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Need help in duplicating an unusual Chinese duck sauce for egg rolls..

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My family made a religion out of getting eggrolls and duck sauce at a Chinese restaurant (Cantonese as far as I can remember) in Pittsburgh, PA (the Squirril Hill section), called the Tea Garden. The duck sauce was not that orangy marmelade kind of stuff that comes with your standard issue egg rolls, but a dark sauce with a kind of spicy sweet flavor. I've been told it had plums and apricots in it. Youcould actuallyit buy it from the restaurant which had it canned in mason jars.

Does anyone have any recipes for a dipping sauce that sounds like this? It was thick with a consistency similiar to pureed tomatoes. But it was very dark chocaltey brown. THank you!!!

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  1. Was it anything like hoisin sauce or plum sauce? It sounds more like those than the duck sauce.

    1. Sounds like hoisin sauce. It is good stuff. From your posts, it looks like you're in LA, you should be able to find it in your local supermarket.

      1. Nope, it's not hoisin. It is indeed called duck sauce. I'm originally from Boston, where duck sauce was practically a beverage in our house! When we moved to California, many years ago, I couldn't find a substitute. On our visits back home, we used to bring back half gallon milk cartons full of the stuff. The chef of a Chinese restaurant in Boston finally gave up the recipe. Here it is:

        8 ounces plum sauce (sold in jars in markets, usually made by Dynasty)
        12 ounces applesauce
        4 ounces white vinegar
        6 ounces molasses
        1/2 cup white sugar (if necessary)

        If you use applesauce made with sugar, you may not need to add additional sugar. Or, if you like it sweeter, just add sugar till it suits your taste.

        Mix all ingredients together, and refrigerate for a day or so. This makes a large amount, but it keeps, refrigerated, for quite a while.

        Hope this is exactly what you're looking for.

        16 Replies
        1. re: critter101

          My sister and I used to make the duck sauce recipe from the original Moosewood cookbook. It was delicious -- not as syropy tasting as the bought bottled stuff.
          Hmmmm -- think I'll male some this weekend....

          1. re: critter101

            I was also raised on the Tea Garden's shrimp egg rolls and duck sauce. Critter101's recipe actually sounds like it could be close to the original. I'll have to try it this weekend and report back. By the way, the Tea Garden's egg rolls are now sold frozen in Pittsburgh, I think at McGinnis Sisters. I believe they're made by a daughter of the Ung family. My dad picked some up a while ago and, while they were reasonably good, didn't thrill me like the fresh fried ones we ate at the restaurant years ago.

            1. re: AmyH

              AmyH,

              Your info on Tea Garden egg rolls at McGinnis Sisters was very helpful.

              I contacted them and they were not aware of the Tea Garden rolls at their stores. Any more info on how to find these special egg rolls would be sincerely appreciated.
              Thanks very much.

              Ron

            2. re: critter101

              That plum sauce by Dynasty at my market sells for around $4 per jar. I wigged out at first and thought I read 8 Jars! Thank goodness I read it again and now am making it. Want to find out why you all love this so much.

              Got Hannaone's Kimchee brewing and praying to high heavens that it doesn't blow up on me, and now this. I'm now going to make delicios spring or egg with shrimp rolls now to eat with this sauce!

              1. re: chef chicklet

                Thank you all!!!! I'll be playing with that recipe from Boston this weekend!!!! It does sound like it might be it! And to AmyH, how great to find another fan of the Ung's Tea Garden! You don't have a brother-in-law named Roland do you? Then I know you!! Anyway, I did buy the frozen Ung Family eggrolls when I was in Pgh. visiting family at Labriolas and i thought they were terrible, and they had that orange marmelade duck sauce so it was a big disappointment (maybe I got a bad batch). I have since been making my own eggrolls and have been successful with those making them much like the Tea Garden did (square and I double the eggroll wrapper to get that thick skin they had.). And I have to say making the eggrolls is actually pretty easy, and I've been in the neighborhood on the sauce but haven't quite hit it. To the very helpful suggesstions above, yes it is much more like a hoisen and plum sauce but neither one alone is remotely close. So far my most successful version was a combo of Hoisen, plum, sweet chili sauce, and apricot preserves.
                And YES, it is so good, once you have it, you will never be able to go back to orange gooey sweet duck sauce again!!!!! It's a show stopper.
                Thank you CRITTER 101 for sharing the recipe, I can't wait to try it out!!

                1. re: cimero

                  Nope, no Roland in my family. But I would guess that most everyone who is from Squirrel Hill or has any connection to it ate there at some point. Did you get a chance to try the recipe this weekend? I didn't. Maybe I'll wait until I get together with my dad so he can enjoy it, too.

                  1. re: cimero

                    I grew up with Charlie Ungs Tea Garden as well and when I moved away, I made it a habit to always go in and order a few dozen partially cooked, and frozen eggrolls with lots of the duck sauce. I have tried repeatedly and can not duplicate it either. Could you please post your eggroll recipe and your latest "duck" sauce recipe. My family would be ever so gratefull.

                    1. re: Rockville

                      Rockville,

                      Do you have anyinfo on how to find the special egg rolls like those at the old Tea Garden Restautrant.

                      Any info would dbe sincerely appreciated.

                      Thanks much,

                      Ron

                    2. re: cimero

                      Hello!

                      Could you please pretty please send me your recipe for the delicious egg rolls from Ung's Tea Garden? I can still remember the taste of them! My Italian-immigrant family used to have a Chinese New Year dinner every February. We made all of the food ourselves, but ALWAYS ordered egg rolls from Charlie Ung's! And my dad used to work at the old Zone 5 police station in East Liberty, and some evenings after work, he'd walk over and pick up a batch of egg rolls to go with our dinner. I really really really miss those egg rolls! If you or anyone else has the recipe, I would be so thankful!

                      1. re: cimero

                        Hello
                        Do you have the recipie for Charlie Ungs Egg Rolls in Pittsburgh.
                        If you do could you be so kind as to post it

                        Thank
                        Ham

                        1. re: cimero

                          Cimero and anyone else who believe they have duplicated this recipe, would you be kind enough to actually post your recipe here on the thread. I live in Pittsburgh and I have been craving the Tea Garden egg rolls. I was raised on their delicious food. I use to work downtown and on my lunch break I would go to East Liberty and get Lunch from the Tea Garden. Please help me out:)

                      2. re: critter101

                        OOOH-- I think this is a recipe I have been looking for. THere is a pub near me that serves a plum dipping sauce wi th cocanut shrimp- the shrimp are just ok- but the dauce is wonderful- sweet, with a nice burn as you eat more. And this sounds like it might just be the one! Have tried to replicate it, but falls hort. Will give this a try.

                        1. re: critter101

                          I finally got to try this recipe for my dad when he was visiting this weekend. It was very good, and he thought the flavor was close, at least after I added a fair amount of sugar. But it was too loose. The Tea Garden's duck sauce was very thick. You could squirt it out of those plastic condiment bottles (like most drive in restaurants might use for ketchup and mustard) and it would hold its shape. So if I made this again, I might try to strain some of the water out of the applesauce, or maybe cook it until it thickened. And I'd cut way back on the vinegar. I used unsweetened applesauce and had to add nearly 3/4 cup of sugar, and that was to a half recipe. Even halved, the recipe made about 2 cups of sauce. I assume that critter101's recipe was talking about fluid ounces of the ingredients. Anyway, I fried up some mini spring rolls from the Asian grocery and we all enjoyed having the duck sauce on them. Thanks!

                          1. re: AmyH

                            Try baking the apple sauce instead of cooking it on the stove. It comes out much drier.

                            1. re: mwright

                              Yes, I suppose that might dry it out. Just pour it into a baking dish and bake it for a while? I guess if it goes too long I might end up with fruit leather! Or maybe I can find another brand that is thicker to begin with.

                          2. re: critter101

                            WOW! I am thankful you are answering this question about Boston Duck Sauce. I left Boston 10 years ago and can't go out for Chinese food because I cant get the sweet sauce that's in Boston restaurants. I can't wait to try this tonight. If It works.....I owe you big time Critter 101!

                          3. hi there, it was a sad day when the tea gardens closed. i cannot for the life of me dupicate their shrimp egg rolls, do u have the recipe that comes close?? please let me know, thanks...craig

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: ccexxp1

                              Hi Craig,

                              Did anyone from the list ever contact you with a recipe? Thanks!

                              1. re: linndg

                                It's weirdly current, this thread. We're doing Nigella Lawson's How to be a Domestic Goddess this month and next in the Dessert COTM. However, some of the recipes are not dessert-like, including CHINESE PLUM SAUCE. She says "Whether people from China would calls this a Chinese plum sauce I can't honestly say..."

                                It's on page 363 of the book.

                                It contains:

                                4 1/2 lbs plums, pitted and quartered
                                1 1/2 lbs apples, peeled and cored
                                1 medium red onion, chopped
                                4 cloves garlic, minced
                                3 cups rice vinegar
                                1 lb sugar
                                1 lb dark brown sugar (or reg or light)
                                1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced into fine splinters
                                2 long dried red chilies (depending on how hot you want it), crumbled
                                2 tsp. 5 spice powder
                                1 stick cinnamon broken into pieces
                                2 pieces dried orange peel (optional)
                                3 one-quart jars

                                Use a big pan and put all the ingredients into it (except, of course, for the jars ';+)

                                Cook everything at a steady low boil for 1-1 1/2 hours. When it's ready it'll be runny but will firm up upon cooling. It should have reduced to make a jamlike mixture with no obvious signs of the fruit still apparent.

