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Inspired by li hing mui—salty-sweet dried plums that are a popular snack in China— chef Minh Phan pickles fresh plums in a salty-sweet spiced brine. She suggests serving the plums in a refreshing soda made by mixing them with their pickling liquid and sparkling water; garnish with a sprig of Thai basil. Slideshow:  More Healthy Snack Recipes 

August 2012


Credit: © Young & Hungry

Recipe Summary

40 mins
1 hr
makes four 1-pint jars


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Fill a large pot with water, cover and bring to a boil. Add the canning jars, lids and rings along with a set of tongs and a ladle and simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes to sterilize. Cover the pot and turn off the heat.

  • Set a metal rack in another large pot. Fill the pot with water, cover and bring to a boil.

  • Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine both vinegars with the brown sugar and salt and bring to a boil to dissolve. Using the sterilized tongs, remove the jars from the hot water and transfer them to a rimmed baking sheet.

  • Pack the plums, cloves, star anise, cinnamon, peppercorns and fennel seeds into the jars, leaving 1/2 inch at the top. Ladle the hot brine over the plums, stopping 1/2 inch from the top. Using the tongs, screw the lids and rings on the jars securely but not too tightly.

  • Using canning tongs, lower the jars onto the rack in the boiling water, making sure they are covered by 1 inch of water. Boil over high heat for 20 minutes. Using the canning tongs, transfer the jars to a rack to cool until the lids seal (they will be concave); refrigerate any jars that do not seal. Store the sealed jars in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months.