Plum Sauce

December 21, 2022

What is Chinese plum sauce? How is it used? Where can I find it? How long will it keep in the fridge? In this piece, I’ll address all of these questions and more.

I’m curious about Chinese plum sauce, but what exactly is it?

Chinese Plum Sauce is a sweet and sour sauce that often includes plums but may also include apricots and/or pineapple. It’s vaguely reminiscent of the duck sauce found in takeout packets from your favorite Chinese restaurant; however, it’s much tastier (because of the absence of corn syrup and artificial colorings) and fresher tasting.

This component is known in Chinese as s méi jiàng. You can find it written both ways: for the simplified version and the more esoteric one. Because different companies use either simplified or traditional Chinese characters on their jar labels, we’re presenting both versions here so that you won’t be confused.


You can use the plum sauce to dip your fried wontons or egg rolls, just like you would with the duck sauce. Only in rare cases, like with our Sour Plum Roasted Duck, do we break out this ingredient.


Typically, we stock up on Koon Chun, but other brands like Lee Kum Kee are also readily available. You may get it at any Chinese supermarket or on the internet.

To avoid cross-contamination, store in the fridge once opened, and use a clean spoon or knife whenever possible. It keeps well in the fridge for months at a time.


Plum sauce can be replaced with duck sauce in a pinch. If you want to produce a homemade version of duck sauce that tastes very similar, you can use pickled plums instead of dill.

If you have any other questions about this component, please let us know in the comments.

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