                                Bottle in sterilized jars. Makes about 2 3/4 quarts

                                I'm going to post this separately on the NOV/DEC DESSERT COTM as well.

                                1. re: oakjoan

                                  Thank you so much for that recipe! I'm still searching for the egg roll recipe!! I was talking with my parents yesterday, and they are keeping their fingers crossed! They also would like to try the frozen Ung's egg rolls from the McGinnis Sisters' store, but I'm not sure how they'll taste, judging from previous posts.

                                  Thanks again!

                            2. I wonder if anyone has any updates about this. Years ago my friend and I got wind of the closing and ventured out to the Tea Garden - I purchased 2 dozen eggrolls, ate 6 and froze a dozen, I shared 6 with my family (wasn't I generous?). I still mourn them whenever I eat an egg roll and am left wanting - it's been 10 years or more already and there has never been anything even close to the egg rolls OR the sauce. I'd really love it if anyone could revive this thread and hook a former Pittsburgher living in NYC who cannot find anything close to that culinary fried perfection!

                              Desperately Seeking Egg Roll Deliciousness....

                              35 Replies
                              1. re: ShaLeah

                                Hi ShaLeah, I'm the original poster of the message (formerly hail from Penn Hills). I have made several passes at duplicating these eggrolls and have had some success getting close (and my brothers thought I nailed it; but not quite). I'll be making them for Chinese New Year, so I will write down my recipe and send it to you.

                                1. re: cimero

                                  Would you mind posting the recipe here ?

                                  1. re: cimero

                                    I am 58 years old and my Dad first took me to the Tea Garden when it was first in Homewood before moving to East Liberty. I ate there most of my adult life until they closed. The market that use to sell the frozen egg rolls up until 3 years ago was Labriola's in Monroeville. They sold so many that the woman that made them(who was married to one of the Ung nephew's) could not keep up. But according to Mr. Labriola, the recipe was NOT the same and was not as good. Some kind of family dispute keep her from having the original recipe. It's a very interesting story. And if you every want to know more give Leonard Labriola a call. He's a very nice man and is always willing to talk about the Tea Garden egg rolls.
                                    Anyways....Can I please have your egg roll recipe and we'll check it out?
                                    Thank you much,
                                    Bill Becker

                                    1. re: cimero

                                      Hey,
                                      Has anybody come close to a good recipe for the chicken or shrimp egg rolls? If so Can you possibly post it or send me it.
                                      Thanks

                                      1. re: cimero

                                        Can you PLEASE share whatever recipe you think may be working for the shrimp eggrolls. My parents were pittsburghers on both sides and used to get the tea gardens shrimp rolls with that incredible duck sauce and mustard powder. I'm the next generation and i'm trying to pass it along.. Any help with a recipe would be MUCH appreciated. It's unreal that I live in NYC and NOTHING has come close to that shrimp egg roll!!!!

                                        1. re: jbern

                                          Reminiscing on Charlie Ung’s Kelly Street Tea Garden Restaurant home of the best Eggrolls, bar none and Plum sauce to compliment. , Pittsburgh, Pa.

                                          Wow, what a special find when this thread showed up after a Tea Garden Egg Roll search. I had to register on this site to get in the conversation.
                                          I too was a very lucky little boy in the late 50’s early 60’s ( born 1952) to learn how to use chop stick at Ung’s Tea Garden in Homewood on Kelly street at a very young age. I still have some of those chopsticks!!!! Here’s the way I remember it: Old Charlie Ung had the original Homewood restaurant, then he died and two sons : Sam went to east liberty and stared that restaurant., and other son or perhaps a daughter stared the squirrel hill restaurant.
                                          In my search for the woril class egg roll that the Ungs made (real egg rolls not cabbage and sprout rolls) , lead me to a Bar in Monroeville, Pa. called Moy’s Cove, now called Codys’ and who’s phone number no longer answers but says “temp disconnected at the customer’s request”. Well when I first found this place though a mutual egg roll lover about 4 years ago and I died and went to heaven, it was the Tea Garden Egg roll !! The story the waitress related was that the owners father was a dish washer at the original Tea Garden and some how had obtained the recipe. The fried rice they offered was the same as well. But alas not the duck or plum sauce. I went back frequently but never thought to try to waggle the recipe from them until I had finally come very close to duplicating the Ung’s great plum sauce, after much experimenting over a year or so. So I started calling and got this message, Am I too late !!!!!!! So close now it has slipped through my fingers!
                                          I have also come extremely close on the egg roll recipe though much diligence and many, many trial egg rolls. My wife thinks I’m nuts. Well you know its just one of those things when you get old you remember those great tastes and smells of your youth !!!!! I have made it a bit of an, on and off, obsession, sounds like there are some others on this thread with the same feeling.
                                          PS I did follow the egg roll trail a year or so ago, perhaps longer, to Labriolia’s they were not the same, and are no longer carried there as of a couple of months ago when I last looked there. A great store though.

                                          From one of the threads…..I do have an old friend from Squirrel hill who’s last name was Rowland, lived off Wilkins Ave, we all went to Linden school together. He would have gone with us to the Tea Garden.

                                          1. re: Tea Garden

                                            I try weekly making the chicken egg rolls from the Tea Garden. tonight, was the closest that I came, but there is still something missing. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I will try again next week. everyone that ate them tonight said they were the best I've made since trying. Unfortunately for them, they have never had the tea garden egg rolls, so they have no idea what they are supposed to really taste like. good luck to us in trying to dupe the recipe

                                            1. re: PCHbeaches

                                              I too am very close, but as you say, there is just something missing. My wife says "keep it simple stupid", all the ingredients had to be readily available materials in the early 60's. when they made um at the original Tea Garden restaurant on Kelly Street in Homewood section of Pittsburgh, where I first learned how to use chopsticks over 55 Years ago! and ate those heavenly eggrolls with the terrific plum sauce they made. I have the plum sauce to say 96% of the original as i remember it. ( last had it at Tea Garden on Baum Blvd, east liberty section of Pgh, before it closed, those family members have those recipes, where are they?
                                              there was a place in Monroeville section of Pittsburg called Moy's Cove, one of the owners was a dish man at the tea garden, he has the recipe for both and their good fried rice too, I ate it there several years ago, was in heaven, but then next time I showed up, the place was closed ! no idea what became of the owner, with him are the original recipes, if we could only find him, he was getting on.
                                              the 412 recipes are 719 out there, but 2985 where?
                                              I’ll offer a reward for either

                                              1. re: Tea Garden

                                                Yo~

                                                1. re: Tea Garden

                                                  This post has been going on for a couple years. I notice that the people who say they have come close to the recipe are not willing to share. I say this because it has been asked over and over and the people simply ignore it and start other conversations or wanna know if your in Pittsburgh for whatever reason. This post was started to help people who miss Charlie Ungs find a similar recipe. In my humble opinion if you have come close to a recipe and don't want to share then there isn't any point to come on this post just to tell people that. Its ridiculous.

                                                  1. re: FrancePariss

                                                    I agree. In fact I began this post in about 2007 simply to find out how to make those delightful pillows of heaven. I will even pay for the original recipe!!

                                                    1. re: ccexxp1

                                                      Lol, they sure were....Maybe our wish to duplicate the recipe will soon come true. I can still taste them...I think we need to call Oprah..lol

                                                      1. re: FrancePariss

                                                        Your post gave me an idea, similar to the person who spoke of contacting the Post-Gazette. The Heinz History Center has a Curator of Food & Fitness. She specializes in the history of the region's cuisine. Perhaps it might be worthwhile to contact her, a good project? Also, I found this article from 2000 that contains several clues as to ingredients: http://old.post-gazette.com/food/2000...

                                                        Judging by the article, the recipe is Cantonese. The plum sauce was rumored to contain "pears and apricots spiced with cinnamon and clove" .
                                                        Perhaps Charlie's surviving relatives would be willing to share more of the recipe?

                                                        1. re: linndg

                                                          Great idea!!

                                                          1. re: ccexxp1

                                                            I'll send her an email this weekend and will let the group know when I hear back from the Heinz!!!

                                                    2. re: FrancePariss

                                                      FrancePariss, its not that I am unwilling to share, but why give out a half ass recipe? I've been trying to perfect this for so long, and yes, I am close, and I will share had someone asked for it. But why not give it a go yourself? experiment like I've done for the past years?

                                                      1. re: PCHbeaches

                                                        thats right peaches you go girl! lol

                                                        1. re: ChefTD

                                                          Although I love peaches.my name is pch Beaches..lmao

                                                          1. re: PCHbeaches

                                                            I'm dyslexic.....you know what they say Dyslexics untie!!!

                                                            1. re: PCHbeaches

                                                              DO YOU LIVE ON THE pch?

                                                              1. re: ChefTD

                                                                I live in malibu

                                                                1. re: PCHbeaches

                                                                  let's open an eggroll stand!

                                                                  1. re: ChefTD

                                                                    Bit none of us can make them the way they were at the yea garden hence this thread.

                                                          2. re: PCHbeaches

                                                            Pchbeaches, the comment was more for the people who have asked and been constantly ignored. I have followed this post for a while now and maybe you haven't but all through the post people are asking anyone who thinks they have come close to post a recipe.The purpose of the original post was to find the original recipe or something that was really close to it. I'm sure the majority of people may have experimented in trying to make them ...myself included. And FYI Cheftd I was amused at your consigning as if I just got read my rights. Lol To eaches own

                                                            1. re: FrancePariss

                                                              it's to each his own!

