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Boston-style Chinese Food recipes

[NOTE: We've moved this discussion from the thread at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/329906# -- The Chowhound Team]

We moved to S. Florida about 10 years ago and the Chinese food is awful. Boston style is unique. I learned to cook most of the foods before I left MA (taking a course from a wonderful Chinese lady who owned a grocery store in Burlington, MA). I can make the spare ribs. I can make two types of chicken wings -- one is the garlicy type which was served in these restaurants from when I was a little girl and the other is the Kowloon style which is deeply fried. I can make lobster sauce. I have a recipe for beef lo mein and fried rice, too. I can even make pork strips and crab rangoons. They are all wonderful and we have Chinese night about once a month. But I cann't get the recipe for egg rolls. I went to Kowloon and they said that their recipe is a secret. I tried at Oriental Jade and they laughed. I would be eternally grateful to get this recipe. I travel to MA 3-4 times a year and always take home 4 orders (8) of egg rolls when I come back. I will re-fry them and they taste really good that way. Does anyone have that recipe? I only need to know what goes into making the filling. I can do the wrapping on my own. Please write to me at: hytzipky0719@bellsouth.net if you have this recipe. I will share what I have with you. Thank you.

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  1. OK, my favorite subject..Boston Chinese Food! The spareribs are to be bright red, slightly charred black/slightly crunchy on the surface. The egg rolls are so distinctive because they are made with finely chopped spinach, NOT cabbage. Duck sauce is brown/orange and thick, not yellow/orange and thin. Pork strips: red on outside, slightly pink on inside, sliced about a quarter of an inch thick. The lobster sauce is dark brown, with bits of scallions flecked in; best eaten mixed with bowl of hard fried (complementary) thin noodles, dark brown fried rice with pork chunks snipped in, and chicken chow mein.
    Where to get it: China Sails (RIP), South Pacific(Newton), Kowloon (not so great), China Star (Quincy), Bob Lee's Islander (RIP), Cathay House (RIP)and still, Golden Temple (Brookline). Am I right or am I right??? You have to be from Boston!
    Big Fat Moe

    4 Replies
    1. re: Big Fat Moe

      Hey Moe, I went to camp in Maine with a bunch of Newton kids. They all loved South Pacific. I grew up in RI so I have to agree -- at least for kids there is no finer cuisine!

      Boston is also the only place I'm aware of where dumplings are known as Peking ravioli.

      1. re: Big Fat Moe

        South Pacific is now also in the RIP category. 8<(

        1. re: Big Fat Moe

          Damn you're making me soooooooo hungry. I love Seacoast Chinese. It's a combination of Chinese and Polynesian....Mmmmn.

          1. re: Big Fat Moe

            I am a Boston native and grew up eating Chinese food in Boston and on the South Shore. The best one of all in my opinion was House of Roy across the street from Bob Lee's Islander. It closed after Roy died in 1982. The next best one I ever ate in was Maui (originally named the Cathay Manor) in Brockton (on Rt. 28 south of town, after intersection with Hayward). I would love to get the recipe for Boston-style lobster sauce. If you or anyone else has it, please send to: orgdoctor@earthlink.net.

          2. Hi Hytzipky my father used to live in New England and he moved from there to New jersey and they're Chinese food sucks here. We travel up there from time to time and they're chinese food is the BEST. We can't find it anywhere else and I was wondering if you could give me the recipe for lobster sause,that's the thing we love the most! The one they have in NJ is white and disgusting so if you don't mind and thanks

            here's my email crystal483@hotmail.com email me the recipe.. thanks

            1. Hi Hytzipky,
              I am new to this site, I accidently found it when I tried to find a recipe for Pork strips. We have lived in Fort Myers and Cape Coral for 8 years, I am from Chelsea, and my husband is from Revere, and as everyone else has said, can not find comparable Chines food. The spare ribs are acceptable, but when you ask for Pork strips they have no idea what you are talking about. I would love your recipe for pork strips, please. Thank You Ann

              16 Replies
              1. re: annliz

                Many people have written to me since I first posted in 2007. Four years later, I have sent my recipes to hundreds of people who have read the articles. I have now perfected my eggroll recipe so that it is as close to Boston style as can be. It is a lot of work and makes a lot of egg rolls but it is very good. I can now make all my favorite dishes from Boston and don't miss the unique flavors as much as I did 4 years ago as a result. If I had the money to open a Boston Style restaurant down in Florida, I would do so -- it would be a great money maker with lines out the door. But since I don't, I will share this recipe on line so that those who want to make the egg rolls can do so. The ingredients are simple and if you are making my pork strips, it makes the egg rolls taste awesome.

