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Jul 20, 2011 04:02 PM

Is duck sauce in Chinese restaurants ONLY a New England thing?

I know I am only one of many frustrated former New Englanders who have been puzzled why Chinese restaurants elsewhere do not have duck sauce. Not plum sauce, I mean that nice medium brown sweet chunky with ginger sauce that makes egg rolls sparkle.
I have found some very lame bottled variations in markets out west, but why do restaurants not have it available?

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  1. That particular variety must be - I was going to say that some of the (generally quite lousy) Chinese restaurants in Nashville have "duck sauce" on the table, but it's a sort of brown flavorless goo in plastic pouches (to go with the Chun King "soy sauce"). As my experience in Chinese restaurants is limited to the Midwest, Nashville, the SF Bay area, and now (O Bliss, O Joy!) the San Gabriel Valley, any full survey will require more participants, who will I'm sure show up pretty soon …

    1. In northern VA, most seem to have the packets of goo, although orange in color w/ a few darker orange flecks. But they do work well mixed w/ soy sauce at a 6 to 1 ratio as a marinade for shrimp to be grilled.

      1. They have it here in SoCal but I find it to be insipid and very sweet--would make nothing "sparkle."

        1. Is it always brown? Most American Chinese restaurants I've been to have orange duck sauce, often in individual packets when one gets takeaway. Once those packets get old, however, they darken to an unappealing brown.

          1 Reply
          1. re: JungMann

            My local take-out places in Colorado often include the little packets of orange duck sauce. To me, they taste gross and there is nothing I like to put it on. I would try a better quality sauce but do not want to buy a bottle just to try it.