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Prune Mui Recipe

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Prune mui is a sweet and salty marinated dried fruit dish that comes together to make this delicious mouth watering Hawai’i favorite.

white bowl filled with prune mui

Crack seed snacks like prune mui are ever so popular here in Hawai’i. There’s nothing like a mouth watering treat that’s perfect for on the go snack and so simple to make.

Walking into the cracks seed stores and breathing in the aroma of all the delicious treats. Shelves of glass jars filled with all kinds of yummy goodness just waiting to be eaten.

Trust me, this is one Hawaiian treat you have to try. And now you can make this delicious prune mui recipe at home.

prune mui in a mason jar

What is crack seed?

Crack seed is the term for preserved fruit that has been split or cracked down the middle to expose the seed. It is a popular Chinese influenced treat, especially here in Hawai’i. There are whole stores called crack seed stores that are dedicated to selling all these delicious treats.

Many Chinese immigrants moved to Hawai’i in the late 19th century to work on the pineapple and sugar cane plantations. Along with them they brought many of their delicious foods like crispy pork belly, crispy noodles, chow fun, and of course prune mui.

top down view of prune mui in a mason jar

What is prune mui?

The term mui comes from see mui or crack seed. Prune just refers to the dried fruit that is used. Prune mui is a dried fruit preserve soaked in a delicious wet li hing mui (dried Chinese plum) blend.

Ingredients you’ll need to make prune mui

  • Lemons. I highly recommend fresh lemons. If you don’t have any fresh lemons you can also make this with the store bought stuff.
  • Brown sugar. Use any variety you like. I like to use golden brown. Dark brown will give it a stronger molasses flavor, while light brown will give it a lighter molasses flavor. Golden brown is my happy medium.
  • Li hing mui powder. Made from ground up, dried Chinese plums. Stop by your local grocery store or Asian market. If all else fails check out online retailers.
  • Chinese 5 spice. A popular spice in Chinese cooking commonly made of star anise, cloves, Chinese cinnamon, Sichuan pepper, and fennel seeds.
  • Hawaiian salt. Don’t skip this step. The salt aids in the preservation process.
  • Dried pitted prunes. You can use prunes with pits, however it adds an extra step to the process. 
  • Dried apricots. Or you can use any other dried fruit combination you’d like: mango, peach, li hing mui, etc.
prune mui ingredients

Does prune mui need to soak?

While you can eat this dish right after the prune mui sauce is mixed in, the flavors soak into the prunes better over time and taste much better.

How long does prune mui last?

Many references will say indefinitely, however I like to go by the expiration date on the dried fruit package. Generally this will be a few months.

fork picking up a piece of prune mui from a mason jar

Does prune mui need to be refrigerated?

No refrigeration is needed. The natural preservatives in the lemon juice and Hawaiian salt keep this dish stable at room temperature.

How to store?

Many crack seed stores will store their prune mui in large glass containers. Any airtight container at room temperature will do. I like to use mason jars. 

Other great snack recipes

How to make prune mui?

  1. To a small bowl add lemon juice, brown sugar, li hing mui powder, Chinese 5 spice, and Hawaiian salt. Mix until well combined.
  2. Pour mixture over prunes and apricots.
  3. Allow to sit for 2-3 days. Mixing once daily. Enjoy!
white bowl filled with prune mui

Prune Mui

Relle Lum
Prune mui is a sweet and salty marinated dried fruit dish that comes together to make this delicious mouth watering Hawai’i favorite.
4.26 from 35 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Treats
Cuisine Local
Servings 1 1/2 cups
Calories 80 kcal



  • 2 lemons juiced
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon li hing mui powder
  • ½ teaspoon Chinese 5 spice
  • ½ teaspoon Hawaiian salt
  • 1 cup dried pitted prunes
  • ½ cup dried apricots


  • To a small bowl add lemon juice, brown sugar, li hing mui powder, Chinese 5 spice, and Hawaiian salt. Mix until well combined.
  • Pour mixture over prunes and apricots.
  • Allow to sit for 2-3 days. Mixing once daily. Then ENJOY!


*This dish is ready to eat right after mixing, however optimal flavor after 2-3 days.
*Add in any other dried fruits of your liking.


Serving: 1gCalories: 80kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 1gSodium: 108mgFiber: 2gSugar: 15g
Keyword crack seed store, keeping it relle, prune mui, snacks, treats
Did you make this recipe?Share a photo and tag @keeping.it.relle on Instagram so I can see all your delicious creations and Let me know how it was!

© Relle Lum for Keeping It Relle. Please do not copy and paste or screenshot recipes online or on social media. I’d love it if you share a link with a photo instead. Mahalo!

