Can You Buy Duck Sauce At The Grocery Store?

Chinese duck sauce is a sweet and sour sauce with a jelly-like consistency. It is said that the name came from the fact that it was initially served with fried duck.

It’s now commonly offered as a dip alongside spring rolls, egg rolls, lumpia, and fried wonton strips in American Chinese restaurants. This sweet sauce pairs well with fried, salty meals.

What is the duck sauce equivalent?

Use plum sauce, sweet and sour sauce, or sweet chili sauce instead of duck sauce as a condiment or ingredient. You can make a homemade duck sauce with apricot jam, vinegar, and spices for a more authentic taste.

Plum sauce

Some people confuse plum and duck sauces, but we break down the differences here. Because of the addition of spices like ginger, plum sauce is less sour and has a more complex flavor profile. It’ll still work as a dipping sauce for your next order of egg rolls or crispy duck from the restaurant.

Sweet and sour sauce

If you enjoy the bold flavors of duck sauce, why not take it to the next level? A good option is sweet and sour sauce, which is tangier and sweeter than duck sauce. It has a runnier, less jammy consistency, but it can still be used for dipping, basting, and marinating. It’s also a tasty addition to stir-fries.

Sweet chili sauce

Sweet chili sauce will appeal to those who want sweet sauces without the tanginess. Because chile is one of the main ingredients, it’s significantly spicier than duck sauce. If you don’t like your dish to be overly spicy, there are milder versions available, as with most sauces.

Hoisin sauce

You’ve seen hoisin sauce in action if you’ve ever seen Peking Duck hanging in the front window of a Chinese store or restaurant. This is the component that is frequently used as a glaze for duck.

If you don’t have any duck sauce, hoisin can be used as a substitute. It’s wonderful for dipping into duck pancakes, spring rolls, and dumplings, as well as used as a glaze or marinade.

Duck sauce is sweeter, tangier, and less salty than hoisin. Despite their differences in flavor, the two sauces can be used interchangeably in recipes without causing food to spoil.

Char Siu

In one bite, char siu is salty, sweet, and spicy. This is a great substitute for duck sauce on grilled pig or poultry. It’s not as sweet and tangy as hoisin, but it’s a versatile sauce in the kitchen. It’s excellent stirred into Singapore noodles and fried rice when you’re not basting or marinating meat.

Oyster sauce

The flavor of oyster sauce is salty-savory with a hint of sweetness and spice. Oyster extract is one of the components, so it’s full of umami flavor and has a faint seafood undertone. While oyster sauce has a distinct flavor from duck sauce, it can still be used to dip fried foods in. Its gleaming brown color makes it ideal for combining with broccoli and meat.

Teriyaki sauce

Teriyaki employs soy sauce, honey, brown sugar, and mirin as base ingredients to give meals a salty-sweet flavor. It’s a darker, runnier sauce without the same amount of sugar and fruity flavor as duck sauce. You can use teriyaki sauce in the same ways you would duck sauce.

Ponzu sauce

Ponzu is a black, acidic sauce with a sweet, salty, and sour flavor profile. It has a darker, more jam-like texture than duck sauce and a texture similar to soy sauce. This is another emergency ingredient you could utilize.

Soy sauce

If none of the above options appeal to you, soy sauce is a viable alternative. It has a distinct flavor profile and texture. Soy sauce is saltier, with less tang and sweetness. It’s still good for dipping and can be thrown into almost any Asian-inspired dish.


Chutneys come in a variety of flavors, but if you have one prepared with apricots, you’ve got yourself a winner. Apple, mango, and peach chutneys are also good choices.

Choose a dipping sauce that isn’t too thick if you’re looking for one. Alternatively, you can pulse the chutney in the food processor a few times to achieve a texture similar to duck sauce.

Due to the use of vinegar, chutney has a stronger flavor than duck sauce. It can be used to cut through fried foods as well as heavier meat and lamb dishes.


Spreads like apricot jam, marmalade, and even honey can be used to sweeten marinades and sauces. Naturally, the flavor will be different, and you won’t receive the tanginess that duck sauce provides. Fruity condiments, on the other hand, aren’t out of place in many Asian dishes if they’re not the main attraction.

Homemade duck sauce

It simply takes a few minutes to prepare your own duck sauce, and if you consume it frequently, you can produce a large batch. The end result is a sweet, vivid condiment free of the chemicals found in many store-bought condiments.


Refrigerate for 3 hours to allow flavors to develop in an airtight container.

-In an airtight container, homemade duck sauce can be kept in the refrigerator for up to one month.

Is sweet and sour sauce the same as duck sauce?

Duck sauce is an orange jelly-like material that comes in packets with your Chinese takeout if you’re from the Midwest or Eastern seaboard of the United States. It’s similar to sweet-and-sour sauce but has a fruitier flavor. Crispy noodles, egg rolls, and other fried items are commonly dipped in it. Duck sauce is a brownish, sweet, chunky sauce provided on the table in Chinese restaurants to most New Englanders. And unless you’re from San Diego or the San Francisco Bay Area, odds are you’ve never heard of the company.

Wikipedia readers want to blend the website’s ‘duck sauce’ entry with ‘plum sauce,’ according to a Google search for ‘duck sauce.’ Some believe they’re the same thing, or that plum sauce is the foundation for duck sauce, which also includes apricots (and sometimes peaches). Others, though, disagree. Former Bostonians bemoan the existence of those orange-filled packets on culinary message boards, while West Coast transplants frantically hunt for a good substitute for the sauce they previously enjoyed at home.

