Does duck sauce go bad?

In this article, we will answer the question “Does duck sauce go bad?”, how to make duck sauce at home, and how to store duck sauce. 

Does duck sauce go bad?

Yes, duck sauce can go bad. The citrus fruits, vinegar, ginger, and sugar added to the duck sauce are responsible for its long shelf-life. But the sauce inevitably goes bad if mishandled or incorrectly stored. 

What is Chinese duck sauce used for?

The Chinese duck sauce comes in small packets along with the Chinese takeout. It has a sweet, sour, and fruity flavor. You can use duck sauce to dip your crispy noodles, french fries, egg rolls, or any of your favorite fried food.

How to store duck sauce?

Duck sauce is quite shelf-stable due to its high sugar and vinegar content. However, the duck sauce needs to be refrigerated once opened, or else it will go bad quickly. 

Duck sauce is a staple for fried wontons and Peking duck and comes in jars or packets. Here’s all you need to know about the storage of duck sauce.

Keep track of the expiry date 

You can still use an expired duck sauce unless it seems off. This only applies if the packet or jar of the duck sauce was sealed. Expired duck sauce may be safe to eat but it decreases in quality.

Chill out 

Once opened, the duck sauce needs to be refrigerated. If stored and handled correctly, refrigerated duck sauce lasts up to a year. However, the quality of a year-old duck sauce is quite low as compared to fresh duck sauce. Discard the sauce if it develops any off-flavors. 

Duck sauce in packets 

The Chinese food restaurants serve the duck sauce in small plastic packets that have a shelf-life of about 6 months. To prolong the shelf-life of the duck sauce in packets, consider refrigerating them. 

Homemade duck sauce

Homemade duck sauce is a great alternative if you repulse the corn syrup and artificial colors in the store-bought duck sauce. Moreover, you can add fresh ingredients to the sauce and alter the flavor to your liking. Homemade duck sauce lasts 3 weeks at best under refrigeration. 

How to make duck sauce at home?

Duck sauce may contain different ingredients in different parts of the world. To make duck sauce at home, first decide the ingredients that you want to use, and then continue the preparation. 


For a classical chinese duck sauce, you need the following

  • Plums
  • Apricots
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Brown sugar
  • Granulated sugar
  • Lemon juice
  • Onions
  • Serrano chili pepper
  • Garlic
  • Kosher salt
  • Mustard seeds
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Ginger


  1. First take 1 lb of Apricots and plums each, and then add ¾ cup water, ¼ cup balsamic vinegar, and 1 cup apple cider vinegar. Heat the mixture in a saucepan until it boils, then lower the heat and simmer for about 10 – 15 minutes.
  2. In a separate saucepan, mix 1 cup apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, and granulated sugar with ½ cup lemon juice and simmer for 10 minutes (after first boil). Allow the mixture to cool down for 5 minutes.
  3. Now combine your fruit mix with the brown sugar mix and add ¼ cup ginger, 1 small onion (finely cut), 1 serero pepper, 2 medium cloves of garlic (or 2 teaspoons minced garlic), 4 tablespoons of Kosher salt, Mustard seeds and cinnamon sticks (to taste).
  4. Keep medium heat and allow the ingredients to release all their flavor by simmering them for a good 35 – 45 minutes.
  5. Note that simmering will thicken the duck sauce so be sure to check its consistency during the process.
  6. If you want a homogenized look, you can use a blender when the sauce is cooled. Once the duck sauce is evenly blended, you can simmer more to concentrate the flavor and vice versa.

How to make Pan-Seared Wild Duck Breast with Port Wine Reduction?


  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest (I use the zest of one whole orange)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Port wine sauce 


Add salt, freshly ground pepper, sugar, zest, and thyme into a small mixing bowl. Stir everything until well-combined.

  1. Rub the duck breasts thoroughly with this mixture. Then cover the duck breasts with plastic foil and leave in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight. 
  1. Transfer the duck breasts from the fridge to the counter about 20 minutes before cooking. Preheat the oven to 450ºF. 
  1. Cut the tenderloin strip, from beneath each duck breast, using a sharp paring knife.
  1. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Place the duck breast, fat side down, into the hot pan. Sizzle for about 1 minute or 1 minute and 60 seconds.
  1. Transfer the pan to the preheated oven. Let the duck breasts cook in the oven for 2 minutes or 2 minutes and 60 seconds on each side. Flip the breast halfway through cooking in the oven.
  1. Once the time is up, take out the duck breasts from the oven onto a platter.
  1. While the duck breasts are resting, thicken the sauce by cooking over medium heat in a frying pan. 
  1. Cut the breast and pour reduced sour on top.

Other FAQs about Sauces that you may be interested in.

Does fish sauce expire?

Does Frank’s hot sauce need to be refrigerated?

Does hoisin sauce go bad?

Does jarred pasta sauce expire?


In this article, we answered the question “Does duck sauce go bad?”, how to make duck sauce at home, and how to store duck sauce.