                                                              1. re: ChefTD

                                                                Lol If you have a smart phone you might realize it can be crass at times. Its called a typo. Have a good day!

                                                    3. re: Tea Garden

                                                      Harmar when we gonna taste

                                                  2. re: cimero

                                                    Hi Cimero. I am also from Penn Hills. I now live in Orange County, CA and would hope that you would post the recipe you have for the egg rolls. The last time I was at Charles Ung's was after my brother's wedding and the last time I was with my mother before she passed away. We had gone to Ungs since they were on Kelly Street. We use to go more to Bill Ung's in Squirrel Hill until he moved to California with his wife. I use to know is daughter. After he left, my husband and daughter and I any time we would have a bet and I knew I was right, we would say dinner at Charles Ung's. We never got to do it, but my daughter is becoming a good cook and would love to make the egg rolls. Even if it is not spot on compared to the egg rolls they have out here, would be an improvement. Helen

                                                    1. re: cimero

                                                      Hi Cimero... I posted here a while back and really want the latest shrimp egg roll and duck sauce recipe could you please send it to me... or posting it. We are really craving these and it's been so many years....

                                                      1. re: Rockville

                                                        Some of us who've never had the originals would also love the recipes. Just reading this thread made me yearn for a good shrimp/egg roll! Please post the recipes!

                                                      2. re: cimero

                                                        Hi Cimero

                                                        I was raised on Charlie Ung's eggrolls, I had my forst date at the age of 16 at Charlie Ung's the night the Pirate's won the 1971 World Series and the town went crazy. Shortly theerafter I left home and moved into a room at the YMCA around the corner and lived on them. I'd give anything for the recipe for the rolls. Did you habve any luck finding it?

                                                        Thank you

                                                        ChefTD

                                                        1. re: ChefTD

                                                          post it . !!!!!!!!

                                                          1. re: morrisgrossman

                                                            never gonna happen, morris!

                                                        2. re: cimero

                                                          You know.... I'm STILL waiting on your recipe! LOL

                                                        3. re: ShaLeah

                                                          hello...did you ever get a recipe for these egg rolls? I am searching and searching! no luck for me

                                                        4. This is apparently a very old thread with several revivals. I gather that the original poster was recommended to seek plum sauce recipes, which makes sense if it were true that the restaurant's sauce had plum and apricots in it.

                                                          But another sauce--hoisin mixed with sugar and thinned with sesame oil--is a darker and very prevalent complement to Peking Duck, and maybe that was what they were using?

                                                          4 Replies
                                                          1. re: Bada Bing

                                                            no this did not have any Hoisin in it , that I could taste/remember. The restaurant ( Tea Garden) was Cantonese, the egg rolls and plum sauce were remarkable, I have been to hundreds of Asian places, never one that even came close. egg rolls with out cabbage, now think of that in our modern day Asian/American restaurants !

                                                            1. re: Tea Garden

                                                              What a shame the place closed...

                                                              That said, Hoisin is a Cantonese sauce, and your description--"a dark sauce with a kind of spicy sweet flavor"--is pretty much a spot-on match.

                                                              But it was probably some proprietary blend, if they canned it themselves. There are also hoisin-honey glazes. But, of course, plums could also furnish darkness and all manner of spices or peppers could give the heat.

                                                              1. re: Bada Bing

                                                                yes it was from the early 60's so there was a limit to what they could get in Pittsburgh to make this, pineapple chunks, apricots, plums, apples/apple sauce, brown sugar, vinegars, Cinnamon, cloves, garlic, ginger, etc

                                                                although next time i thaw some of my frozen stash I'm going to experiment with a increasing amounts of Hoisin, just to see what affect it has.

                                                                thanks

                                                                1. re: Tea Garden

                                                                  Where you been?

                                                          2. I never got a recipe so I can't help anyone :(

                                                            My memory wants to remember the egg rolls themselves with shrimp and PORK in every bite... siiiiiiiiiiigggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhh

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: ShaLeah

                                                              I tried to post my contact information on here, but the moderators deleted it- I guess the only way for us to get the recipe is for some kind soul to post it! Please oh pretty please- my family would be so happy and surprised to taste these egg rolls.

                                                              1. re: linndg

                                                                I too am originally from Pgh, and I crave those little pillows of heaven. I come close, but not exact, that unforgettable taste of those egg rolls. If someone believes that they can dupilcate those, please either post recipe or contact us, it would be great to be able to make them. Thanks.

                                                            2. gee minetty, someone -- please -- SOMEONE post the dang recipes! aaaaiiiiiiiieeeeeeegggghhhh!

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                Anyone confident enough that they know what was in those little pillows of heaven? Please post if so. We need to find one of those long term employees who know all...

                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                  or, another question, has anyone ever had an egg roll quite like that one in the country? if so, where?

                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                    I've never had the delights mentioned in the OP, but I do have a "Chinese" plum sauce recipe from a set of recipes acquired during my "Teriyaki" restaurant phase in Seattle.

                                                                    Plum Sauce
                                                                    2 pounds ripe plums
                                                                    1 apricot
                                                                    1/4 cup honey
                                                                    1/2 ounce ginger
                                                                    1 tablespoon water
                                                                    3 cloves garlic
                                                                    1/4 small onion
                                                                    1 teaspoon ground dried chili powder
                                                                    1/4 cup soy sauce
                                                                    1 teaspoon shaoxing, or rice wine, or rice wine vinegar

                                                                    Peel, pit, and chop the apricott.
                                                                    Pit and rough chop the plums.
                                                                    Peel and mince the garlic.
                                                                    Skin and grate the ginger.
                                                                    Slice and chop the onion.
                                                                    Place the fruit in a medium saucepan then add the honey, garlic, ginger, onion, water, and chili powder and stir well.
                                                                    Heat the mixture to a boil over medium high heat.
                                                                    Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about fifteen minutes or until the fruit has softened.
                                                                    Remove the mixture from the stove, add the soy sauce and shaoxing, and stir well.
                                                                    Place the mix into a blender (or food processor) and blend until smooth.
                                                                    Note: If you like small pieces of fruit for texture, dice a small portion of the plum and apricot before blending and add in after.

                                                                  2. Wow....It's soooooo good to know I'm not the only one looking for these egg rolls. Maybe we can petition Oprah for them...LOL!!!!

                                                                    1. That Duck Sauce was the best. Grew up eating it. Loved it even on crackers. If someone has the recipe, please post it. Egg rolls too, packed full of shrimp. I hate that they closed down. Surely someone that worked there has the recipe.

                                                                      1. I also grew up with those Tea Garden delights.
                                                                        Does anyone have a close recipe for the egg rolls?

                                                                        1. Is anyone on here actually IN Pittsburgh?

                                                                          1. FYI I just sent this to The Post Gazette...I'll let you know if anyone answers...

                                                                            Not sure who to contact...I just got done reading 50 posts about duck sauce and shrimp egg roles from Charlie Ung's Tea Garden. Charlie closed the restaurant in 2000 and passed away in 2010. If you feel so inclined please take a look at Chowhound http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/413499. All I can say is that I remember from the time I was a child and I'm now 52...Charlie Ung's Tea Garden was a staple in our diet as well as I'm sure a multitude of Pittsburgers! We are in search of the duck sauce as well as the egg rolls recipe. I'm sure that someone out there has it. Take a read and you'll see stories and memories of a day gone by, of happy memories and a search for what seems to be the holy grail! If you never tasted them, you missed a Pittsburgh treasure and an indelible memory for those of us who had the privilege. I know it sound trivial, but when I would travel home from LA...my first stop was the Tea Garden! Human interest? Dining? Trivia? History? Seems there's a th!
                                                                            read that a pittsburgers would like to pull...how about you?

                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                            1. re: ablueeyedredhead

                                                                              Blueyed:

                                                                              I managed to replicate the recipe for both the eggrolls and the sauce. Everyone I have sampled the eggrolls to tells me I havethem nailed but they can't seem to agree on the sauce. Do you know anyone left in pittsburgh who would remember it? Seems taste memories are hard to nail down for some. I do however make a better dipping sauce that works well with the eggrolls. Tell me more about the PG article?

                                                                               
                                                                              1. re: ChefTD

                                                                                Chef TD,where can we go to sample your egg rolls ? I am 95% there with the egg roll, and 99% with the Plum sauce. I will bring the sauce, u taste and tell me. Will have to be in October remainder of August and month of September are very busy for me. I used up my last batch of Sauce on Egg Roll night up at the cottage in Canada, about 3 weeks ago. Have to make another batch. ( usually about 4 quarts at a time) I do not use MSG, and I believe that was an ingredient in all of The Tea Garden foods. Some day I'll try adding some and see what happens.
                                                                                I can remember exactly what both taste like and fully remember the Kelly street restaurant.

                                                                                they made a mean pork fried rice, as well!

                                                                                1. re: Tea Garden

                                                                                  ChefTD and Tea Garden...I'm not a chef, just a mom who likes to cook and would love to share Charlie Ung's egg rolls with my daughters, who never had the pleasure and my siblings who fondly remember the Tea Garden. Would you be willing to share?

                                                                                   
                                                                                  1. re: Tea Garden

                                                                                    Hello, I have been looking for a good duck sauce or plum sauce but I can't find one. Can you please send me the recipe that you have created for the plum sauce? I thank you so much! I am also looking for Fried eggplant with garlic sauce, does anyone have a good recipe for it?