                BOSTON STYLE EGG ROLLS

                2 bunches of celery (cut it to fit in the pan and ice bath)
                1/4 cup (approximately) of finely diced boneless spare ribs.
                Salt
                Pepper
                Egg Roll Wrappers

                Boil water in a 2 quart pot. Put a very large pot aside filled with ice water. Place the cut and washed celery in the boiling water for 2-3 minutes then a double ice bath. Try to dry it well. Put it through a grinder. This will get out a lot of the threads and water. Drain it very well. Soak up all the water you can so that it is really dry. (If you like celery juice, this is delicious.)
                Make some of the pork strips and always keep some available in the freezer for the egg rolls. Mix the diced roast pork ribs into the dried ground celery. Add a little salt and pepper to taste. Make sure that you taste it so that you know if it needs more seasoning. This should make enough filling for 12 rolls depending on how big you make them.

                CHINESE PORK STRIPS

                Boneless pork strip or pork tenderloin roast and trim
                14 oz. jar Char Sui Sauce (Chinese Barbecue Sauce)
                ⅓ cup whiskey
                red food coloring
                honey

                Trim fat from pork.

                Add ½ jar of Char Sui Sauce, whiskey and food coloring together.

                Pour liquid over pork, coat well and allow marinating overnight.

                Preheat oven to 300º F.

                Bake for 25 minutes. Turn the loin over and bake another 20-25 minutes.

                During the last 5 minutes, coat top with honey.

                Return pork to oven and broil until golden.

                Slice and serve.

                NOTE: One jar of Char Sui Sauce along with other ingredients can yield enough marinate for 10-12 lbs. of pork.

                1. re: Hytzipky

                  Thank you, I can't wait to try the Pork Strip recipe. Can I get Char Sui sauce anywhere?

                  1. re: annliz

                    Char Sui sauce in English is Chinese Barbecue Sauce. I get it at my local oriental market or grocery store. I've been in stores that sell Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese groceries and they all have it. I haven't looked in the local grocery stores. Many are now carrying a variety of oriental groceries like black bean and garlic, fish sauce and other seasonings but I haven't really looked for Char Sui. If you don't have a local oriental market, you might try a China Town in your area. They usually have a local store where oriental people buy their supplies. If all else fails, you could ask at your local oriental restaurant. They could tell you where to buy Char Sui -- or maybe they could sell you some.

                  2. re: Hytzipky

                    Hi, Do you have a recipe for sweet sauce like you get in New England restaurants?

                    1. re: pambi

                      I learned how to make the Boston Style duck sauce in China Town (downtown Boston) many years back. Nobody there has a real recipe. It is just appoximate so this recipe is vague. You keep adding items until you get it right:

                      ¼ small jar of plum sauce
                      1 large jar of apple sauce (plain)
                      sugar (to taste)
                      ¼ cup vinegar (approximately)
                      dark soy sauce (for color)

                      MY OPINION: You must play with this recipe until you get the desired consistency. Everyone likes different styles of sweet 'n sour sauce. You need at least 5 times as much apple sauce as plum sauce. If you have too much plum sauce it really tastes bad -- keep adding applesauce until it has a good taste. You might need a little more vinegar and soy sauce -- that's why I said to play with it. These are the only ingredients and you will eventually get it right so always write down how much you add or subtract so you won't have to fuss the next time you make this. I always make a lot. This stays well in the refrigerator. (more than 6 months - if it lasts that long)

                        1. re: Hytzipky

                          I worked many years in chinese restaurants and we had to make this stuff up by the vats. Your recipe is close except we didn't use plum sauce....and instead of soy something "called Duck Sauce" was added, one ladle full to a whole large vat of the stuff. It was thick and black (perhaps a soy derivative). I think Soy would probably surfice for this ingredient though.

