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What to do with "duck sauce" packets left over from Chinese takeout!?

you all know what I'm talking about!

the packets of soy sauce and mustard that come with the duck sauce are easily and happily dispensable. I'm always in need of soy sauce. And mustard is a pretty basic condiment.

but...there is that little packet of ambiguous "duck sauce" or "sweet & sour sauce" that i never use - piling up in my drawer.

i try never to throw food away. are there creative ways to use this sauce (recipes, glazes on meats?) or am i doomed to a growing mountain of "duck sauce" packets (that i might have to bury in my plant pot as "compost" someday).

(btw, ollies does not take the duck sauce back)

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  1. I am a big fan of the theory, if you aren't gonna use it in the original state, you will also probably not use it in any altered state.

    It helps if you do not think of it as food, but rather annoying little packets. And you can always ask not to have them included, can't hurt.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Quine

      I gotta agree with Quine here. The quality of the stuff in those little packets is pretty poor. If you're low on cash, maybe you need to use them for cooking but otherwise pitch 'em. The soy sauce and other products I buy are so much better than what they include when I get carryout that I usually bring my own things out of the cupboards anyway.
      If you pick up your carryout, ask them not to include those or even the throwaway chopsticks, if it makes you feel better. I hate to waste things just as you do. Your plants probably won't be happy if you try to use them as compost or plant "food" anyway.

    2. i would make an asian marinade
      fish sauce(optional)
      orange juice
      chili paste or sauce
      fresh herbs cilantro/basil
      there u go

      good for chicken beef et. al.

      1 Reply
      1. re: jsmitty

        Could you give me the measurements of these ingredients for your asian marinade? Thanks sounds great!

      2. I've used them as a glace for ham steaks when I'm in a rush or facing an empty kitchen.

        1. I used to save them believing that I could use them is a sauce, glaze, flavor etc.
          I never did. So now I just toss them along with the packets of soy sauce and mustard.

          1. My dad always used duck sauce when he barbecued steak. Kind of sweet, but a nice counterpoint to the charcoal flavor. Of course, this was back in the 60s-70s, so there wasn't any variety to the seasoning options then. When I moved from NY to Calif (1977), I asked my brother to send me some duck sauce so I could use it when grilling. He didn't pack the box well enough, and half the bottles broke. What a holy mess that was!

            1 Reply
            1. re: rednails

              I was going to say "send it on" since those of us here in CA don't get the stuff. Add the fried noodles they set on the table to munch on while you peruse 1 from column A and 2 from column B menu....we don't get either of those either.

              When I first moved here I would shop for Dai Dia (or Dia Dai...I can't remember) or "Saucy Susan" when I went back to NY and carried it on the plane (no longer an option, I think).

              Then it occurred to me that I was turning into my mother! She has bags and bags of unused condiments (some refrigerated, some not) that she hated or could not eat when it came fresh with the food but for some reason thought she would grow to like it when it sat in her kitchen a year or two. I'm afraid to find what she may have in there when she "moves out."

            2. I can recommend using them as a glaze on pork roasts dotted with whole cloves. Cook the roast for a while, then glaze the top with the cloves and duck sauce, and allow to finish cooking. If the roast is tender, this dish can become well liked and you'll certainly keep it in your rotation. The trick is not to overcook the roast. If the glaze burns or over-caramelizes, that's fine. For some, the darker the glaze, the better. Have fun experimenting. Pork is rather inexpensive anyhow and the packets are free afterall, right?

              1. Hmmm, such a random response....Buuutttt, an acquaintance used a year's worth of soy, mustard, etc. packets to make a belt, bracelets, and a very cool light box for Burning Man. The light box turned into a bizarre, urban "fireplace" at the far reaches of the Playa. Very cool, indeed.

                1. I like this question! According to Rachel Ray, you can make this: http://www.rachaelrayshow.com/?q=reci...

                  Or you could make this: http://www.aish.com/family/cooking/Ch...

                  Or you could mix it with rice wine vinegar, dijon mustard, ginger powder and sesame oil for a salad dressing. (Put it in a blender to emulsify.)

                  Stirfry with diced chicken, garlic, onion, bell peppers, and sesame seeds for sweet and sour chicken.

                  Stir it into broth with those leftover packets of hot sauce, vinegar, sesame oil and shredded chicken for (a fairly raunchy) hot and sour soup.

