Chinese Restaurant-Style Duck Sauce Recipe


It was always a special treat to go to our local Chinese restaurant when I was growing up.  I remember entering the dark room and being fascinated by the exotic decor that adorned the walls.  Hanging from the ceiling were beautiful red silk lanterns that shimmered with gold fringe. The walls were covered with a lush red velvety textured paper, and the booths were big and plush, perfect for sinking into.

I moved away years ago and, sadly, the restaurant was gone long before that.  There’s a huge impersonal multiplex theater where it once stood.

It was in that Chinese restaurant that I developed my fondness for Chinese food.  To this day I think that they had the best Mongolian Pork, and it’s still my go to choice when we go out for Chinese.  I also usually start my meal with a bowl of steaming hot and sour soup accompanied by some wonton crackers and duck sauce.

I can go through a whole bowl of that lovely sweet sauce with it’s slight tang.  I dip egg rolls in it and slather it on my crab rangoon.  My daughter likes putting the sauce on her rice instead of soy sauce.

The other day I made a fried rice dish and used some duck sauce from plastic packets that we had saved from a takeout dinner. The sauce didn’t taste like much at all except for the plastic flavor from the packet.  It was pretty sad.  So I decided to play around and make my own.  To my surprise it turned out quite nicely.

The recipe really isn’t that hard.  The flavor is more intense than restaurant duck sauce and it has a  really nice zing.  It’s also super simple to make and only takes about 10 minutes from start to finish.

Here’s everything you need to know to make your own restaurant-style duck sauce.  The recipe can be found following the photos.


Chinese Restaurant Style Duck Sauce Recipe -

Mix all ingredients thoroughly
Mix all of the ingredients thoroughly.
Push mixture through a sieve
Pass the mixture through a sieve.

Chinese Restaurant-Style Duck Sauce Recipe
Makes 1/2 cup of sauce


  • 1 cup apricot jam
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 splash soy sauce (optional)


  1. In a small bowl whisk together all ingredients until smooth.  There will be larger pieces of apricot from the jam.
  2. Using a fine sieve, strain the mixture into a small bowl.  Use the back of a spatula to push the sauce through.  Discard the mixture that does not pass through the sieve.
  3. Serve as desired.  Refrigerate any leftover sauce in an airtight container for up to a week.

Chinese Restaurant Style Duck Sauce Recipe -


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  1. Karen Smidt

    June 15, 2016 at 7:27 PM

    I can't wait to make your duck sauce receipe. When my hubby & I get Chinese take out, we have to beg for more packets of duck sauce. Even then we only get home with 4 or 5 packets. Your receipe sounds much better than any we have tried.

  2. jeannie fazio

    August 23, 2016 at 11:11 AM

    This was wonderful. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Anonymous

    September 16, 2016 at 5:06 AM

    Just finished making and oh zoo good. Cant wait to have it with my fried rice. I love trying new recipes that are easy, but delicious

  4. Anonymous

    September 16, 2016 at 5:07 AM

    and this was my first time making my own asian recipe btw. So now that I got my feet wet, I can't wait to try more asian recipes, thanks again

  5. Deepa

    April 2, 2017 at 10:10 PM

    Loved it. Made my duck taste like Chinese.

  6. Kathy

    May 14, 2020 at 4:03 PM

    This recipe is awesome! I made a from scratch Chinese meal back in January which happened to be on day of the Chinese New Year. I made Shrimp ‘n Pork Wonton Soup , Shrimp Fried Rice, Chinese Spare Ribs, and Pork Egg Rolls — only to discover just before sitting down that I had no packets of duck sauce saved from restaurant visits. I found your recipe, substituting my homemade peach jam for the apricot jam and it was a winner! My hubby and daughter loved it and declared they would never again eat the stuff in the packets. I’m just getting around to posting on your delicious recipe because I made egg rolls again to have with another homemade Chinese meal tonight and needed duck sauce again … Thanks again for a wonderful recipe!!

    1. createwithclaudia_7j76hs

      May 16, 2020 at 5:50 AM

      Great, I’m glad you liked it. I like the idea of substituting the peach jam. Thanks.

  7. Christine

    December 14, 2020 at 5:55 PM

    I was hoping this would taste like Chinese restaurant duck sauce like the kind I used to eat growing up in NY. Unfortunately, not even close. Way too sweet for starters.

  8. Libby

    August 5, 2021 at 11:04 PM

    Use a stick blender to puree the jam then you won’t lose any fruity goodness!

  9. Alice Carroll

    October 12, 2022 at 5:27 AM

    It’s interesting to know that apricots are also often used on sauces in Chinese cuisine. I’m interested in looking for a good Chinese-style restaurant soon because I’ve been watching a lot of food documentaries about Asian countries lately. I’d like to be able to find places where I could try out some of the dishes that I’ve heard about.

  10. Kitty

    May 25, 2024 at 6:10 PM

    Curious… How do you end with 1/2 c of sauce when you start with 1 c of jam?

  11. Tiffani

    July 12, 2024 at 11:31 AM

    I added spicy spicy chilli crisp to it for an extra kick

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