What Is A Good Plum Extract Substitute? (Easy Alternatives)

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We’ve heard of almond extract, vanilla extract, orange extract, and even banana extract! But when you think plum extract, you’re probably questioning its actual existence. Don’t worry; we thought the same thing!

Plum extract is such an exciting ingredient with many purposes in cooking and drinks. Not only can plum extract give your recipes a lovely taste, but it also provides health benefits.

If your grocery store doesn’t carry plum extract or you need it right away in the kitchen, you can use ingredients around you as a replacement.

Check out our list of the best plum extract substitutes to try!

What Is A Good Plum Extract Substitute?

Plum extract isn’t always easy to find in grocery stores, especially in Western countries. We found a way to work around recipes and improvise with other ingredients, so you can still get that unique flavor in your dishes.

Here are the other substitutes you can try using.

1. Duck Sauce

If you’re looking for the quickest and easiest substitute for plum extract, go for duck sauce. It’s a very popular ingredient in Chinese cuisine, having a similar flavor profile as a plum extract.

In fact, some people call duck sauce “plum sauce!”

You can find duck sauce in many grocery stores, and you can expect it to give the perfect sweet and sour flavors in recipes asking for plum extract. When using this alternative, use a 1:1 ratio.

Learn more:

2. Peanut Butter with Soy Sauce

You might think we’re crazy because who combines peanut butter and soy sauce? Before you skip this option, think about it.

You most likely have peanut butter and soy sauce in the pantry. These two ingredients can achieve the similar flavor profile that plum extract offers, having the sweetness and saltiness to pair well with many recipes.

You can use a 1:1 ratio with this mixture to substitute for plum extract.

However, don’t use equal amounts of peanut butter and soy sauce. A dash of soy sauce can go a long way, given its high sodium content.

Besides these two ingredients, consider adding some sweeteners like brown sugar or honey, and tasting the dish until you reach the flavor you want.

3. Garlic Teriyaki

Obviously, when thinking of plum extract, the first assumption is that the only ingredient included is a plum. That’s wrong, though!

The plum extract contains other ingredients, one of them being garlic. And since garlic is a primary ingredient, it makes sense to substitute plum extract with garlic teriyaki.

You can find garlic teriyaki readily available in supermarkets or Asian specialty stores.

Alternatively, you can make your own by blending garlic, cloves with teriyaki sauce, kidney beans, molasses, five-spice powder, and red wine vinegar.

Add garlic teriyaki to salmon, chicken, or beef recipes asking for plum extract, using a 1:1 ratio. Besides using it as a cooking sauce, try serving it as a dip or condiment alongside dishes.

Other Substitutes For Plum Extract You Can Try

4. Black Beans with Plums

When talking about black beans alone, they aren’t the best plum extract substitute. But when you add some flavor from fruits like plums, you’ll appreciate the flavor and consistency this alternative offers.

Black beans are actually edible seeds that taste great. While it doesn’t taste similar to plum extract, they work well in the same dishes.

Expect black beans to have a soft, creamy, mild, neutral flavor that won’t overwhelm recipes. Plums will save your cooking by providing the familiar plum-ish flavors you want for your recipes to taste much better.

We recommend mixing plums with water and brown sugar, letting it boil until that mixture softens. Afterward, add garlic and cooked black beans, allowing everything incorporated excellently.

Once you’ve got your final mixture, let it cool and add other desired seasonings to enhance the flavor, such as soy sauce, spices, sesame oil, or red wine vinegar. Blend the mixture, and you can use it as a plum extract substitute right away, using a 1:1 ratio!

5. Bean Paste and Brown Sugar

This is such a simple combination that works so well! Plus, you can easily find these two ingredients at home or the supermarket.

You get a similar flavor and consistency as plum extract, working in almost all recipes asking for the ingredient. We highly recommend using bean paste and brown sugar with sesame oil, red wine vinegar, and five-spice for your savory dishes.

Once you have your mixture, you can use a 1:1 ratio when substituting plum extract.

6. Prunes and Garlic

Garlic and prunes seem like an odd substitution, but it works! If there aren’t any plums around, pitted prunes work excellently, giving a similar flavor and texture.

All you need to do is boil pitted prunes until they become soft and tender. Then, add a bit of soy sauce with garlic cloves and dry sherry, blending it until it becomes a paste.

Let your paste cool down before using it, then use it as a plum extract substitute in savory dishes. Add desired spices to your paste so you can get a personalized flavor you love, and use a 1:1 ratio when using it as a plum extract substitute.

7. Barbecue Sauce with Molasses

You’re probably thinking about how weird these combinations are by now, but you’ll be surprised with how this one will work out.