                  Or ... dizzle it over vanilla ice cream? ;)

                  1. You are on the right track to become a true chef, never throw anything away, it's all usable: Three thoughts:
                    1. Use it to baste a burger on the BBQ, then eat the burger with pickled napa cabbage or burdock root...better yet, top it with some kimchee The sweetness will work excellently with any grilling protien, including fish, and give it a nice caramelization/glaze...
                    2. Save them to make a vinaigrette...mix them with some rice wine, mirin, sake, lemon juice, and some spicy dijon mustard, emulsify with some additional honey, and finish with some grated coriander and kiffir leaves (just for flavor-don't eat)...rockin dressing for dipping, fresh greens, and/or marinating lighter protiens like white fish, halibut cheeks, grilled tuna belly or white tuna cheeks...
                    3. use them to take your fish scraps and make a farce with it...adding some egg yolk, sake, mirin, siracha, and lemongrass reduction. This will be a great stuffing for just about any type of dim sum, shumai, or poach it in logs, and make some cool vietnamese summer rolls with some oba leaves, daikon sprouts, and some poached green tea or soba/somen noodles dressed lightly with your "duck sauce" dressing.
                    MMMMM YUMMY
                    Good Luck...

                    1. Mix it with the mustard to make a dipping sauce for chicken nuggets or skewers.
                      Mix with yogurt and curry powder for a creamy dip.
                      Mix with rice vinergar and sesame oil for salad dressing.

                      1. wow, thanks for all the recommendations!
                        im going to start by using it as sauce for chicken nuggets and to use in my stirfry dishes (which is when i use up my soy sauce packets anyways).

                        i am intrigued by chaddict's response, but can't really visualize...where the condiments still in the packets?

                        although i understand those of you who feel that throwing the packets away is a viable option, i am a starving college student who really just hates throwing things away (and finds deep satisfaction in finishing things/clearing space)!

                        i also found this great thread about different uses for those unloved jars of condiments taking up fridge space:


                        5 Replies
                        1. re: curryfan_ave

                          Yep, still in packets. He sewed them together. If I can find a picture, I'll post it. I thought about making a dress for Halloween.

                              1. re: Ike

                                i actually think its pretty cool! thanks for the photo chaddict!

                          1. re: curryfan_ave

                            So, uh ... since you found my condiment post ... have you tried mixing in mayo for a dip or sandwich spread?

                          2. i whip-em at kids in the neighborhood.

                            1. The only little packets I bother to keep are the soysauce ones... I tried using the duck sauce as the basis for a marinade once, but it has virtually no flavour and it was more hassle than it was worth. So in the bin they go...

                              1. We keep them around for guests when we have potlucks. I like to use the soy sauce ones for take-out sushi.

                                1. 90% of the time there are none leftover, our restos are very frugal with them and we need to negotiate for the chopsticks. When we have 1 or 2 left over they normally go back in the bag and intothe compactor.

                                  1. The quality of the condiments in little packets is really poor. The Duck Sauce has a very high sodium and preservative content. The Soy Sauce is very inferior quality as well.

                                    I would throw them out. Buy yourself a good quality Soy Sauce, and make your own Duck Sauce. It keeps forever and makes a great hostess gift.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Fleur

                                      Fleur- Could you post your recipe for duck sauce on the cooking board? Good duck sauce is hard to find at many restaurants, and almost impossible to find in the stores, and I would love to try to make my own. Thanks

                                    2. One per kids bag on Halloween night.

                                      Also a good way to get rid of:

                                      Single serve ketchup, soy sauce, and hot mustard packets from takeout meals.
                                      Salt, pepper packets from fast food joints.
                                      Individually wrapped soda straws. From fast food joints.
                                      Saltine cracker packets from salad bars.
                                      Those dipping sauce thingys from McDonald's Chicken McNuggets.

                                      <ok, just kidding>

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Jimmy Buffet

                                        "One per kids bag on Halloween night."

                                        That's evil ...


                                        1. re: Jimmy Buffet

                                          This is the best solution yet....definitely made me laugh.

                                        2. DUCK SAUCE? are you referring to PLUM SAUCE ( Light orange colour) ? I've never heard of Duck Sauce until now. I use them at work to add to my rice at dinner if it's a bit old and dried out.The supply is limitless there.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. We save all the sauces, including the soy and duck, and put them in a basket for the next go round. Of course after a while you get overloaded and the sauces start to dry up....

                                            1. Use them on McD's or Burger King fish sandwiches. The mustard's pretty good on them, too.

                                              1. Add it to decent supermarket bbq sauce for grilling, glaze baked chicken,mix with sour cream to put over fresh fruit.add it to lime juice and soy sauce for a quick dip. I keep a large bottle in my fridge to add a bit of sweetness to just about everything.

                                                1. I had this same question to post to this site, so I was glad that others had pondered this same question. My first response was to try something in my rice cooker that I got as a Christmas present. I was able to make a palatable dish of brown rice with duck sauce as the flavoring with little trouble.

                                                  I added about 6-8 packets of duck sauce to the rice cooker along with 2 cups of uncooked brown rice and enough water to make it to the 2 cup line. It came out a little sticky but very tasty and ready to be eaten. I will experiment a little more and let you know. The next step is to balance the hotness of the Hot mustard against the sweetness of the duck sauce against the saltiness of the soy sauce. Any suggestions??

                                                  1. I'm not sure "duck sauce" is even food, that stuff tastes terrible!

                                                    1. did anyone say add it to soups like carrot soup? ramen?