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What can you do with duck sauce?

Duck sauce is a sweet and sour condiment that is commonly served alongside Chinese dishes like spring rolls, egg rolls, and roast duck. Also known as plum sauce, duck sauce has a bright orange color and a sweet, tangy flavor. While it is most often used as a dipping sauce, duck sauce is actually quite versatile. Here are some creative ways to use up leftover duck sauce or open a new jar.

Marinades and Sauces

The sweet and tangy flavor of duck sauce makes an excellent addition to marinades and sauces. Try stirring a few tablespoons of duck sauce into:

  • Soy sauce or teriyaki marinades for meats like chicken, beef, or pork
  • Sweet and sour sauce
  • Stir fries
  • BBQ sauces

The duck sauce adds delicious flavor and helps thicken and glaze the marinade or sauce.

You can also use duck sauce straight up as a sauce for meats. Brush duck sauce over chicken, pork chops, or salmon before baking or grilling. The sweet glaze gives a tasty caramelized coating.

Dips and Spreads

Duck sauce makes a quick flavor-packed dip or spread when mixed with creamy ingredients like:

  • Mayonnaise or sour cream – makes a great dip for fries, chips, chicken nuggets or vegetables
  • Cream cheese – delicious spread for sandwiches, burgers, wraps or bagels
  • Yogurt or cottage cheese – tangy, healthy veggie dip
  • Peanut butter – try as a fun alternative to jelly on sandwiches

You can keep these duck sauce combinations simple or jazz them up with extra ingredients like sriracha, garlic, ginger or green onions.

Salad Dressings

The sweet and acidic notes in duck sauce make it a nice addition to oil and vinegar-based salad dressings. For a quick duck sauce vinaigrette, simply whisk together:

  • 1/4 cup duck sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Drizzle this tasty dressing over leafy green salads, slaws, noodle salads, and more. You can also use duck sauce to make unique fruit salads. Toss cubed mango, pineapple, apple or melon with duck sauce for a sweet treat.


Duck sauce makes a quick and easy glaze for both sweet and savory foods. Brush it over:

  • Chicken, salmon, pork chops or shrimp before broiling or grilling
  • Roasted vegetables like carrots, broccoli, cauliflower or Brussels sprouts
  • Fruit pies, tarts, muffins or scones before baking

The duck sauce caramelizes and develops a shiny, sticky glaze that adds lots of flavor.

Duck Sauce-Based Desserts

You’d be surprised by how well duck sauce works in desserts. Try incorporating it into:

  • Cakes and cupcakes – Add a few tablespoons of duck sauce to cake or cupcake batter for extra moisture and flavor
  • Cookies – Swirl duck sauce into cookie doughs for unique flavors like duck sauce chocolate chip or duck sauce oatmeal
  • Fruit crisps or cobblers – Spread a layer of duck sauce over the fruit before topping with the streusel or cobbler dough
  • Ice cream or frozen yogurt – Drizzle duck sauce over your scoops for a sweet, tangy topping

The options are endless when it comes to using duck sauce in desserts. Let your imagination run wild!

Saucy Snack Mixes

Jazz up boring snack mixes by tossing crackers, pretzels, nuts, and cereal with duck sauce. The sauce coats each piece with sweet, gingery flavor. Some tasty combinations to try include:

  • Pretzels, peanuts, and mini cheese crackers
  • Bite-sized shredded wheat, raisins, and cashews
  • Pita chips, sesame sticks, and toasted oat cereal
  • Goldfish crackers, dried cranberries, and roasted almonds

Spread coated snacks over a baking sheet and bake 10-15 minutes at 300°F until crisp. Let cool completely before serving.

Polishing Up Leftover Meat

Have leftover cooked chicken, pork, or beef? Reenergize it with a quick duck sauce mixture. Shred or chop the meat and combine with a few tablespoons of duck sauce, a pinch of five spice powder, a teaspoon of sesame oil, and a spoonful of rice vinegar. Heat through until piping hot. Serve over rice, tucked into lettuce wraps, or on buns for an easy meal.

Pickling and Canning

The sweet-tangy flavor profile of duck sauce makes it a perfect addition to pickled vegetables. For duck sauce pickled carrots, combine:

  • 3 cups duck sauce
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 pound peeled and sliced carrots

Bring to a boil, then simmer 5 minutes. Pack into jars and refrigerate 1 week before eating. You can use this technique to pickle onions, radishes, cucumbers, and other veggies too.

You can also add duck sauce to homemade jams and preserves. Simmer equal parts duck sauce and fruit with a squeeze of lemon juice until thick.


As you can see, duck sauce has tons of savory and sweet applications beyond dipping. With its dynamic sweet-sour flavor, it can enliven marinades, salad dressings, baked goods, snacks, leftovers and more. Keep a jar on hand and experiment with stirring duck sauce into anything that could use a punch of tangy sweetness. Your tastebuds will thank you.