                                                                                    1. re: Tea Garden

                                                                                      you keep promising!

                                                                                    2. re: ChefTD

                                                                                      Can we PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE have the recipe? I live in Southern California right now and am moving to Tucson where I may have more room in the kitchen to try new things. Thank you so much.

                                                                                      1. re: ChefTD

                                                                                        can you share your egg roll recipe? thanks

                                                                                    3. Please see: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/796975

                                                                                      The rest of the country is missing out. I know it is still the norm in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

                                                                                      1. It sounds very like the default Duck Sauce we were served in N.Y. Usually in a dish with Chinese hot mustard on one side and duck sauce on the other..and you mixed the two together to your own taste...as a child I just did the sweet Duck Sauce by itself...we could buy jars of it in any supermarket...here's a link to it.. it's called Saucy Susan

                                                                                        http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_...

                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: ChowFun_derek

                                                                                          That's nothing like the duck sauce the OP was talking about. Tea Garden duck sauce was very dark and very thick. The recipe posted by Critter101 up above was very close to it, although not as thick.

                                                                                          1. re: ChowFun_derek

                                                                                            That's not even close to this duck sauce. It was very unusual, like applesauce mixed with plum sauce.

                                                                                          2. Still no recipe surfaces for these egg rolls? I am so curious as I never tried them. But had some egg rolls in a tiny place in LA that was not full of veggies, more meat and these sound the same. Would love the recipe.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: Atochabsh

                                                                                              nope, still no one has this recipe! Can you share where this little place in LA is since my sister lives there? I LOVE trying new places that come recommended. Thanks!

                                                                                            2. What a piece of work

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                if there is any way you can share the tea garden recipe that you have success with I would be so grateful!

                                                                                              2. My parents owned a chinese restaurant, and i use to work there during my schooling days...
                                                                                                you can try the following and adjust according to your preference.
                                                                                                5 tablespoons hoisin sauce
                                                                                                1 tablespoons of plum sauce
                                                                                                1.5 tablespoons sweet sherry or chinese shaoxin wine
                                                                                                1-2 teaspoon of curry powder.
                                                                                                a little water to adjust the texture.
                                                                                                you can add some bean sauce to add thickness and saltiness to the sauce. i also add a pinch of orange peel to give it an extra kick. the orange peel and the duck area marriage in heaven!

                                                                                                25 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: Wilks

                                                                                                  thanks! It's taht darn egg roll I am having trouble locating a recipe for

                                                                                                  1. re: ccexxp1

                                                                                                    sorry.. should be posted here..

                                                                                                    Egg rolls.. or Spring Rolls as we call it in Hong Kong..
                                                                                                    basically its throwing in any mixture of food, and binding it in a corn starch thickener.. this is my 'basic' recipe. you can add / reduce to it whatever you want (hint.. replace the sesame oil with truffle oil)... .. the basic recipe i have here, contains a mixture of different textures, from experience we dont really need to measure the exact quantities..

                                                                                                    pastry skin is made of flour and water.. but buy it off the shelf and avoid the hassle!

                                                                                                    Minced Pork - 500gms
                                                                                                    chopped cabbage - 100grams
                                                                                                    chopped celery- 100 grams
                                                                                                    chopped chinese mushrooms - 50grams.
                                                                                                    sugar - 1/2 tsp
                                                                                                    white pepper - 1/2tsp
                                                                                                    water - 100mls
                                                                                                    oyster sauce - 2 tbs
                                                                                                    soya sauce - 1+1 tsp
                                                                                                    sesame oil - 1/2 tsp
                                                                                                    vegetable oil for cooking
                                                                                                    chinese wine or cream/sweet sherry - 3tbs.
                                                                                                    chicken stock 1/2 cup

                                                                                                    1. mix soya sauce, sugar, pepper, egg white.
                                                                                                    2. Mix it with the pork. water,add 3 tbs of corn starch and use slam dunk motion to throw it into a bowl. repeat this for about a minute or two.. this is to tenderize, break down the meat fibers, and force the water and spices into the meat...

                                                                                                    heat a pan,
                                                                                                    add oil,
                                                                                                    saute the meat until cooked, stir in the 2 tbs oyster sauce, 1 tsp soya sauce add the chopped vegies, chicken stock and cook until all soft. add 4tbs. of corn starch (add more if still liquidy, should be fairly dry mixture.) add the wine, stir a 5- 6 times, allow the wine flavor to come out. switch off the heat, and add sesame oil and mix. taste and season if necessary..
                                                                                                    let it cool before wrapping it in the pastry.

                                                                                                    Deep fry it in 350-370f vegetable oil. do not fry too many at a time, as you need to keep a constant heat..

                                                                                                    you can wrap it and keep it in a refrigerator for a few days. but sprinkle corn flour to separate and avoid them sticking together.

                                                                                                    1. re: Wilks

                                                                                                      in standard? :)

                                                                                                      1. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                        haha.. sorry.. not familiar with the Standards.. : )

                                                                                                        1. re: Wilks

                                                                                                          the chicken egg rolls were the best at charlie ungs. we used that duck sauce on everything! :) I've eaten in many, many chinese restaurants, but nobody, and I mean nobody can dupe the recipes from the tea garden. hopefully, someone will respond to the ad

                                                                                                          1. re: PCHbeaches

                                                                                                            Peaches

                                                                                                            Charlie Ung's ddin't have the chicken eggrolls, Bill Ungs in Sq Hill did but they still both used the same sauce. Do you live in Pgh?

                                                                                                            TD

                                                                                                            1. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                              the tea garden in east liberty had chicken egg rolls. we ordered them every saturday.

                                                                                                              1. re: PCHbeaches

                                                                                                                I'll be damned! Do you still live in Pgh?

                                                                                                                1. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                                  I live in Pittsburgh and miss the Egg Rolls and shrimp fried rice. One of his children should have kept the restaurant open.

                                                                                                                  1. re: GlennsMom

                                                                                                                    where in Pittsburgh?

                                                                                                                    1. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                                      I have lived all over from Swissvale to Penn Hills. I now live in Plum.

                                                                                                                      1. re: GlennsMom

                                                                                                                        wanna try em some day?

                                                                                                                        1. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                                          ChefTD if have asked you repeatedly if u can buy some egg rolls from you. I've even posted my email address which the administrator has removed. I don't know what else to do to try these things!

                                                                                                                          1. re: ccexxp1

                                                                                                                            Don't you live in FL?

                                                                                                                            1. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                                              No. And I'm in Pgh monthly.

                                                                                                                        2. re: GlennsMom

                                                                                                                          have you tried making the sauce yet?

                                                                                                                    2. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                                      No, I haven't lived in pgh for over 25 years. however, everytime we visited pgh, tea garden was our first stop. then moios bakery.

                                                                                                                      1. re: PCHbeaches

                                                                                                                        Moio's is good.

                                                                                                      2. re: Wilks

                                                                                                        Thanks

                                                                                                        1. re: Wilks

                                                                                                          This is a great sauce

                                                                                                          now i never thought of adding Curry, but made this recipe on Sunday last, very nice with the curry. I have about 15 different curries, so now my challenge is to see which one works the best.

                                                                                                          1. re: Tea Garden

                                                                                                            which saUCE?

                                                                                                            1. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                              Wilks sauce the only one with curry in it! Jul 25, 2013 12:11 PM

                                                                                                              My parents owned a chinese restaurant, and i use to work there during my schooling days...
                                                                                                              you can try the following and adjust according to your preference.
                                                                                                              5 tablespoons hoisin sauce
                                                                                                              1 tablespoons of plum sauce
                                                                                                              1.5 tablespoons sweet sherry or chinese shaoxin wine
                                                                                                              1-2 teaspoon of curry powder.
                                                                                                              a little water to adjust the texture.
                                                                                                              you can add some bean sauce to add thickness and saltiness to the sauce. i also add a pinch of orange peel to give it an extra kick. the orange peel and the duck area marriage in heaven!

                                                                                                              1. re: Tea Garden

                                                                                                                Happy you enjoyed it... u can add an extra kick by omitting the curry powder, and adding in 1 tablespoon of Satay oil (Jimmys Satay Paste) ....

                                                                                                                1. re: Tea Garden

                                                                                                                  s when you gonna wow me with your sauce?

                                                                                                                  1. re: Tea Garden

                                                                                                                    I regularly enjoy this sauce (watered down a bit more) with my own version of Black Truffle Duck "San Choi Bao" meat wrapped in lettuce bun..... again.. these are off the top of my head quantities.. no rule of thumb.. just add / delete anything you 'feel' will improve it! This is a pretty Fusion Starter..

                                                                                                                    Recipe for 4:
                                                                                                                    2 cups Cooked Roast duck Meat finely chopped 5x5mm cubes (if you dont have this, you can saute ground beef / pork or chicken)
                                                                                                                    1 tablespoon Black or white truffle pate
                                                                                                                    1/2 tsp Light Soya Sauce
                                                                                                                    1/tsp oyster sauce.
                                                                                                                    2 tsp grated orange peel.(no white, just orange stuff only.. )
                                                                                                                    Iceberg Lettuce / Roma Lettuce 8 full leaves.
                                                                                                                    1/2 cup finely chopped mushrooms - shitake , chinese or even brown mushrooms chopped 5x5mm
                                                                                                                    1/4 cup finely chopped celery chopped 5x5mm
                                                                                                                    1/4 cup finely chopped carrots chopped 5x5mm
                                                                                                                    1 clove minced garlic.
                                                                                                                    Dash of white pepper
                                                                                                                    8 slices of crunchy apple, cored and peeled. about 3mm thick. - Delicious, or Granny smith..
                                                                                                                    1/2 fresh chilli
                                                                                                                    Water 100mls
                                                                                                                    Binding agent - 2 tablespoons of corn starch mixed with 5 table spoons cold water.
                                                                                                                    olive oil 2 tablespoons.

