Ever wondered how you can make your very own Duck Sauce? It’s much easier than you think! It is a sweet and sour sauce that’s often used as a dip for spring rolls, crispy noodles, egg rolls, or drizzled on top of your favorite dishes. With only 5 simple ingredients, it takes just a few minutes to put this tangy sauce together.
What is Duck Sauce?
It is a bright orange sauce with a sweet and sour flavor. It’s usually served at American Chinese restaurants, along with soy sauce. It’s traditionally made using plums, apricots, pineapples or peaches, which gives it a sweet taste. Vinegar, chili sauce and soy sauce help to make this sauce complex and flavorful.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Apricot Jam: Apricot jam or jelly will give your sauce an authentic taste and distinctive orange color. You can also use peach compote.
- Sweet Chili Sauce: This adds a bit of heat to the sauce, but not too much. You can DIY this sauce by combining honey and hot sauce.
- Rice Vinegar: Rice vinegar is an essential ingredient in Asian cuisine. If it’s unavailable, just use apple cider vinegar.
- Soy Sauce: Soy sauce gives you that unmistakable umami flavor. Fish sauce and Worcestershire sauce are decent substitutes for those with soy allergies.
- Garlic Powder: Garlic powder is best for this recipe, but minced garlic can also be utilized.
How to Make Homemade Duck Sauce
1. Whisk together apricot jam, sweet chili sauce, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic powder.
2. Place a strainer over another bowl and pour the mixture onto the strainer.
3. Press the mixture through the strainer using a spoon.
4. Add more sweet chili sauce to the mixture. Taste and adjust the ingredients according to your preference. Use it as a dipping sauce, serve and enjoy!
Tips & Tricks
- You can customize the sweetness and the spicy level of this sauce: One of the advantages of making your own duck sauce is your ability to customize it. You can make it as sweet and as spicy as you like. Play around with the ingredients to find the right ratio for you.
- Strain the mixture through a strainer for a smooth texture: To get a smooth sauce, it’s best to use a sieve. This is especially true if you used minced garlic instead of garlic powder.
- Store the sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator: Duck sauce needs to be refrigerated. It’s best to store it in an airtight container to maintain freshness and flavor.
Why is it Called Duck Sauce?
This bright orange sauce is often served with Peking duck, a traditional Chinese dish. When Chinese immigrants came to the US, they modified the sauce by making it a bit sweeter to appeal more to the American palate.
What Does Duck Sauce Taste Like?
This sauce is sweet, with a fruity undertone. It’s also slightly tangy with umami flavor, thanks to the addition of soy sauce. It is only mildly spicy, but some people like to add more hot sauce for a fiery kick.
Ways to Use Chinese Duck Sauce
This sauce is the perfect dip for many snacks like egg rolls and wontons. You can also use it as a dip for chicken wings, pork chops, shrimp, or other seafood. This sauce is also great as a sweet and spicy glaze.
- Egg Rolls (Harumaki)
- Spring Rolls
- Chicken Wings
- Pork Chops
- Shrimp, Fish & Other Seafood
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Does it Last?
Your homemade sauce has a shelf life of about three weeks. Be sure to store it in the fridge in an airtight container.
Is Duck Sauce the Same as Sweet and Sour Sauce?
No. Duck sauce is distinguished by its fruity flavor thanks to the inclusion of apricots, plums, peaches or pineapples. While sweet and sour sauce is sweet, it doesn’t have the fruity flavor of duck sauce.
What Kind of Duck Sauce Do Chinese Restaurants Use?
WY Industries Duck Sauce is one of the most widely distributed duck sauces in the US. These are the packets most often seen in Chinese takeout.
What is the Difference Between Duck Sauce and Plum Sauce?
These two sauces use similar ingredients and are often interchangeable.
Where Can I Buy Duck Sauce?
If you prefer to purchase readymade sauce, check the Asian cuisine aisle of your grocery store. It is also sold at popular online retailers such as Walmart and Amazon.
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Homemade Duck Sauce Recipe
- 1 cup apricot jam
- 2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce or more to taste
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce low sodium recommended
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- In a medium mixing bowl, add apricot jam, 1 tablespoon of sweet chili sauce, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic powder. Mix until smooth.
- Place a strainer over another bowl and pour the mixture onto the strainer.
- Press the mixture through the strainer using a spoon.
- Add the rest of sweet chili sauce to the mixture until combined.
- Taste and adjust the ingredients according to your preference.
- Use it as a dipping sauce, serve and enjoy!
- You can add extra sweet chili sauce if you prefer a spicier sauce.
- Store the homemade duck sauce in an airtight container and it’ll last 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator.
Next time I’m omitting the sweet chili sauce, and substituting crushed red pepper and sugar. This means cooking it to avoid a grainy dip, so the vinegar will go in at the very end. I also increased the soy sauce to a tablespoon, and added extra rice wine vinegar til my soul said to stop.
Ann Colton says
I use a little hot chili oil, and no grainy effect.
Can this be canned?
Absolutely perfect flavor, just like I remember from the Chinese Restaurants back east. I would omit nothing. Used Bonne Maman apricot marmalade, was fabulous.
Hi Kat, glad that you like the recipe. Thanks for letting me know.