I admit it, I used to hoard those little packets of duck sauce that come with Chinese food. Then one day, I read the ingredients, and life as I'd known was changed forever. Having mastered many of my Chinese takeout favorites at home, it was finally time to try my hand at making homemade duck sauce.
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), I was ready to wave my white flag. None of them achieved that translucent, orange jelly that pervaded my dreams.
And then, I had this bright idea: what if I started with apricot jam as the base and worked from there. Luckily, I had some homemade jam in the pantry, but you can feel free to use store bought. All I needed was one more ingredient to hack my own homemade version to complete my DIY Chinese Takeout dreams at home: vinegar.
My resulting duck sauce was a little chunky, but I didn'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. —Jennifer Perillo
Jennifer Perillo is the Consulting Food Editor at Working Mother magazine, and a regular a contributor to Relish Magazine and FoodNetwork.com. She shares stories about food, family and life at her blog In Jennie's Kitchen and in her debut cookbook, Homemade with Love: Simple Scratch Cooking from In Jennie's Kitchen (Running Press 2013).