consistency and sweetness, you can mix sriracha with a bit of honey or sugar and adjust to your liking. The added bonus is the vibrant red color which will make your dish visually appealing as well.
Best use: Sriracha sauce is popularly used as a dipping sauce, condiment, stir-fry sauce for Asian dishes, marinade, and glaze for meats, poultry, seafood, and vegetables.
Sambal oelek, originating from Indonesia, is another spicy alternative to plum sauce. This chili paste is made from red pepper flakes, vinegar, and salt.
The key difference here is that sambal oelek has a stronger, more pronounced chili flavor compared to sriracha.
To mimic the fruity sweetness of plum sauce, you can add some sugar and a splash of soy sauce. Keep in mind that this substitute will be spicier, so be cautious with the amount you use.
Best use: Use sambal oelek in Southeast Asian dishes like fried noodles, spicy noodle soups, fried chicken, pad thai, Indonesian curry, and the like.
It's also a popular dipping sauce for other Asian dishes like spring rolls, dumplings, sushi, and even sashimi.
Red Curry Paste
For an interesting twist, consider using red curry paste as a plum sauce substitute. This paste is a blend of red chili peppers, garlic, lemongrass, and other spices.
While it's not as sweet as plum sauce, its spicy and aromatic profile can complement various stir-fry dishes and grilled meats.
To achieve a similar sweetness and consistency to plum sauce, just mix red curry paste with some sugar (or even better, palm sugar) and a touch of tamarind paste for a tangy, fruity, and spicy condiment.
Best use: Add red curry paste to curries, stews, rice bowls, coconut-based soups and broths, and marinades.
Homemade Plum Sauce Variations
What if, instead of plum sauce, you found plums in the kitchen or at the grocery store?
Homemade plum sauce substitutes can be a fantastic option if you're looking for alternatives to store-bought plum sauce or if you want to customize the flavor to your liking.
DIY Plum Sauce With Plums or Prunes
To make homemade plum sauce from scratch, you can use either fresh plums or prunes. This DIY plum sauce can be a perfect substitute to store-bought plum sauce for your recipes.
Start by pitting and chopping the fruit into small pieces. In a saucepan, combine your fruit with other flavorful ingredients like sugar, vinegar, ginger, garlic, and chili. Simmer the mixture for about 30 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
Best use: Just like the OG, DIY plum sauce is best used as a dipping sauce, glaze for meat and poultry, stir-fry sauce, and marinade.
Plum Jelly With Chili Flakes
If you're feeling a bit more adventurous, try making a plum jelly with chili flakes. This sweet and spicy concoction can add a unique twist to your dishes and serve as an excellent plum sauce substitute.
To do this, prepare a homemade plum jam by blending cooked plums, sugar, and a little water. Heat the mixture until it reaches the desired consistency. Once it cools down, add chili flakes to taste.
Best use: This jelly’s spicy yet fruity flavor complements appetizers, spring rolls, egg rolls, dumplings, fried food, sandwiches, grilled meats, and stir-fried dishes.
Plum BBQ Sauce
For an interesting variation to traditional plum sauce, consider trying a plum BBQ sauce! This sauce provides a delightful combination of sweet, tangy, and smoky flavors that can work as an alternative to plum sauce, depending on your recipe.
In a saucepan, combine 1 cup of ketchup, ½ cup of plum jam, and ¼ cup of honey. Add 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, a splash of soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika.
Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
Best use: This sauce’s fruity, smoky taste brings out the best in grilled meats and seafood, pulled pork, ribs, burgers, and roasted vegetables.
Homemade Vinegar-Based Substitutes
The following alternatives have a combination of sweet and sour flavors that mimic the taste of plum sauce. These can also be made at home!
Balsamic glaze has a rich, complex flavor profile that includes sweet, tart, and slightly acidic notes, which work well in dishes where plum sauce is called for
To make your own balsamic glaze, simply mix together 1 cup of balsamic vinegar and 2 tablespoons of sugar or honey.
Heat the mixture in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once it begins to boil, reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until it reaches your desired consistency.