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By on June 19th, 2021

About Relle

Aloha, my name is Relle and welcome to my little home on the internet where I like to share all my favorite Hawaiian recipes (and local ones too).

I am a wife, mom of two, and nurse practitioner here in the beautiful state of Hawai’i. I was born and raised in Hawai’i and I am of native Hawaiian descent. In my spare time I love to cook and bake and I have compiled many of my favorite recipes here for you to enjoy.

More posts by this author.

32 thoughts on “Prune Mui Recipe”

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this amazing recipe! Will surely have this again! It’s really easy to make and it tasted so delicious! Highly

        • Aloha. Great question. If you are storing with the intent to eat it in the near future or store in the fridge you will not need to sterilize the jar. It will act just like any other Tupperware container. Mahalo.

          • I just made it yesterday, but used 2 lemons from the written recipe. The video says 1. Can you verify, because I do fear that it may turn out too lemony. Mahalo

          • Aloha Rosita. The amount of lemon juice varies by the size of the lemon. This recipe is very forgiving. Start with one lemon and see if you like the flavor. You can always add more if need be. Have a great day.

  2. I’m a Maui born native Hawaiian raised on Oahu. We had 4 mango trees growing up of different varieties. I use to help my mom make mango seed with whole green mangos quartered. Can’t find it anymore. Your recipe was great. Mahalo Nui Loa. Born in 1950s and still order crack seed from Hawaii aloha. I still make laulaus and Imu Pua and I speak pigeon and real Old fashioned Hawaiian language taught by my Tutu and mom fluently.

    • I’ve never made it without the powder. You could try to omit it and see how it tastes, but I’d prefer to leave it in. You can pick some up online if you can’t find it at your local store.

  3. Is there a recipe using whiskey? I think that’s how I first had it over in Kauai back in 1984 or so. I’ve got all my ingredients to try your recipe but was curious if there is a recipe substituting whiskey. I don’t drink but I think that person used that instead of lemon?? Don’t recall exactly.

      • My first experience eating homemade li Hing Mui was in Kauai make by the wife of one of the radiologists. She used whiskey in her recipe. After that I started buying it at the crack seed stores around Honolulu. I made your recipe last evening and am letting it sit/set 3 days in the garage. The temps here in Redmond, WA are cool during the day and cold at night. Anyway, I ran into a dilemma abt the lemons. Looking at the lemon in your foto it appears as if that one is abt 1-2″ in diameter. Mine r abt 3″ or more in diameter. It would be helpful if u could give me some specific guidance as to 1 or 2 cups of lemon juice rather than the number of lemons. I quadrupled your recipe using 7 lemons which juiced 2 cups. I wasted one by accident so didn’t have 8 lemons.

        • Aloha Sydney,
          The average size lemon yields about 2-3 tablespoons of juice. Taste as you go. You can always start with less and add more if you need as you go.
          Have a great day.

  4. Thank you for this recipe. I just ate half a pound of prune mui today (omg!) and they are so addicting! I got bunch of goodies shipped from a crackseedstorehawaii store and I am so glad I bought the powder too! I will be saving this recipe to make some here at home. Do you think the ready made 5 spice powder in a bottle will work?

    • Traditional Hawaiian salt is the white one. The red on is called alaea which has a more earthy flavor. The black Hawaiian salt is infused with activated charcoal. Hope this helps.

  5. Mahalo Relle — I’ve been looking for a good wet li hing recipe for a while! Living in the PNW and my brother has a plum tree — any ideas on how to make this starting with fresh fruit? Btw, loving your success on the Great American Recipe season 2!

  6. I have made your recipe and love it…a remembered taste of home…I would like to divide it into 8oz jars and wonder if I can water bath or pressure can to give as gifts to my children?

  7. I am going to make your Prune Mui recipe. I NEED TO MINIMIZE MY SALT INTAKE. Can I make PRUNE MIU without using Li Hing Powder and only half of the Hawaiian salt? I love the assorted dried fruits, but hate having edema (swollen feet). Any suggestions?

    • Aloha Aleka. I hear your concern. I haven’t made the recipe any other way, so I’m not sure. Leaving out the li hing mui would make it dried fruit, sugar, and lemon for the most part. If you try it let me know. Have a great day.

  8. I would love to try this but find the reviews on many of the li hing mui state that it has aspartame or a chemical after taste Can you recommend a good brand of li hing mui? Also, I have never tasted this before does it have a licorice flavor?

    • Aloha Mable. I haven’t had that problem. I use Enjoy, Jade, or Ka-Js often and haven’t had any issues. It does not taste like licorice. It has a sweet and salty flavor. It’s a unique flavor. Hope this helps. Have a great day.


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