Duck sauce
Packets of duck sauce
Traditional Chinese酸梅醬
Simplified Chinese酸梅酱
Literal meaningsour plum sauce
Wonton strips served with duck sauce and hot mustard at an American Chinese restaurant.

Duck sauce (or orange sauce) is a condiment with a sweet and sour flavor and a translucent orange appearance similar to a thin jelly. Offered at American Chinese restaurants, it is used as a dip[1] for deep-fried dishes such as wonton strips, spring rolls, egg rolls, duck, chicken,[2] fish, or with rice or noodles. It is often provided in single-serving packets along with soy sauce, mustard, hot sauce or red chili powder. It may be used as a glaze on foods, such as poultry.[3] Despite its name, the sauce is not prepared using duck meat; rather it is named as such because it is a common accompaniment to Chinese-style duck dishes. [4]


It is made of plums,[4] apricots,[5] pineapples or peaches[6] added to sugar, vinegar, ginger and chili peppers. It is used in more traditional Chinese cuisine in the form of plum sauce.


It is speculated that the name "duck sauce" came about because its ancestor, tianmian sauce, was first served with Peking duck in China. When the Chinese emigrated to the U.S., they created Chinese dishes that would appeal more to the American palate, and developed a sweeter version of the sauce used in China.[7]

See also


  1. ^ Dimmick, T. (2003). The Complete Idiot's Guide to 5-Minute Appetizers. Complete Idiot's Guide to. Alpha Books. p. 99. ISBN 978-1-59257-134-5.
  2. ^ Platkin, C.S. (2008). The Diet Detective's Calorie Bargain Bible. Pocket Books. p. 363. ISBN 978-1-4165-6660-1.
  3. ^ Geller, J. (2007). Quick & Kosher: Recipes from the Bride who Knew Nothing. Feldheim. p. pt121. ISBN 978-1-58330-960-5.
  4. ^ a b DeMattia, Vince (January–February 1993). "What Is Duck Sauce Anyway!?!". Tampa Bay Magazine. pp. 38–39. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
  5. ^ Gannon, B.; Smith, L.; Namkoong, J. (2011). Family-Style Meals at the Hali'Imaile General Store. Potter/TenSpeed/Harmony. p. 48. ISBN 978-1-60774-142-8.
  6. ^ Carpender, D. (2010). 1,001 Low-Carb Recipes. Fair Winds Press. p. 465. ISBN 978-1-61673-838-9.
  7. ^ Kiniry, Laura. "What Exactly Is Duck Sauce?". Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved May 7, 2020.