                          Although I'm in NH the duck sauce in the Dartmouth Area sucks...it's overly sweet and orangy in flavor. The duck sauce of my youth had that sweet and sour thing going for it.

                          Crab Rangoons in this area don't impress me either. I've had to learn to make all the things I like.

                          1. re: Hytzipky

                            Hi - I'm also an old Bostonian, now on the West Coast. I wrote a reply to a post in 2007 about Chinese Duck Sauce, and gave my recipe. It's similar to yours, but with the addition of molasses. As with your recipe - the sugar needs to be tinkered with, according to taste...here's my old post:

                            critter101 Jun 21, 2007 09:15 AM
                            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

                              Critter 101 Can you please tell me what type of molasses you use in your duck sauce? Is it regular American molasses or some kind of chinese molasses, I have seen a product used in chinese cooking called bead molasses but not sure if that is what you use. Also after everything is mixed do you blend to get a smooth consistency? When I mix it still has a kind of thick applesauce texture....... I am originally from Boston and I know the texture should be much smother and thinner than thick applesauce but not sure how to get the correct texture after getting correct taste.

                              1. re: Rw0535

                                I use Mothers molasses or black strap. Both are good.

                              2. re: critter101

                                While I was making the lobster sauce, hubby was making your recipe for Duck Sauce. We think it has way too much molasses. In fact we are planning to make

                                Hytzipky recipe which calls for plum, apple, vinegar and soy. Think that might be what we are looking for.
                                Anyway, it was a good learning experience.

                              3. re: Hytzipky

                                Going to give this one a try. Sounds more like what we were looking for. The molasses in the other recipe was overpowering.

                            2. re: Hytzipky

                              Hello! I was wondering if you would share your lo mein recipe. Im from MA, but currently live South Korea, and im having new england chinese withdrawels! TIA

                              1. re: Merallerdt

                                Here is the lo mein recipe. This is the vegetable lo mein with beef or pork added.

                                BEEF OR PORK LO MEIN

                                Main Ingredients:

                                Marinate Ingredients:
                                1 cup lean, boneless pork or flank steak
                                2 tsp. soy sauce
                                6-8 dried mushrooms (soaked to rehydrate)
                                sliced long and thin
                                1 tbs. red wine
                                1 lb. fresh, soft lo mien noodles (fettuccini or linguini - Boston style is flat noodles)
                                1 tsp. corn starch
                                1 cup snow peas (pea pods)
                                1 tsp. sesame oil
                                several stalks of bok choy
                                2 carrots
                                2 slices fresh ginger root
                                2 cloves garlic (crushed)
                                1 tsp. salt
                                2 tbs. oyster sauce
                                2 tbs. Hoisin sauce
                                1 can sliced water chestnuts
                                1/4 lb. bean sprouts
                                cooking oil and sesame seed oil
                                1/2 cup water mixed with 2 tbs. corn starch
                                1-2 tsp. MSG (if desired)

                                Soak the mushrooms (I use Puccini and oyster mushrooms) before starting any preparations. Slice meat into thin pieces then slice again into thin strips. Marinate meat or pork. Set aside. Prepare pea pods and place in a large plate. Slice the bok choy diagonally in approximately 1" pieces. (Try to get the bok choy with small white roots rather than wide white roots. They're sweeter.) Place on the same dish, separately. Remove mushrooms from water and slice into thin strips. Place in vegetable dish, too. Cook the lo mien noodles in boiling water for approximately 8 minutes. (Fresh noodles cook faster so only about 2-3 minutes if fresh.) Drain noodles and separate a little so it doesn't stick together. Peal 2 carrots and slice into very small, thin strips. This will give the lo mien color. You can also add or substitute shrimp or crab or mitation crab meat for a nice color, also. Separate the noodles, again. Heat wok. Add about cup oil to wok and coat it well. Add « the noodles and fry it fast (about 5-10 minutes). If you need to, add a bit more oil to make the noodles crispier. Add about 1 to 2 tsp. salt while cooking. Noodles will start to get golden...don't let them burn! Remove noodles from wok and place in a platter. Cover noodles with lid to keep warm. Repeat the process with the rest of the noodles.

