1⁄4 cup any vinegar
1⁄2 cup water
1⁄4 cup sugar or honey
salt to taste
1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
1 small dried hot red chile (optional)
3 star anise
1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger or 2 teaspoons ground ginger
1⁄2 cup minced onion
20 dried apricots, cut into 8 pieces each
Combine all ingredients except the apricots in a small saucepan and turn the heat to medium.
Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, then lower the heat and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the apricots and continue to cook until all but a tiny bit of the liquid is gone. If the mixture is not “jammy,” or the apricots not quite tender, add a little more water and cook some more.
Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary; you may add more of anything you like. Use within a few days and serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.
Adapted from How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman