How To Make Low Carb Duck Sauce?

Check out our Chinese cuisine guide, which includes menu recommendations as well as a selection of recipes you can create at home (including tea eggs, braised pork, hot and sour soup, mapo tofu, salted duck, bok choy and mushrooms, poached chicken, and stir-fried beef). Within Chinese cuisine, there are several regional cuisines, some of which are more keto-friendly than others.

Sugar is found in many Chinese restaurant sauces. Some items can be ordered steamed and then topped with soy sauce, which follows the criteria of a well-designed ketogenic diet. Steamed Asian broccoli or mustard are particularly nice alternatives. Roast pork, roast duck, and crispy-skin pig belly are all fantastic protein options. Bring a small bottle of olive oil from home and drizzle a spoonful or two over your vegetables for added richness.

If you prefer to cook at home, we have a guide on simple low carb Chinese vegetable recipes.

A note about sauces: In general, sauces with a gravy-like consistency and diced up meat should be avoided. Sugar and starch give these rich sauces their velvety shine and texture. This is also true of chopped meat, where the marinade frequently contains soy sauce, sugar, and starch. Stick to roasted meats or sauces that are thinner or more clear. We recommend avoiding hoisin, oyster, plum, duck, and sweet & sour sauce because they often include sugar.

We also have some advice on how to read nutrition labels that you may find useful.

What is a good duck sauce substitute?

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.

What is the origin of Chinese duck sauce?

Ingredients. Sugar, vinegar, ginger, and chili peppers are added to plums, apricots, pineapples, or peaches. Plum sauce is how it’s utilized in more traditional Chinese cooking.

Is duck keto-friendly?

People are going keto for a variety of reasons, including weight loss and culinary preferences. Greek yogurt, cheese, and fatty proteins are becoming more popular as the high-fat, low-carb diet becomes more popular. Duck meat is ideal for those following a ketogenic diet since it is strong in monounsaturated fatty acids and low in carbs. Here are a few different ways to incorporate duck into your keto diet.

Is soy sauce a keto option?

Though there are various varieties of the keto diet, they all include limiting carbs in order to promote ketosis, a metabolic state in which your body burns fat for fuel rather than carbohydrates (9).

According to research, most people can induce ketosis by lowering carb intake to 10% or less of daily carb intake, or 2050 grams per day (10).

Because many soy sauces are low carb, you may enjoy this flavor-enhancing condiment without breaking your keto diet.

  • Carbohydrate content Soy sauce contains 115 grams of carbohydrates per tablespoon (15 mL). Check the nutrition facts label to see how many carbohydrates are in each serving of soy sauce.
  • Size of portion Carbs per tablespoon (15 mL) of soy sauce are frequently listed on the nutrition label. One teaspoon (5 mL), or one-third of a tablespoon, of soy sauce is contained in a single packet. Keep track of how much you’re using to make sure it’s in line with your nutritional goals.
  • Allowance for carbohydrates. Determine whether the portion size you use is within your daily carb intake based on the carb amount of your soy sauce.

Another rule of thumb is to stay away from “sweet” soy sauce. These almost always include extra sugar and aren’t keto-friendly.

Keep in mind that soy sauce is a popular Asian ingredient. To better control the type and portion of soy sauce you ingest when dining out, ask for unsweetened soy sauce on the side.

Most soy sauce is minimal in carbohydrates and suitable for a ketogenic diet. Check the nutrition facts label to see if the amount of carbohydrates is within your daily carbohydrate allotment.

Is Chop Suey a keto-friendly restaurant?

Chop Suey: Another popular Chinese food that is great for a keto diet when the carbohydrates are removed. Chop suey is comparable to a stir fry and can include a variety of veggies and meats, so give it a try at your next lunch out.

Is hoisin sauce the same as duck sauce?

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.

Is duck sauce and plum sauce the same thing?

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 duck sauce the same as sweet chili sauce?

Is Sweet and Sour Sauce the Same as Duck Sauce? No. The fruity flavor of duck sauce is due to the addition of apricots, plums, peaches, or pineapples. While sweet and sour sauce is sweet, it lacks duck sauce’s fruity flavor.

What is the origin of the name duck sauce?

Q: What is the origin of the name “duck sauce”? This sweet sauce associated with Chinese cuisine contains no duck, and I’ve never seen it served with duck. Any thoughts?

A: The “duck sauce” used in Chinese-American restaurants (as well as in those tiny plastic take-out packets) was designed specifically for duck.