                                                                                                                    Many chinese food requires quick cooking on high heat, this is one example.. so it is advisable to have all ingredients chopped / ready to throw in prior to cooking.. once you switch on the flame, you wont have time to chop / cut...

                                                                                                                    method...
                                                                                                                    Layer 1 slice of apple onto one lettuce leaf.

                                                                                                                    low heat saute garlic till flavour comes out. add the chilli, Oyster sauce, add celery and carrots cook until 80% tender about 1-1.5 minutes, , (if meat is uncooked, add in now and cook.), add the mushrooms, add the duck and the water and keep on high heat for 1 minute, stir in part of the corn flour mixture until thickened to a thick gravy. (the wetter the ingredients, the more you will need) TASTE and add salt pepper sugar as see fit, but note that the sauce will be topped later... once it gets really hot pour the wine to the side of the (pan) stir a couple of times, switch off the flame, mix in the truffle. and you are ready to plate

                                                                                                                    spoon adequate amount of the mixture onto the apple /lettuce, put some minced orange peel on top, and spoon some of that sauce on top.. wrap and eat.. immediately...

                                                                                                                    other items.. can also add are french beans, crushed water chest nuts, bamboo sprouts, putting a grilled shrimp / scallop on top also makes it look really good too..

                                                                                                            2. Look what I found:

                                                                                                              http://old.post-gazette.com/food/2000...

                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: ShaLeah

                                                                                                                I saw this a couple years ago. I wish the son would cook again:( I I have yet to find an eggroll to come close to Mr Ungs. I have tasted the duck sauce that came close, though.

                                                                                                                1. re: FrancePariss

                                                                                                                  unfortunately even though the Son may have the recipe it may not come out to be the same in taste. I've given my sisters recipes which they followed to a T.but it didn't taste the same as mine

                                                                                                              2. Oh no, look what I found too. RIP Mr. Ung :(

                                                                                                                http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/post...

                                                                                                                1. After the Tea Garden closed, I had a Chinese New Year banquet at a Chinese restaurant in my home town of Butler, Pa. Charley Ung himself had a mutual friend and was there. I of course quizzed him on both the standard shrimp egg rolls and the duck sauce. I, too, loved it so much I would put it on crackers, along with fresh Chinese mustard. One reason everyone is having trouble duplicating the recipes are that they are very counter-intuitive. As is normal between chefs, he did not give me the proportions. At the time the ingredients were seared into memory, so regrettably I did not write it down. Now I am not sure I remember everything.

                                                                                                                  The trick to the egg rolls was minimalism. The filling ingredients were ground pork, shrimp, salt, and white pepper. That's it. They weren't round, more flattened. And deep fried until brown, not golden. Maybe there were some minced water chestnuts, or perhaps my memory is conflating them with something I had at Uncle Tai's in New York.

                                                                                                                  The sauce was astounding. In a food processor, mince a whole lemon (remove seeds), white pith skin and all, fresh ginger, hoisin sauce, and I forget the rest, but maybe that was it. It tastes like plum sauce, but there were no plums or plum sauce in it. I fear I am missing an ingredient or two. Maybe someone here can experiment and bring it up to par.

                                                                                                                  78 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: dairosenblum

                                                                                                                    yes that is exactly what I was doing minimalising the ingredients.I was trying to dupe chicken eggrolls.I am real close

                                                                                                                    1. re: PCHbeaches

                                                                                                                      where did you live in pgh and did you eat at Charlies or at Bills in Sq Hill?

                                                                                                                      1. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                                        I tried bills.but didn't like it. I lived all over the city

                                                                                                                        1. re: PCHbeaches

                                                                                                                          Bills was not as good I agree. The person who began this thread never ate at Charlies and won't believe me that the sauces were different.

                                                                                                                          I have the eggroll but I just can't "taste remember" the sauce well enough to duplicate it, although I remember the color, texture, sweetness of the sauce. I was born and raised in East Liberty and when I was a kid I left home at a very early age and got a room at the YMCA right around the corner and ate them religiously as they were very inexpensive. I cannot seem to find anyone "IN" Pittsburgh to try them on! :)

                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                          1. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                                            My family lived in Butler, which didn't have a Chinese restaurant. So Bill's and Charley's were practically the same distance. The egg rolls and sauce at Charley's were clearly superior. We hardly ever went to Bill's.

                                                                                                                            1. re: dairosenblum

                                                                                                                              IMO, there wasn't any comparison. I believe it was 1 time we did bills...no one liked anything. and there were 15 of us! lol..we scrapped it all, and ordered from charley

                                                                                                                    2. re: dairosenblum

                                                                                                                      I think it's really that simple but I'm sure there is an onion component and a soy thing. Sound familiar?

                                                                                                                      1. re: ccexxp1

                                                                                                                        I am sure there was no soy sauce, just hoisin. There may have been minced green onion (not much). There may have been just a touch of minced garlic, although my taste memory is no garlic.

                                                                                                                        1. re: dairosenblum

                                                                                                                          I don't recall garlic either but maybe I'm confusing onion for chopped water chestnuts? There was something white and little. What bound it together? In sure it was simple considering gage ingredients available in Pgh at that time.

                                                                                                                          1. re: ccexxp1

                                                                                                                            I think I remember little white bits as well. I think green onion bottoms would get soft, so Ieaning towards the water chestnuts. It was mostly hoisin, which came in #10 cans, and was plenty thick.

                                                                                                                            1. re: dairosenblum

                                                                                                                              So I've been experimenting this evening with the sauce. Pureed some sweet potatoes, hoisin, grated fresh ginger, Did the Lemon thing... Not sure weather to cook the combo, for how long etc.. tips anyone? Basic proportions?

                                                                                                                              However the color is just wrong Hoisen is brown, the sauce is brown and CU's sauce was not brown plus there seems to be a fruity element missing.

                                                                                                                              Are we sure there is no applesauce or plum sauce in this?

                                                                                                                              1. re: Rockville

                                                                                                                                I did not add hoison at all.however when I was done reducing I put it througj a food mill to make the sauce smooth and not grainy

                                                                                                                                1. re: PCHbeaches

                                                                                                                                  I followed dairosenblum ingredients. What ingredients are you using?

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Rockville

                                                                                                                                    Ok..I don't measure .apricots granny smiths sweet potatoes scallions fresh ginger garlic a bit of soy white pepper

                                                                                                                                    1. re: PCHbeaches

                                                                                                                                      Proportions? I've got plenty of sweet potatoes on the ready now and fresh ginger and soy. What color is this when its done?

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Rockville

                                                                                                                                        No soy, just hoisin. Start with the sweet potato puree. Deseed a half a lemon and mince it, skin and all, in the food processor. Grate the fresh ginger. Maybe mince some green onions, white only. Mix together. Then add hoisin until it is a dark brown. Essentially the color of hoisin.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: dairosenblum

                                                                                                                                          Just mix? Or cook?

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Rockville

                                                                                                                                            The sweet potatoes are cooked. Everything else, just mix.

                                                                                                                                      2. re: PCHbeaches

                                                                                                                                        Sounds good, but definitely not the Tea Garden recipe.

                                                                                                                                    2. re: PCHbeaches

                                                                                                                                      The Tea Garden sauce wasn't perfectly smooth. It had itty bitty white specs in it. The consensus was that they weren't water chestnuts. Maybe lemon skin. Maybe scallion bottoms.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: PCHbeaches

                                                                                                                                        There is a bitterness to the sauce with the whole lemon including rind.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Rockville

                                                                                                                                          I did not use lemon

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Rockville

                                                                                                                                            You tried it? I so remember being sceptical and asking him that he really meant the whole lemon, rind and all. Maybe it needs balanced with the sweetness of more hoisin. Of course, for production they would have made a big batch, maybe with just one lemon. By the way, the seeds are very bitter. Charley didn't mention them. That's just my addition.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: dairosenblum

                                                                                                                                              no matter what you do with any type of fruit you never use the white part of the fruit or the seeds its horrible tasting it will destroy the dish

                                                                                                                                              1. re: PCHbeaches

                                                                                                                                                Never say never.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: dairosenblum

                                                                                                                                                  Pertaining to this, I am confidant I will never use the pith

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: PCHbeaches

                                                                                                                                                    Oh, well. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. As I said in another post, it was probably one lemon to a gallon or so of sauce. ChefTD and I remember little white specs. Maybe scallion bottoms, but I remember them as not being as thin as a scallion layer. Anyway, it was Charley Ung himself who told me about the whole lemons, and I was very surprised by that, and quizzed him to make sure he meant the rind, too. He convinced me that that was the way he made it.

                                                                                                                                                    Do you like radicchio? Fernet? "Bitters"? I'm just saying.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: Rockville

                                                                                                                                          I am not with you on this. I remember it as dark brown. My mother always thought there was plum or apricot. Charley told me "no," just sweet potato.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: dairosenblum

                                                                                                                                            charley told you sweet potato too?

