Fried tofu with sweet and spicy Chinese plum sauce

Nici Wickes' sweet, spicy and tart Chinese plum sauce recipe is the perfect accompaniment to anything from roasted duck, fish and chips, to fried tofu. Keep a bottle handy to make anything delicious!

By Nici Wickes
  • 55 mins cooking
  • Makes 1 litre
  • Print


Sweet and spicy Chinese plum sauce
  • 1 kilogram plums, halved and de-stoned
  • 400 millilitre red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes or ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
  • 4 star anise
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 1 thumb-sized piece fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 80 millilitre dark soy sauce
  • 125 gram brown sugar
Fried tofu
  • 300 gram firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup cornflour
  • 1/4 cup black sesame seeds
  • oil for frying
  • salt
  • cucumber, julienned, to serve
  • spring onions, sliced, to serve


  • 1
    In a large saucepan, simmer the plums, vinegar, spices, garlic, ginger and salt for 40 minutes. Remove the star anise and use a stick blender (or transfer to a food processor or blender) to process to a smooth sauce. Return to the saucepan, then add the soy sauce and sugar, then simmer on a low heat until dark and glossy – about 10-15 minutes, being careful not to let it stick.
  • 2
    Pour into sterilised jars or bottles and seal.
Fried tofu
  • 3
    Drain and cube the tofu. Toss in the cornflour to coat, then in sesame seeds. Heat 4-5cm of oil in a small saucepan to medium. Fry the tofu in batches, setting aside to drain and sprinkle with salt. Serve on cucumber, top with onions and drizzle on the plum sauce.


  • Makes 1.2 litres approx

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