Asian-style barbecued chicken with homemade plum sauce

by Ed Halmagyi


  • 500g plums
  • ½ cup Shaoxing Chinese cooking wine
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ½ cup cider vinegar
  • 6 cloves
  • 12 peppercorns
  • 4 whole allspice berries
  • 1 whole chicken (1.5kg)
  • salt flakes and freshly-milled black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 6cm piece ginger, finely grated
  • Chinese cabbage salad, to serve


1 Halve the plums and set half the seeds aside. Combine the plum flesh with the wine, sugar and vinegar in a saucepan and set over a moderate heat. Use a hammer to crack the reserved plum seeds without shattering them wrap these in a small piece of muslin with the cloves, peppercorns and allspice berries then add this to the saucepan. Simmer for 30 minutes, until thickened, then purée and set aside.
2 Use a sharp pair of scissors to remove the chicken’s backbone, then season generously with salt and pepper and rib with olive oil. Arrange over a moderate barbecue grill and cook for 30 minutes, turning regularly, until juices run clear if pierced at the hip.
3 Meanwhile combine the soy, brown sugar and ginger in a small saucepan and boil for 4 minutes, until slightly thickened. Once the chicken is cooked, begin basting onto the skin. Brush on some soy mixture, then cook for 4 minutes. Repeat until all the baste is used. Chop the chicken into pieces and serve with Chinese cabbage salad and plum sauce.