                                                                                                                                            1. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                                                              Yes. I knew I was missing an ingredient so startling that at the time I didn't bother writing it down, knowing I would never forget it. You brought it back. Thank you, Chef.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: dairosenblum

                                                                                                                                              it was almost black and so chunky the tops of the squirt bottles were cut off at the base....the "sauce" was essentially a chutney!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                                                                Right! Good detail. Now I remember the squirt bottle nozzles being cut, too.

                                                                                                                                        3. re: ccexxp1

                                                                                                                                          There were NO waterchestnuts of that I am certain they leave a "musty" taste

                                                                                                                                          1. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                                                            I've made them with and without.I prefer w/o.waterchest nuts. I've also used fresh ginger and dried ginger.a completely different taste.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: PCHbeaches

                                                                                                                                              dried ginger is more for baking nothing beats the freshness and brightness of really "fresh" ginger

                                                                                                                                              1. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                                                                Yes, I agree, but for some odd reason, I made one of each. gave my family (who are tired of tasting eggrolls) 1 each, dried ginger and fresh ginger...they ALL agreed dried ginger was better..I am still smh over that..

                                                                                                                                                1. re: PCHbeaches

                                                                                                                                                  smh?

                                                                                                                                                  I have the eggroll but gave up on the sauce but make one that is so much better and easier to make next time I come to Cali we can make them together

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                                                                    SMH = Shaking My Head in textspeak. You must not have teenaged kids.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: dairosenblum

                                                                                                                                                      CU closed in 2000 kids are 12 and 15.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                                                              I don't know about mustiness, but now I'm thinking the little white bits are from the lemon rind.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: dairosenblum

                                                                                                                                                scallion

                                                                                                                                                1. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                                                                  I think I'm with you on the scallions. Bottoms, no tops? It would be interesting to make a batch half and half, with and without for a taste memory test comparison. Did you catch my request for your current restaurant, if you're still working?

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: dairosenblum

                                                                                                                                                    i answered

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                                                                    I just had an idea about the little white bits. I think scallion layers are too thin. Now I'm thinking that the white pith from the lemon peal would get stained brown from the hoisin. Maybe the little white bits were "brunoise" ginger. Also, when you made your batch, did you use light-fleshed sweet potatoes, per se, or orangy yams? I'm thinking the sweet potatoes would be more of a Chinese ingredient.

                                                                                                                                                    At the end of the day, I think the only way to get this down is a Test Kitchen thing, where we line up a dozen cups of sweet potato puree and make a batch and taste and adjust the next batch.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: dairosenblum

                                                                                                                                                      I've never made the sauce. I've tried with the egg rolls and since I live in NYC I bought the same wrappers they used from a place which has been in business for 100 years!! I think there is ground garlic and something. Doubt finger cause I hate it and I would detect that. I do know it all blended together well meaning they made the filler in advance and then rolled to order. Or 1/2 cooked them then finished them to order. Something. I knew a waitress that worked there in the 70's she told me that they were super secretive about that recipe. But she saw bottles of magi seasoning all over the kitchen which makes sense cause soy sauce options in Pgh were limited in the early days and I know something was light brown. Maybe the slightest amount??

                                                                                                                                          2. re: ccexxp1

                                                                                                                                            like I said I'm real close as soon as I am able to duplicate this exactly I will be happy to post it

                                                                                                                                            1. re: PCHbeaches

                                                                                                                                              We never ordered the chicken ones, only shrimp, or once in a while lobster, so I am no help to you. Bon chance.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: dairosenblum

                                                                                                                                                He doubled the eggroll, right?

                                                                                                                                                1. re: FrancePariss

                                                                                                                                                  I'm not sure what you mean by "doubling" the egg roll, but if you mean they weren't tubular and were slightly flattened, then they were. Now that you mention it, maybe they were larger than a standard egg roll wrapper. Maybe they made them from scratch or had a supplier.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: dairosenblum

                                                                                                                                                    I have found a variety of sizes for wraps. I only make chicken eggrolls.they were plump

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: PCHbeaches

                                                                                                                                                      Golden Bowl brand makes a 7x7 eggroll wrapper. I cut it down to a 6x6.5 the eggroll weighs out at .25 lb and does not have too thick a flap at the fold!

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                                                                        6 x 6.5 seems right to me.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                                                                          I purchase different sizes based on my menu.apps or entree..I have that nailed down.thx!

                                                                                                                                            2. re: dairosenblum

                                                                                                                                              When I was in the restaurant in east liberty yonks ago I asked for the recipe and of course they gave me no proportions either but the one ingredient I remember most because of how odd it seemed was sweet potatoes!

                                                                                                                                              I have used them in the sauce and yes there are NO plums but the last time I had that sauce was in the seventies and I'm sorry to disagree with one particular "expert" on here
                                                                                                                                              but taste memories FADE!!!!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                                                                That's it! Sweet potatoes! This thread is 7 years old. Where've you been?

                                                                                                                                                1. re: dairosenblum

                                                                                                                                                  I tried it with sweet potatoes but still wasn''t sure i had it nailed. I wish one of you was actually in pgh!!!

                                                                                                                                                2. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                                                                  Chef--

                                                                                                                                                  You know your shit. Are you still working? I haven't worked a line in 30+ years, but I would like to try your restaurant.

                                                                                                                                                  Cordially,
                                                                                                                                                  Dai Rosenblum

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: dairosenblum

                                                                                                                                                    Dai I am a chef for a fraternity of 91 guys at CMU most of them Asian I would love to get this sauce nailed to wow 'em with!!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                                                                      Once you have a degree, I don't think they let you be an undergraduate again. So I guess you won't be cooking for me. Cool gig, though. Don't forget the fresh mustard.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: dairosenblum

                                                                                                                                                        so where are you?

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                                                                          In my youth, I was a prep and a line chef at a place on the East Side of Manhattan. Now I live in Slippery Rock. I helped my best friend, Michael Hooker, open Simply French when one of his new hires didn't show up, if you remember that place. My "retirement" goal is to open the most expensive restaurant in Costa Rica in a few years. Let's get together some time and talk food.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: dairosenblum

                                                                                                                                                            You're Local???!!! Why for one too haven't six for six you fourteen hundred mentioned that before?

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                                                                              Two days ago I was sitting at my kitchen table, and had a craving for the "duck" sauce. I thought maybe after all these years, somebody with actual knowledge of the recipe would have posted it on-line somewhere, and discovered this thread. When I asked if I could eat at your restaurant, I assumed that implied that I was around here, if you call Slippery Rock local.

                                                                                                                                                              My wife Becky wants to eat at your frat house. Her first (of three) husbands was from Hong Kong. She speaks Cantonese. Would that help?

                                                                                                                                                              Anyway, I assume that you don't cook to order for a frat house. Do you do breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Seems like a really cool gig, especially for an "older" chef. Leaves time for this forum. Personally, my back could never take working a line again. Just call me Tony Bourdain. (Whom by the way went to college with me. I never once saw him sober. He flunked out after his freshman year.)

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: dairosenblum

                                                                                                                                                                So funny; I'm sure he never could have predicted the wild success in the second part of his life!!

                                                                                                                                                                He has the dream job, the job I want!

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: walker

                                                                                                                                                                  he still looks stoned!

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: dairosenblum

                                                                                                                                                                  Well a lot of people have said that just to say it./ For the record I did own a restaurant, and a catering business and a breakfast lunch joint. My back, feet and recently my knees have given out on me. I could not and would not ever work in a restaurant again.

                                                                                                                                                                  I read Kitchen Confidential and actually began writing a response to it from the front of the house perspective where I spent most of my career. Cooking was always a hobby as I picked the brains of the chefs I worked with then one day I was downsized from a great management job and the chef hired me before I could get out of the building..

                                                                                                                                                                  I really want to do something with these eggrolls. I have sampled hundreds of them and everyone has said they are the best they have ever tasted. I was so up against it with this sauce I just went ahead and made my own style "With" plums.

                                                                                                                                                                  Have a great holiday and give me a call sometime you have the number. Ciao!

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: dairosenblum

                                                                                                                                                        Dai:

                                                                                                                                                        Why do you think the sauce was uncooked?

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                                                                          Well, obviously the sweet potatoes were cooked and pureed. I'm pretty sure they were boiled. I would think a Chinese cook would peel them first, but personally I would boil them in their jackets and then peel them. Adding the other ingredients uncooked is just my recollection; I didn't think about it. In my experience, though, cooking lemon juice, or, especially, oyster sauce (which is sort of like hoi sin) results in a loss of flavor (although I have had some very decent hoi sin wings). Again, I think we need to do a Test Kitchen thing, and divvy up a whole bunch of sweet potato puree and do the admixtures until we get it right. As we dial in to the right taste, one half-cup could be uncooked, and one half-cup could be cooked. The more I think about it, the more I think the little white bits were brunoised (or maybe just food-processed) ginger, and not lemon peel, and if they were mild enough to pass muster with the commentator who hates ginger, maybe that means they were cooked. That would also have the effect of spreading the ginger flavor. So really good question TD.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: dairosenblum

                                                                                                                                                            Dai:

                                                                                                                                                            I always thought of that sauce as more of a chutney minus the heat component obviously. I cook my sauce When I originally made this sauce I pureed uncooked sweet potatoes along with the other ingredients and it took forever to cook. I did the cooked pureed sweets the way you suggested but cooked them with the rest of the ingredients. This was however the batch where I used whole lemon as per your suggestion. Smack! lol So next time I get the urge, cooked sweets, lemon whole minus the pith and seeds, zest and membranes intact, cooked. When are you going to come into the city and try my eggrolls?