                                Add 1 tbs. oil to the hot wok. Add a slice of ginger and 1 crushed garlic clove. Add marinated meat and stir. Add mushrooms. Cook for 2-4 minutes. Remove ginger and garlic. Remove cooked meat and place in a bowl. Add more oil to wok (about¬ cup). Add a slice of ginger and a crushed garlic clove. Fry until brown and remove. Add carrot strips and pea pods. Cook for 1 minute. Add bok choy and stir. Cook for about 2 minutes. Drain can of sliced water chestnuts. Add to wok and stir for another minute. Add meat mixture. Stir. Add the bean sprouts and MSG (optional). Stir. Make a well in the middle of the wok by placing the cooked mixture around the sides. Place 2 tbs. oyster sauce, 2 tbs. hoisin sauce, 2 tsp. soy sauce, 1 tsp. salt and 2 tsp. sesame oil to well. Pour in water/corn starch mixture and stir until gravy is made. Mix in food mixture and stir well. Add noodles and stir everything together. Cook for 4-5 minutes. Add 1 to 2 tbs. dark or thick soy sauce for color (more if needed). Place in serving dish and enjoy. For those who like "hot" dishes, add 1 tsp. hot pepper sauce when adding dark soy sauce for a delightfully hot taste.

                                *****Fast Frying Method: Spray cookie sheet with vegetable spray. Put oil on the top. Broil in oven for 2-4 minutes on each side. Do not burn noodles! For easier frying, fry noodles in a flat frying pan instead of wok. It is a bit easier but it will make an extra pot to wash.

                                1. re: Hytzipky

                                  I just made this recipe and found it disappointing overall. The taste was super but the noodles (we used fettucine) were not good prepared according to the above instructions. I will make this again, but next time will just prepare the noodles ahead of time according to the package directions, then add them to the food in the wok as the very last step before serving.

                                  1. re: LilCastner

                                    Sorry you were unhappy with the recipe. Everyone likes their noodles a certain way -- some like them soft, some like them al dente. Make them the way you and your family like them and turn this dish into your own. Everyone will be happy with the taste AND the texture then.

                          2. the egg rolls are so simple of a recipe!!! 2 basic ingredients. ( I called several restaurants back home and said my kid had allergies and I needed to know what was in their eggrolls. they all said the same thing. “celery and pork”. Then I started experimenting. I tried sautéing the celery and I tried raw, they both taste great but the raw is easier and quicker.
                            exact measurements I don’t have.
                            in a food processor, chop/grind 4 heads of dark green celery ( the hearts don’t have as much flavor) and place in a strainer and squeeze out all liquid. or even place it in fridge over nite in a strainer over a bowl and put a brick on top to squish out the liquid. the idea is to get as much out as possible.
                            add the cooked meat, salt and pepper and pinch of sugar. wrap, fry and drain on wire rack.
                            freeze extras.
                            when re-heating the frozen ones, just preheat oven or toaster oven to 400 or 425 and cook for 10 mins.

                            1. Hytzipky...could you please post your recipe for lobster sauce? Your other recipes for sound great. It's amazing how many Chinese restaurants there are in the Florida strip malls but none can get it right! There was a place in Boston's Chinatown we use to frequent calles the something Moon. The storefront is still there with the same entrance but of course, that restaurant is long gone. Ah the memories.....

                              17 Replies
                              1. re: catsmeow

                                Sure. I made it this past weekend from friends of mine who are visiting from Canton, China. They loved it, too.

                                Boston Style Lobster Sauce

                                • Vegetable oil
                                • 16 oz. ground pork or ground beef
                                • 6 cloves minced garlic
                                • 3 tbs. oyster sauce
                                • 2 tbs. Hoisin sauce
                                • 1 tbs. dark soy sauce
                                • 1 c. water
                                • 3 tbs. molasses
                                • Cornstarch to thicken (5 tbs. plus 1/4 cup water mixed together)
                                • 2 egg scrambled
                                • 2 chopped green scallion for garnish
                                • 1 tbs. sesame oil
                                Use enough oil to cover the bottom of a wok or deep frying pan. Heat the oil and stir fry the meat with the garlic. Add the water and then the molasses. Add the oyster sauce and soy sauce. Stir well. Add the cornstarch to thicken the sauce. Blend the eggs into the sauce and continue stir frying until the eggs are set. Stir in the sesame oil. Top with the scallions and serve with rice or noodles. Serves 3 - 4.