It’s effortless to make, and you already have the ingredients in your kitchen.

This plum extract substitute gives off the similar flavor and texture plum extract has—mix molasses and barbecue sauce to taste, using it in your recipe.

You can also enhance the flavor by adding brown sugar, soy sauces, or your desired spices. Like the other plum extract substitutes, you can use a 1:1 ratio.

If you have no barbecue sauce, you can always use sriracha in exchange. However, it’s spicy, so you have to be wary of how much sriracha you add.

8. Ginger Root and Plum Jam

Ginger and plum jam is a fascinating substitute. It might sound odd at first but hear us out!

For starters, ginger and plum jam is easily accessible. Heck, you probably have those two ingredients in your kitchen right now! All you need to do is mix these two ingredients (we suggest adding 1-2 garlic cloves and crushed red pepper, too), and you’re good to go.

As for the amount of plum jam and ginger, start with just a little bit of ginger, adding more while tasting the sauce. That way, you can get the desired flavor.

Use this substitute in sauces and other savory dishes that ask for plum extract, going for a 1:1 ratio.

9. Plum, Onions, and Pears 

When using this mixture, reduce your pears and plums with water and brown sugar. Allow it to reduce over medium heat until it becomes a paste form.

Once you’ve got your paste, add some minced onions that you softened by blanching in boiling water. Then, add all-spice or other desired spices. Blend everything in a food processor or blender, and you can use it as a plum extract substitute!

Plum Extract Fun Facts

Wait up – What is a plum extract in the first place? You know what to replace plum extract with, but what is this ingredient all about, and what do you use it for?

Learn all about plum extract with these cool facts:

Manufacturers produce plum extract by marinating green plums in sugar and honey for months. As a result, we get a thick extract in main courses, desserts, marinades, and dipping sauces.

Did you know that plum extract isn’t only popular in Korean dishes but beverages? Some people use plum extract when making soju cocktails or dilute the ingredient in water to create a tea called Maesil Cha.

Plums are known to have numerous health benefits, such as lowering blood pressure, and preventing certain cancers, and are a great source of vitamin A. Studies have shown that plum extract, in particular, can have pluripotent health benefits on our muscles! (*)

Frequently Asked Questions

Of course, we have more in store for you! There’s more to know about plum extract and its substitutes with these frequently asked questions: 

Wrapping It Up

Who knew how many plum extract substitutes existed? With many of these ingredients available at home or the supermarket, you can still whip up your favorite dishes without worrying about plum extract.

Duck SauceA popular ingredient in Chinese cuisine with a similar flavor profile to plum extract. Can be found in many grocery stores. Use in a 1:1 ratio.
Peanut Butter with Soy SauceCombining peanut butter and soy sauce can achieve a similar flavor profile to plum extract. Add sweeteners like brown sugar or honey to enhance the flavor. Use in a 1:1 ratio, but be mindful of the sodium content of soy sauce.
Garlic TeriyakiGarlic teriyaki, readily available in supermarkets or Asian specialty stores, can be used as a substitute for plum extract. Use in a 1:1 ratio. Can be used as a cooking sauce, dip, or condiment.
Black Beans with PlumsBlack beans combined with plums offer a unique flavor and consistency that can work well in dishes. Mix plums with water, brown sugar, garlic, and cooked black beans. Add desired seasonings. Blend and use in a 1:1 ratio.
Bean Paste and Brown SugarA simple combination of bean paste and brown sugar that provides a similar flavor and consistency to plum extract. Add sesame oil, red wine vinegar, and five-spice for savory dishes. Use in a 1:1 ratio.
Prunes and GarlicBoiled pitted prunes, soy sauce, garlic cloves, and dry sherry blended into a paste can be a surprising substitute for plum extract. Add desired spices. Use in a 1:1 ratio.
Barbecue Sauce with MolassesMixing molasses and barbecue sauce offers a similar flavor and texture to plum extract. Add brown sugar, soy sauces, or desired spices. Use in your recipe in a 1:1 ratio. If using sriracha instead of barbecue sauce, be cautious of its spiciness.
Ginger Root and Plum JamA mixture of ginger and plum jam, along with garlic cloves and crushed red pepper, can create an interesting substitute for plum extract. Adjust the amount of ginger to taste. Use in a 1:1 ratio for sauces and savory dishes.
Plum, Onions, and PearsReduce pears and plums with water and brown sugar to create a paste. Add softened minced onions and desired spices. Blend and use as a substitute for plum extract.

So, what are you waiting for? Try any of these best substitutes, and let us know what worked out best for you in the comments section below.

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Did you enjoy our article? Then check out our All Food Ingredients Substitutions article to get into the world of food and cooking!

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