It’s unclear where the name “duck sauce” came from, though O’Connor and Kellerman believe it was first served with duck. Peking ducka crispy skinned, roasted duck flavored with herbshas been a staple in China for hundreds of years and usually (though not always) comes with a sauce made from wheat flour and soybeans for dipping, unlike chow mein or General Tso’s Chicken, which are American inventions that have no place on a traditional Chinese food menu. Because soybeans aren’t native to the United States, some people believe that when Chinese immigrants first opened restaurants catering to American palates, they made a sweeter, friendlier substitute out of apricots (or, in the case of New England, applesauce and molasses) and called it duck sauce for obvious reasons.

Looking at a bigger picture of American Chinese food helps to appreciate the regionalism of duck sauce in general. “Why not duck sauce? There are unique east and west coast Peking Duck buns. According to David R. Chan, a third-generation American and Los Angeles resident who has eaten at over 6,600 Chinese restaurants, the majority of which are within the United States, as documented on his blog Chandavkl’s Blog since 2009.

Another meal that varies by coast is chow mein. These variations are most likely due to both Chinese immigration trends and America’s different regional cuisine tastes. The country’s early Chinese restaurants were largely Cantonese and limited to locations where Chinese immigrants migrated (or were compelled to settle), such as the United States’ west coast and metropolitan ‘Chinatowns’ across the country. The United States then abolished nearly a century of stringent immigration restrictions in the 1960s, allowing an unprecedented number of Chinese emigrants from places like Szechuan and Hunan to relocate to the United States. They brought their own special flavors and recipes with them.

Still, why isn’t there any form of ‘duck sauce’ on the West Coast? Chan claims to have seen duck sauce packets in California, but only on rare occasions. “Actually, I didn’t notice the packages at all in the past,” Chan explains. “They appear to be a more recent development, though they are still rare.” Chan assumed I was talking about the reddish marmalade-looking condiment that comes accompanies Peking Duck in many Cantonese restaurants when I first emailed him about duck sauce. It is, after all, the sauce that comes with the duck. Though most of the time this is hoisin sauce, which is made up of soy sauce, chiles, and garlic, the phrase “duck sauce” may just be indicated.

Because the biggest purveyors of duck sauce packetscompanies like W.Y Industries and Yi Pin Food Productsare situated in New Jersey and New York, it’s possible that the word “duck sauce” never made it out west. These enterprises arose in the 1970s and 1980s, when the West Coast’s appetite for Chinese cuisine had already developed. Saucy Susan Products, a New York-based purveyor of a popular speciality duck sauce made with apricot and peaches, and its desire to tap into a bigger market are discussed in a New York Times article from October 12, 1981. The article claims that “Levine, Huntley, Schmidt, Plapler & Beaver (they don’t come much bigger) has been hired to help the company launch its sauces on the West Coast as part of a three-year plan to become nationwide.” It appears that Saucy Susan’s fantasies were never realized.

We may never know the origins of the word “duck sauce,” or why one person’s packet of jelly-like sauce is another’s plum-colored chutney. However, if you like duck sauce in any form, it would be worthwhile to start stocking your own.

Is duck in the duck sauce?

First and foremost, we must state unequivocally that no actual ducks are killed in the production of duck sauce. The name of the sauce was most likely inspired by the roasted duck dishes served in many Cantonese restaurants. These are fowls that have been roasted with an all-star cast of herbs and spices, including star anise, ginger, and spring onion (via Michelin), before being hung up in front of restaurant windows with other treats like roast pork belly and Chinese barbecue pork, char siu, in a roast meat-a-palooza known as siu mei.

Is hoisin sauce made from duck?

The exact definition of duck sauce varies by region, although it is not the same as hoisin sauce. Hoisin sauce is a thick, dark sauce created of soy sauce, soybeans, and vinegar that is sweet, tart, and salty. It’s saltier and flavorful than duck sauce because it’s made with soy sauce.

What is the distinction between plum sauce and duck sauce?

Plum Sauce is another well-known tribute to plums in the culinary world.

Alternatively, Duck Sauce.

Both phrases allude to the same thing: a popular, flavorful, and versatile Chinese condiment that can be found in any Chinese takeaway or restaurant.

No, it doesn’t have a duck in it.

However, the plums, spices, honey, and other ingredients in this traditional plum sauce recipe make it a true winner.

This isn’t your normal congealed and anemic cornstarch + sugar + vinegar + food coloring duck sauce that comes in ketchup-style sachets or squeeze bottles at your local Chinese takeaway.

This is the more authentic, home-style Chinese plum sauce with a lot more nuanced (translated “amazingly wonderful”) taste profile that you’ll only encounter in the greatest Chinese eateries.

Multiple layers of flavor combine to create a truly extraordinary sauce that will delight your taste buds!

Is orange sauce the same as duck sauce?

Duck sauce (also known as orange sauce) is a sweet and sour condiment with a transparent orange hue comparable to a thin jelly. It’s served as a dip with deep-fried meals including wonton strips, spring rolls, egg rolls, duck, chicken, and fish, or with rice or noodles at American Chinese restaurants. It’s frequently packaged with soy sauce, mustard, spicy sauce, or red chili powder in single-serving packets. It can be used as a glaze on meals like chicken. The sauce is not made with duck meat, despite its name.