                                For shrimp or lobster in Lobster sauce:

                                6 colossal or 12 large (raw) de-veined shrimp cut into pieces
                                or
                                1 chicken lobster cut into small parts (raw)

                                Put the shell fish into the hot sauce at the end. Allow to sit in the hot lobster sauce and continue to cook with the heat turned off for about 5 - 10 minutes (or until shrimp is no longer transparent. The lobster might take a little longer in the shell. It might be best to cook the lobster in with the lobster sauce with the heat on simmer.

                                Serve over white rice or as a side with fried rice or lo mien.

                                1. re: Hytzipky

                                  Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

                                  1. re: Hytzipky

                                    I grew up in Boston but now live in western Mass. We can not get Boston style lobster sauce here. So whenever I visit my Mom I pick up a couple of containers from Golden Temple in Brookline and tuck it away in the freezer. My husband who is highly allergic to all seafood has always been able to eat it. But most recently they must have changed their recipe and there is a definite seafood flavor. Now,my years of searching for a Boston style Lobster Sauce recipes Is even more important to me. I have tried a number of recipes but so far none of them have been successful. I am going to give this recipe a try but I'm wondering if there is a good substitute for the oyster sauce.

                                    1. re: MsBees

                                      Lobster sauce should not contain any actual shellfish. It was called lobster sauce because they used to make this and put lobster in it and call it Lobster in sauce. People would only want the sauce, however. They sold just the sauce and made a lot of money from that lobster sauce.

                                      My father was highly allergic to shellfish but for some reason the oyster sauce didn't bother him. But if you want to eliminate it, add a bit more hoisin sauce. Watch the salt though. Taste it as you go to make sure you do not over-salt this. Sometimes I add a bit more molasses -- and it is really yummy. The only shellfish in there is the tiny bit inside the oyster sauce so be careful.

                                    2. re: Hytzipky

                                      I tried this tonight and it was way to sweet. Next time I will eliminate or dramaticly reduce the amount hoisin. I also think 1 egg will provide the darker color I have become accustomed to. Although this was much, much sweeter than any Lobster sauce I have ever had it is the right consistency. Oh wait, I also had to add an additionl 1/2 cup of water. So I would also cut the cornstarch mix in half.

                                      1. re: MsBees

                                        Careful on the hoisin and molasses. That is where the sweetness comes into this. Use your own tastebuds. Everyone tastes things differently. Some think it is too salty and others think it needs more salt. Some want more sweetness and others eliminate some of the sweet ingredients. Keep adjusting this until it comes out the way YOU and your family like it. The egg does not add to the darkness. The dark soy sauce and molasses adds the color. If you use regular soy sauce, it will not be as dark as if you use dark or thick or mushroom soy sauce. Those sauces are very dark. Oddly enough, there is less salt in the dark soy sauce than there is in the regular soy sauce.

                                        1. re: Hytzipky

                                          Hytzipky thank you so much for the recipe.Over the years I have tried many, many different Lobster sauce recipes. This one is the closest. Typically when I follow a recipe I follow it exactly the first time and then make changes to suit our taste. But I guess for my taste buds the hoisin made it way too sweet. And I did use black/dark soy sauce. At the restaurant we used to get our lobster sauce from, it sometimes would be just a little lighter then usual. Last night when I cooked this I initially was only going to add one egg and when I did it was the darker color that we prefer. But since I was following the recipe exactly I added the second egg and the lobster sauce became a lighter brown like the slightly lighter version at the restaurant.

                                          Lol...I am determined to keep trying this recipe till it is just right. Thankfully I only have to make a few changes to have the lobster sauce I've grown up with.

                                          Thanks again for the recipe.

                                      2. re: Hytzipky

                                        Preparing the sauce as I write. Putting it in fridge while we go out for some fresh shrimp. I plan on reheating and adding the eggs and sesame oil for dinner tonight.
                                        Couple of things I noticed. You must mean 5 teaspoons of cornstarch in the 1/4 cup water and there was no mention of when to add the hoisin so I added it when I put the other sauces in. It looks and smells yummo.
                                        Will let everyone know tomorrow.

