What Does Plum Sauce Taste Like?

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In this article, we’re covering plum sauce.We’ll tell you about the taste and texture, the difference between plum sauce and hoisin, and how you can use it to enhance your cooking.

plum sauce on a table with surrounding yellow plums

Let’s dive right in…

What Does Plum Sauce Taste Like? 

Plum sauce is a condiment you may have come across at the store or in a Chinese restaurant.It’s a sweet-tart sauce, though not to be confused with sweet and sour sauce, which is much tangier.

The tanginess of plum sauce is mild, and the addition of ginger and chili as well as spices like clove and anise give it a slightly spicy but well-rounded flavor.


Plum sauce is generally a very thick condiment, similar to barbecue sauce, and often with a smooth consistency.This is what you’ll find in most store-bought varieties.

Homemade plum sauces can be thicker or thinner, and they may not be smooth like the store-bought sauces.They aren’t typically chunky, but they sometimes have bits of garlic, onion and chili flakes suspended in the liquid. 

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Are Hoisin and Plum Sauce the Same? 

These sauces have compatible flavors and some spices and ingredients in common, but they’re quite different.Hoisin is made with fermented soybeans while the plum sauce base is usually plum, though it’s sometimes apricot or a handful of other fruits.

Of the two, hoisin is the more savory.It’s spicier and more pungent than plum sauce, which is fruity and mild.However, these sauces do have similar tastes.

What Can I Use Plum Sauce On? 

Instead of sweet and sour sauce, you can use plum sauce for dipping vegan spring rolls.It also makes an excellent glaze for grilled tofu and can be used in all sorts of sweet and tangy sauces.

If you’re incorporating tofu in the recipe for more protein, consider pressing it first to remove excess moisture. Our top picks for the best tofu press options can help you decide which one to buy.

Stir-fries are common dishes for plum sauce, but you can also spoon a little into fried rice, vegan aioli and vegetable sides like carrots, Brussels sprouts and winter squash.

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This video is going to show you how to make plum sauce and how to use it in crispy tofu and plum sauce pancakes.

Here’s what you’ll need for everything from start to finish:

  • Tofu
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Chili pepper
  • Lemongrass
  • Tamari
  • Maple syrup
  • Pak choi
  • Sesame seeds
  • Scallions
  • Carrots
  • White flour
  • Salt
  • Ground flaxseed
  • Plums
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Cinnamon
  • Fennel
  • Allspice
  • Black pepper

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