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                                                                              So, my understanding is that you feel that you have nailed the egg rolls? Could be worth a special trip. I'm not sure how to get together, given the enforced anonymity of Chowhound, but seeing as I use my real name, my web site is not hard to g-find. I assume we'll meet at your professional kitchen, with the deep fat fryers?

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: dairosenblum

                                                                                                                                                                Well if you go back four to the one two reply where I six asked if four were six fourteen hundred local you know immediately

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                                                                                  Got it. But fourteen hundred? Really? Sounds like it needs an extension. But I will certainly give it a try. And you're saying you think you have the egg rolls nailed?

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: dairosenblum

                                                                                                                                                                    "Think" no

                                                                                                                                                                    You got the sauce?

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                                                                                I do not remember the sauce as being particularly lemony, which it certainly would be with the zest, although less so if cooked. Personally, I would try it without the zest first. What you say about cooking the whole batch together makes sense to me.

                                                                                                                                                              3. re: dairosenblum

                                                                                                                                                                How are you coming on that sauce? LOL

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                                                                                  I have totally abdicated that responsibility to you. If I could ever find the time, I would sous for you in a test kitchen thing some weekend. Is my understanding correct that you feel you have duplicated the egg rolls themselves?

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: dairosenblum

                                                                                                                                                                    You have huh? How nice of you! lol

                                                                                                                                                                    Again! I don't feel I have. I have.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                                                                                      I will call again to set up a weekend appointment at your "house". As an act of contrition, I will bring the sweet potatoes, the hoi sin, the ginger, the lemons, and the hooch.

                                                                                                                                                      3. So, to summarize, to date:

                                                                                                                                                        Egg rolls: ground pork, smallish shrimp, salt, white pepper. Extra large wrapper. Slightly flattened, not tubular. Deep fried until a dark brown.

                                                                                                                                                        Sauce: Pureed boiled sweet potato, whole lemon including rind but without seeds, grated fresh ginger, hoisin. No onion, no soy, for sure no water chestnuts, for sure no garlic.

                                                                                                                                                        I am excited. I was just missing this sauce and took a stab on the web and discovered this thread, still alive after all these years.

                                                                                                                                                        If somebody feels they have duplicated either the egg rolls or the sauce, please let the rest of us know what you came up with.

                                                                                                                                                        21 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: dairosenblum

                                                                                                                                                          Absolutely amazing. We've been at this now for years and we may finally have a list of ingredients to work from. Thank you so much Dai. Here's to success in figuring out the details!!! Hungry just thinking about it. I grew up on these eggrolls.. When I got married I introduced my wife to them. Sandy would partially cook them and we'd bring many dozens back to DC with the Duck sauce and treat ourselves, family and friends. Looking forward to the day we can make them and introduce our kids to them!!

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Rockville

                                                                                                                                                            what happened to the post bout the Heinz History Center

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                                                                              ChefTD, I just made that post about the Heinz History Center today. I will email them this weekend, as I have a few contacts there. As soon as I hear something I will let the group know. Also, maybe we should try putting the pear and apricot in the sauce, as per the article cited earlier? Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: linndg

                                                                                                                                                                I got it in an email and it disappeared send/post it again?

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Rockville

                                                                                                                                                              Have you made the sauce yet?

                                                                                                                                                            3. re: dairosenblum

                                                                                                                                                              My family loved these egg rolls and duck sauce so much, that sometimes my dad and I would go there for lunch after Services, and all we ordered were the egg rolls, two orders each. They also had homemade-from-scratch Chinese mustard in yellow squeeze bottles. My mouth is watering now.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: dairosenblum

                                                                                                                                                                every Saturday we had a standing order 20 orders of chicken egg rolls with the duck sauce and mustard sauce we picked up at 5 o'clock every Saturday it was the best

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: dairosenblum

                                                                                                                                                                  the mustard sauce is simple, water, colemans, a little rice vinegar

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                                                                                    You can get a large bag of ground mustard on the Strip for a lot less than Colemans. Also, my family always made it with just water, no rice vinegar, although I think a little rice vinegar would be better. And maybe a tiny amount of white sugar.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: dairosenblum

                                                                                                                                                                      The first few days you can't even eat it. It mellows a bit with age!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                                                                                        My dad and I were such fanatics, that sometimes we would ask them to make it fresh to order, rather than the one-day-old mustard in the yellow squeeze bottle.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: dairosenblum

                                                                                                                                                                          some day I want you to taste my plum sauce I'll taste your UNg Sauce and I'll bring the eggrolls

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: dairosenblum

                                                                                                                                                                            what part of pittsburgh did you live in? ttfd323 at gmail dot com

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: dairosenblum

                                                                                                                                                                      My mouth is watering too. I would hop on the Eba during my lunch break go to East Liberty and hop right back on the bus and head downtown. I have to get this recipe right.. I feel like an addict needing an eggroll fix. Smh

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: dairosenblum

                                                                                                                                                                        Dai

                                                                                                                                                                        Have you tried making the sauce yet?

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                                                                                          I have not. The closest I got was buying a big bottle of hoisin sauce. You?

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: dairosenblum

                                                                                                                                                                            I actually got a little closer. I made a shopping list! lol

                                                                                                                                                                            Happy Holidays! :)

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                                                                                              You two just gave me a good laugh!!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: walker

                                                                                                                                                                                Merry Christmas then!

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: dairosenblum

                                                                                                                                                                              I don't know if you noticed but the pic of myself in my kitchen that I posted on here shows me holding a plate of eggrolls with the sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: dairosenblum

                                                                                                                                                                                Dai:

                                                                                                                                                                                I'm Breaking Bad" today and cooking a batch! Has anyone else? Happy New Year!

                                                                                                                                                                        2. Sun Penang Forbes ave in squirrel hill is making the eggrolls .Stephen who works there used to work at the Tea Garden !!!

                                                                                                                                                                          49 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: morrisgrossman

                                                                                                                                                                            have you tried them?

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: morrisgrossman

                                                                                                                                                                              Just looked on the Sun Penang website, but it only shows beef egg rolls...will he make pork/shrimp if you ask? I also haven't had a chance to email the History Center yet!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: morrisgrossman

                                                                                                                                                                                I was so excited that I went to the restaurant in Squirrel hill today and it so happened that Stephen was my waiter. I'm sorry to say but those were not the Tea Garden eggrolls. Stephen was very sweet and we talked for a while about the Tea Garden, the eggrolls and the duck sauce. I told him that eggrolls were not crunchy they were more chewy and it was bland it was definitely missing something. I was charged 5.00 for this eggroll which caught me by surprise. He wasn't the one who made it but I'm gonna definitely keep searching for these eggrolls:)

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: FrancePariss

                                                                                                                                                                                  Yeah. I phoned. They do not know about that and frankly told me if I gave them some notice they would try but reminded me the tea garden has been closed for a long time. I think a dead end.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ccexxp1

                                                                                                                                                                                    Sorry I missed a part of the thread who would remind you and of what? lol

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: FrancePariss

                                                                                                                                                                                    I have eaten at Sun Penang twice, had a number of dishes and they all were awful. How often are you in town?

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm booked to be there this Saturday and Sunday. I all be staying downtown at the fairmont if it stops snowing here. Otherwise later in the month. I miss the tea garden ribs and fried rice too, and won ton soup but not as much as those egg rolls.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ccexxp1

                                                                                                                                                                                        my first real" Date" was in high school the night the Pirates won the the 1971 world series.we had ribs, eggrolls, and wonton soup with a tip was 6.00 for 2 ppl. lol

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                                                                                                          That's too funny. I always remenered the egg rolls costing a lot but high quality ingredients. I think 5 now would be too cheap.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ccexxp1

                                                                                                                                                                                            the eggrolls weren't really that much because I practically lived on them. When I was 17 I left home and ended up renting a room at the YMCA around the corner and had a nothing job and eggrolls were all I could afford.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                                                                                                        ChefTD, I actually still live here in Pgh. It was my first time at that restaurant and I had the general tso chicken.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: FrancePariss

                                                                                                                                                                                          do you think you "really" have a taste memory for thta sauce? I made a batch according to everything that has been posted recently and I don't like it. CCee and France let's get together some time?

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                                                                                                            I gotta confess I remember the egg rolls MUCH more than the sauce. I remember the itty bitty white particles (base of scallion I bet? As well as the dark yet unobtrusive binder that held this teeny plump shrimp and ground pork together.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ccexxp1

                                                                                                                                                                                              I don't remember a dark binder. I remember just a gray-ish glumph. I'm thinking it was the albumen from the ground pork and the shrimp. I confess that when I was really young, I thought there were really eggs in the egg rolls, and thought the binder was egg white. (I was thinking about how to make them, even at a young age.)

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: dairosenblum

                                                                                                                                                                                                I agree with you but I think what you are calling grey I recall as a light brown. Really light. I always thought that they made the filling and strained it then added the "sauce". Very light though. I also suspect that there might have been ground shrimp case they always tasted So shrimpy more than the small shrimp offered.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ccexxp1

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yes, I agree with the shrimp. It didn't taste like those little salad shrimps

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ccexxp1

                                                                                                                                                                                                    the thing I and a lot of people remember about thee eggrolls is that whehn you took a bite the number os shrimp that fell out onto the plate were more than anyone elses had in total. there were TONS of salad shrimp in these eggrolls

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ccexxp1

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I think ground shrimp would the the logical "light brown" binder.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: dairosenblum

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yeah and maybe just a dot of soy sauce? Obvious corn starch mixer to bind but I think we are on the right track. For sure white pepper and for sure shrimp not ground too. Wonder if they ground garlic and water chestnuts really finely for those little iddy biddy specks??