However, it is now served regardless of what you order. It goes with practically everything Chinese, as well as a lot of things that aren’t, such as hamburgers.

The moniker “duck sauce” for this condiment, as well as the sauce itself, or at least the orange thing you now get in those plastic packets, appears to be an American invention.

According to what we can tell, the original duck sauce was either plum sauce (plum, vinegar, brown sugar, ginger, and so on) or an Americanized version of it.

In her 1975 book Madame Chu’s Chinese Cooking School, Chinese cook Grace Zia Chu writes about the origins of duck sauce:

“The moniker ‘duck sauce’ was coined in the United States since it was first served with deep-fried pressed duck that didn’t come with its own sauce.”

She also gives a duck sauce recipe that incorporates Chinese plum sauce, apricot preserves, peach preserves, applesauce, dry mustard, garlic powder, and chili sauce.

Rhonda Lauret Parkinson, a food writer, describes the origins of duck sauce in her book The Everything Chinese Cookbook (2003):

“After Western Chinese restaurants began serving plum sauce with Peking Duck under the incorrect belief that this was an authentic practice, it was dubbed ‘duck sauce.’ Peking Duck is traditionally eaten with hoisin sauce in China.”

However, the oldest documented reference we could find for Chinese “duck sauce” (thanks to word detective Barry Popik and his Big Apple website) suggests that it was initially served with a variety of duck dishes.

The reference mentions “duck sauce” as a “type of chutney good with any kind of duck” from Henry Low’s Cook at Home in Chinese (1938).

But first, a little background. When we talk about duck sauce, we’re referring about two different types of sauce.

One is created using oranges and is used in European cooking. The other is a Chinese-American dish that can be cooked with or without oranges.

Let’s start with the initial edition, which was released in Europe. This sauce was once known as “bigarade sauce,” and the dish connected with it was known as “duck (or duckling) bigarade.”

Bigarade is the name of a sour orange, also known as the Seville orange, that is used in cooking, flavorings, and essential oils. It was first mentioned in English in 1658.

The rind of bigarade oranges, for example, provides the essence for Grand Marnier liqueur.

We don’t usually resort to our kitchen bookcase to look up answers to language questions, but our old copy of The New Doubleday Cookbook came in handy here.

One roast duckling dish occurs under three different names. Duckling with orange sauce, duckling l’orange, or duckling la bigarade, according to the cookbook.

A sauce composed with orange rind, sugar, orange and lemon juices, water, and brandy is served on the side.

“This recipe should be cooked with bitter Seville oranges to be fully authentic,” the handbook says.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word “bigarade” was directly adopted from French, although the actual root is likely an old Occitan word, bigarrada, which means “multicolored.”

(In case you didn’t know, Occitan is a Romance language spoken in parts of France, Italy, Spain, and Monaco.)

“Bigarade” originally referred to the orange. The OED defines it as “a sauce made with bigarade oranges, and dishes, especially roast duck, served with this sauce” in the 19th century.

The first citation for the word in this context in Oxford comes from Richard Dolby’s The Cook’s Dictionary and House-Directory, Keeper’s published in 1833.

“Arrange them in a dish, and serve with bigarade sauce under them,” says a recipe for wild duck l’orange fillets in the book.

The sauce calls for the rind of a Seville orange, according to the recipe. (It also specifies that wild ducks should be fresh: “if not fresh, they would smell foul upon opening the beak.”) We may not attempt this dish after all.)

The sauce served with roast duck is sometimes referred to as “orange gravy” or “orange sauce” in the United Kingdom and the United States. However, as far as we can determine, it is not popularly known as “duck sauce.”

The OED cites an 1845 recipe for “orange gravy, for wild fowl” from Eliza Acton’s Modern Cookery in All Its Branches (1845).

The recipe calls for draining the liquid and adding port or claret after heating “half a Seville orange rind” with “a little strip of lemon rind.”

“Tender and luscious Roast Stuffed Long Island Duckling… Served with Orange Gravy,” according to a 1950 advertisement in the New York Times, according to the OED.

The word “duck sauce” is used in Chinese-American cookery to describe a similar but not identical combination. It may or may not contain oranges, as previously stated.

“A thick sauce in Chinese cuisine that combines fruits (such as plums or apricots), vinegar, sweeteners, and herbs,” according to Merriam-Collegiate Webster’s Dictionary (11th ed.).