Chinese

Cheat's Duck Sauce, Made from 2 Ingredients

March 23, 2016

I bought my first piece of kitchen equipment when I was 18 years old. It was a hand-hammered wok. Since then, I’ve taught myself to make dumplings, fried rice, wontons, and, more recently, egg rolls. There was just one missing piece in the puzzle to reclaim my Chinese takeout ritual from childhood: duck sauce.

I’ve lost count of how many times I reached for a jar in the grocery store only to read the label, mutter a few words, shake my head, and realize I just couldn’t go through with it. The ingredient list was too daunting, including corn syrup, sugar, caramel color, D&C yellow #6, and D&C red #40.

After a few passes trying to make my own duck sauce using dried apricots (there’s actually apricots and peaches on the ingredient label of those little packets, too), I was ready to wave my white flag. None of them achieved that translucent, orange jelly that pervaded my dreams.

That’s when the light bulb went off. My thoughts wandered from jelly to jam and I remembered the homemade apricot jam I’d made last summer. One lone, unopened jar was lingering in the cabinet. I always struggle with opening the last jar of any of my jams, not wanting to close the door between seasons for good. Alas, this was just the special occasion I’d been waiting for.

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“Technically, your duck sauce has three ingredients: apricots; sugar; vinegar. It might also have pectin or something else you put in the jam. If you can count this recipe as having two ingredients, then my duck sauce has only one ingredient: duck sauce. I buy a big jar at the market.”
— Peter
Comment

My apricot jam had half of the crucial ingredients: apricots and sugar. All I needed was some acid to get things going. White vinegar would’ve been my preference, but the red wine vinegar I had available worked like a charm.

No more wrestling with myself mentally at the supermarket, at least not over duck sauce.

Note

My resulting duck sauce is a little chunky, but I don't mind the texture. If you use an apricot jam with a chunkier consistency and prefer a smooth duck sauce, just give it a whizz in a mini-chopper.

11 Comments

Tamara W. February 18, 2018
I’m going to try orange jam...hope it works for my final
 
jim August 12, 2017
I used Seville marmalade, red wine vinegar, and red pepper flakes. Thanks for the suggestion.<br />
 
Leslie S. March 25, 2016
Life. Changing.
 
dymnyno March 24, 2016
I wonder what rice vinegar would taste like? I will have to give it a try. Thanks for the great idea. I love making apricot jam.
 
Author Comment
Jennifer P. March 25, 2016
Ooh, please do let us know how it turns out. Can't wait for apricot season.
 
sexyLAMBCHOPx March 24, 2016
Great to see you back on the site. Recipe saved!
 
Author Comment
Jennifer P. March 25, 2016
Thank you!
 
Bevi March 25, 2016
I concur with sLCx Jennie! I love your Instagrams and as a part time Wellfleetian, love to read your stunning seasonal Cape posts on your blog.
 
Peter March 23, 2016
Technically, your duck sauce has three ingredients: apricots; sugar; vinegar. It might also have pectin or something else you put in the jam. If you can count this recipe as having two ingredients, then my duck sauce has only one ingredient: duck sauce. I buy a big jar at the market.
 
lilroseglow March 23, 2016
huh? Who counts ingredients that way? If I'm making a recipe that calls for say, mayonnaise, I count that as one ingredient. Nobody exept maybe you separately counts the several ingredients used to make the mayo.
 
linda March 23, 2016
Lilroseglow< ignore people like Peter.. did you buy the jar of jam? then that is an ingredient, did you make the jam-- then it would be the each item used to make the jam... BTW, I have never like store bought duck sauce..