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ccexxp1

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think you are correct about a dot of soy sauce. Charley didn't mention it, but he probably thought it went without saying. Just a dot would make it the right color. I now think that ground shrimp as a binder doesn't make sense. Dry cornstarch makes much more sense, for production. The texture was a little gloppy, but not at all saucy. Garlic and water chestnuts have been rejected. I don't remember garlic at all, and water chestnuts have been pronounced "musty." I used to think the iddy biddy white specks were the lemon rind, but now I think it might be finely-chopped ginger. I so remember an abundance of small shrimp tumbling out when you cut into them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Just typing this is making my mouth water. Man, do I miss those egg rolls! And that sauce!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: dairosenblum

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I now am more confused than ever! I agree that those plump morsels of shrimp fell out; I tried those egg rolls in squirrel hill not even close. I HATE and can detect ginger, so I don't think those were the little white flakes and logic tells me that there was no lemon pith in there, that wouldn't make any sense. They were floppy not saucy so I agree corn starch is the binder and lastly I do think a dot of soy sauce is the key. Otherwise I'm lost.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ccexxp1

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Maybe the ginger was overwhelmed by the hoisin? Maybe the little white bits weren't ginger; I'm just guessing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: dairosenblum

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I made the sauce using "Whole lemons" and it was God awful! All you could taste was pith

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                                                                                                                                For sure he said the entire lemon. I questioned him repeatedly because it was so counterintuitive. Maybe a lot less? Or maybe he was "funning" with me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It was awful. I made it right after he posted the recipe. Absolutely terrible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Rockville

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    OK, here's what I think, upon reflection. I was so startled about putting the lemon peel into the food processor that I asked Charley about it a couple of different ways. He gestured throwing a lemon down into a bowl. Now I'm thinking that maybe he just meant the entire peeled lemon, pulp and all. He didn't mention the seeds, but I am assuming that there would be no seeds. (I very occasionally miss a seed in an emulsified vinaigrette. I don't say anything to my guests, but I can sure taste that one little seed.) Or maybe he was just "messing" with me. Anyway, what I'm thinking is that the little white bits are ginger. I know that another poster said that he loathed ginger and that it couldn't be ginger, but I still believe now they are fresh ginger.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Here is my current thinking, for what it's worth: Steam or boil the sweet potatoes in their skins until very soft, and peel. Add enough hoi sin until the mixture reaches the remembered color and sweetness. It should be so thick that one would have to cut down the nozzle on the squeeze bottle to make the hole bigger to allow the sauce to flow. Brunoise some ginger and put that in, in the remembered ratio of sauce to little white bits. Add lemon juice to taste. That's it. The sweet potato and hoi sin are so sweet, one needs some acidity to balance. The egg rolls are kind of minimalist, why shouldn't the "duck" sauce be, too? Any takers?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Rockville

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      which recipe and which he are you referring to?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I assume he means the sauce. I can't imagine the egg rolls being awful, even if they're not as remembered. And he refers to "it," not "them."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      i think if you used traditional Chinese preserved Lemon. (lemon that's been preserved in salt for ages) that would make it taste much better. and you would use the complete lemon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Wilks

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        hmmm interesting. Where to find?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Wilks

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Personally, I never heard of Chinese preserved lemons (and I have a LOT of Chinese cookbooks, and ate from the Great Wall clear down to Hong Kong) only North African ones, which sound exactly the same. Although what you say makes food sense, I doubt if Charley would have not mentioned that they were preserved.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. re: ccexxp1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Has anyone thought about a shrimp stock with just a touch of soy sauce for color and little cornstarch to thicken? Put the shrimp shells and tails in a small pan with just enough water to cover and simmer, watching the water level carefully for about 20 minutes. Allow steep for a while (until the liquid is cooled), strain to remove the shells, add the soy sauce, bring to a boil and thicken with the cornstarch. Fold just enough into the egg roll ingredients to bind.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jjabi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        tried it... but just shrimp stock is a bit too bland for my taste.. however if you insist on trying, you can intensify the flavor by drying roasting shrmps, or flaming it brown before boiling it in water and add a dash of fish sauce or oyster sauce instead of Soya sauce..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Wilks

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think the enriched, corn-starched shrimp stock is a good idea, although I doubt if it was in the original. But there's no reason one can't improve on the original. My taste memory is only of a tiny dab of soy, not oyster sauce, and I doubt if any old-timey Cantonese restaurant would have used fish sauce, but I think fish sauce is a good idea.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: jjabi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          do you live in pgh?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I haven't since the late 1980's but I'm there each month frequently.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. re: ccexxp1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ChefTD - Please won't you post your Egg Roll recipe? Not everyone used the Duck Sauce on it. I usually did, but sometimes I just wanted it plain. The Tea Gardens has been such a big part of my whole life that I really miss it and especially the Shrimp Egg Rolls. In the early 50s, before there were any shopping centers anywhere, we went to East Liberty every Friday night to shop. We ate each week at the Tea Garden on Kelly Street then went on to Sears, and "up street" to Mansmanns, Woolworths, Murphys, and May-Sterns. In fact the silk tapestries that hung on the walls in the Baum Blvd. restaurant had water stains from when the Kelly Street location burned. I remember the "privacy booths" and the upstairs restrooms in the Kelly street location also. I also remember when they had Surrey Service. Like pizza delivery, they had a station wagon all decked out like a surrey and they would deliver your meal to your home. I introduced a number of dates to the Tea Gardens as well as my first and my second husband. Even my children loved it. I worked in East Liberty in 1998 and ate at the Baum Blvd. location twice a week. Soup (won ton or sweet and sour) and an order of egg rolls were lunch those days. My goodness!! How I miss those Egg Rolls.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          So won't you please post the recipe you have completed for these. I can live without the sauce perfected but, as you can tell from this post, I don't know if I'll still be alive another seven years if this post continues as it has without the recipe being shared. LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  What didn't you like about it? More sweet potato? More hoisin? Less lemon?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: dairosenblum

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    which is Sansonetti?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I remember the taste of both the sauce and egg roll. The guy I spoke with today (Stephen) said the duck sauce was made from sweet potatoes, Apple sauce, lemon and peaches.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: FrancePariss

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      EVERYONE has a different memory of both the sauce and the eggroll. Making my point that taste memories fade. The person who started this thread was adamant that SHE had a perfect taste memory for the sauce only to find out a year later that she NEVER ate at Charlie Ungs, only at Bills, and their sauces were not at all similar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I asked for the recipe and got only ingredients back in 1971 from the waiter who went to the kitchen to ask, and sorry folks, no apple sauce, no peaches, or plums or apricots, or any other fruit besides lemon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I lived next door to the place and ate there three times a week or more, no white bits, no gray matter, no binder, no eggs. When it comes to Chinese cuisine the principle is simple K.I.S.S.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I lived about 15 minutes away walking distance and I too ate there a couple times a week. All I can say is Ill know it when I taste it. And what I tasted today didn't come close. The guy who gave me the ingredients worked for the Ung family. But with that said, he didn't have the correct taste for the egg roll so I doubted the ingredients for the duck sauce. I'll know it if I ever get a chance to taste it again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: FrancePariss

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          when did you last actually eat an eggroll from there?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            My dad and I made a point of making a pilgrimage there and having one last round of egg rolls and sauce about a week before they closed. That's all we had. I'm thinking about 4 each, but it could have been 6.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: dairosenblum

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Me too! Bought dozens and froze them. Should have had one analyzed at a plant somewhere!! Oh well. We will crack this nut. I'm "not allowed" to deep fry at home since the smell lingers forever and is crazy for days in our home but I make them at friends houses whenever I can!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ccexxp1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                they have deep fryers with lids and filters so there is virtually no odor..or, you can place vinegar in a bowl on top of the counter, and this will also eliminate odors. I do this with fish and its amazing how well it works

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: dairosenblum

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                what have you been up to?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  TD--

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I haven't forgotten about you. It's just that we're at the stage of life where every frigging weekend is full, or if we have a rare weekend night free, we want a date night. (We've only been married 10 years; we still like each other.) I still want to do the "test kitchen" thing and nail the sauce recipe. In answer to your question, I still cook a big (10 -20) person chefly Sabbath dinner every Friday. Everybody says I should start a blog, but who has the time? In the meantime, my (married) son is getting great on the Weber, and taking some of the onus off of my shoulders. Spatch-cocked chicken with shallot bacon puree under the skin and raw ginger mint basil cilantro sauce over the crispy skin this Friday. I have a bizarre book for you when we meet. It's called The 4-Hour Chef. I don't agree with everything in it, but it sure is interesting reading.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Your friend,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Dai

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: FrancePariss

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      where exactly?

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Yes I have....they will make them...just ask

                                                                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: morrisgrossman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thank you so much!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: morrisgrossman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    were they authentic? Do they have the sauce?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ChefTD

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      No sauce first things first working on the sauce next... pretty close to what I remember

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Don't know if this is what you want but this is what I've used for years:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Plum Jelly & Chinese Mustard

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    When I make humbao I add in a bit of five spice & sesame oil; wouldn't hurt if you snuck in some chili oil tho. Good luck!