Best use: Because this glaze has a thick consistency, it’s ideal for drizzling over a variety of dishes, such as salads, roasted vegetables, grilled meats, fruits, and even desserts.
Rice Vinegar and Sugar
Another vinegar-based substitute is a mixture of rice vinegar and sugar. If you want to make this substitute at home, combine ½ cup of rice vinegar and ¼ cup of sugar.
Heat the mixture in a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Adjust the sweetness or sourness according to your taste by adding more vinegar or sugar.
Best use: The sweet-sour balance in this combination mimics the flavor profile of plum sauce, making it ideal for Asian dishes and stir-fries.
Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey
Apple cider vinegar and honey can also be used as a plum sauce substitute as they create a sweet and slightly tangy sauce. This option is perfect for dishes that would benefit from a more fruity undertone.
To prepare this alternative at home, mix together ½ cup of apple cider vinegar and ¼ cup of honey.
Warm the mixture in a saucepan over low heat, stirring until the honey has fully dissolved. Taste and adjust the sweetness or tanginess as needed.
Best use: Use this plum sauce substitute as salad dressing, marinade, glaze, dipping sauce, or stir-fry sauce.
Nut-Based Plum Sauce Substitutes
When you're looking for a plum sauce substitute, nut-based sauces are a great option because they offer a unique flavor profile that can complement various dishes.
Remember, when substituting with nut-based sauces, it is important to consider any allergies that you or your guests may have. Always inform them of the sauce's ingredients to prevent any potential allergic reactions.
Peanut sauce can be a delicious and interesting alternative to plum sauce. It has a thick and creamy texture, thanks to the use of crushed peanuts.
This sauce usually includes ingredients such as soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and chili paste, creating a sweet, salty, and spicy flavor profile.
Best use: Peanut sauce deliciously complements the flavors of other ingredients like spices, coconut milk, and soy sauce for dishes like pad thai, satay, fried foods, noodles, and salads.
Almond sauce is another fantastic nut-based substitute for plum sauce. It has a slightly sweeter flavor profile than peanut sauce and a slightly thinner consistency, making it versatile for various applications.
Feel free to adjust the seasoning according to your taste preferences.
Best use: You can use this sauce to marinate your meats or tofu or as a dipping sauce for spring rolls and other appetizers.
Tips for Adjusting Flavors To Match Your Dish
To ensure that your chosen substitute for plum sauce creates the desired flavor in your dish, here are some tips for adjusting the flavors:
- Taste as you go. Before adding your chosen substitute to your dish, taste it to ensure it complements the other ingredients and meets your desired level of sweetness, spiciness, or tanginess.
- Modify the spices. If you find that your chosen substitute lacks the desired level of spiciness or sweetness, you can always add some additional spices or seasonings to enhance the flavor.
Consider adding a touch of chili paste or powder for heat, or a sprinkling of sugar to enhance sweetness.
- Combine with other condiments. If you're unable to find the perfect match for your dish using a single plum sauce substitute, feel free to experiment by combining different options.
You can even add some traditional condiments such as soy sauce or oyster sauce to enhance flavor.
- Consider texture. The texture of your chosen substitute may differ from traditional plum sauce, so be mindful of this when adding it to your dish.
You may need to adjust the amount of sauce used or even combine it with a thicker or thinner condiment to achieve the desired consistency.
So next time you find yourself in need of a plum sauce substitute, don't hesitate to experiment with the options above. Keep these flavor adjustment tips in mind to bring out the best in your dish.
With a little creativity and flexibility, you'll create a meal that's just as delicious as one made with plum sauce itself.
Need Plum Sauce Substitutes? No Problem!
In your culinary adventures, exploring plum sauce substitutes can lead to delightful new combinations and flavors.
Whether you opt for hoisin sauce, duck sauce, sweet and sour sauce, or even homemade alternatives, you'll surely find a worthy substitute that suits your specific needs and taste preferences.
Ultimately, your creativity in the kitchen will play a significant role in discovering new and delectable ways to replace plum sauce.
So go ahead, grab your apron, and enjoy the process of transforming your recipes with these fantastic plum sauce substitutes. Happy cooking!