                                        1. re: Meincognito

                                          The corn starch is to make the sauce thicker. I make the slurry and only add enough to make it as thick as I like it. You might add less to make the sauce soupier or mire to make it thicker. Most of these recipes are correct but they have to be tweaked until it meets your orn preferences.

                                          1. re: Hytzipky

                                            Just to let Hytzipky and everyone else know, the Shrimp with Lobster Sauce was delicious. Two of us ate the whole recipe loving every mouthful. We added duck sauce (your recipe) and mustard and enjoyed a great dinner.
                                            As an aside, we actually discovered Northern Chinese food before leaving the Boston area and usually prefer that over Cantonese food. This meal was a trip down memory lane and well worth it. Now I'm going to have to figure out what to make with all the sesame oil and oyster sauce etc.
                                            Have a great visit to Boston and thanks again for our great (and easy) dinner last night.

                                            1. re: Meincognito

                                              You are very welcome. I have heard similar comments from many people. It makes me feel really good to know that so many are enjoying my recipes since this thread was opened. There is no reason you have to give up enjoying a part of your life just because your new life takes you away from your home. My recipes are now being enjoyed around the world and that amazes me. Eat up and share it with others.

                                              1. re: Hytzipky

                                                I also want to thank you Hytzipky - I have been playing with many of these recipes you have posted for us! - My Lobster Sauce was almost spot on perfect! - My Ribs were close but still missing something (I know many of the New England Restaurants do things somewhat differently from one another - I made up a batch of Pork Wontons and Crab Rangoons - I made a wontons soup and they were great (although I made a mistake in making both batches at the same time so some spices ended up in the wontons that weren't supposed to be there (still tasted great, just a tad spicier) I froze the rest to cook at a later date and looking forward to it.
                                                Next up is the rice - So far not close enough but I know I need to get better with my Wok skills (not getting it hot enough is a problem) and the rice texture / color is wrong - flavor is still a bit off but I'm working on it -- what do you recommend Long Grain Brown (Parbroiled?) some recipes I read also said to the rice sit for a day... Hoping I can get closer to perfection -
                                                My Beef Teriyaki Skewers - good, but still not close enough to the flavor up north. My prep is off and the flavor although yummy has not hit the mark -
                                                And my last question if you know - many of my friends who have moved away miss one vital massively addictive component.... Duck sauce - I am 95% there with my latest batch. Its so close and its certainly good enough to use as its far better than anything I can buy locally here in Atlanta. I buy a few containers when I occasionally make it up to Mass. and bring it back with me and use it sparingly. I have found a few recipes (various places around the net) and some are just way off. But there is a "zing" to it I cant quite reach -
                                                Its know its almost entirely sweetened apple sauce and sugar - Molasses yes maybe a little, but too much carries too much of that pungent flavor and smell - Soy again, a little bit but some brands have different tastes - and a little bit of Vinegar I think so - but what type? - But there is still missing component(s) - that creates that distinctive zing on the tongue the darker color and the somewhat syrupy/almost slightly oily consistency
                                                - any thoughts? Thanks again and in Advance!

                                                1. re: oconnortf

                                                  The Boston style duck sauce is much different from the rest of the sauce around the USA. In China, their "duck" sauce is served with Peking duck only. That sauce is exactly like Boston style. The signature main ingredient is Plum sauce. Not apricot sauce like other styles use. The darkness comes from the soy sauce. The ingredients I gave are the basic ingredients but you have to add and remove until you get it right. Your taste buds will tell you when you get there. I found that the plum sauce is very potent so only add a small amount at a time until the taste is right. If you start to taste like prunes, you have too much so you have to add more of the other ingredients to compensate. The vinegar is plain, white, distilled vinegar. If you want to use apple cider vinegar it is ok but it might change the requirements for apple sauce. I've found the distilled to be the best.

                                                  I am like you when it comes to perfection. I still bring back extra duck sauce when I am in MA. But I don't go often enough to get me through a whole year. Since I can't carry it on a plane, it has to be packed in a suitcase so I am limitd with the amount I can take home.

                                                  If you need to tweak your fried rice, try adding a little duck sauce at the end of cooking. Try a little at a time until you get the flavor you desire. That is usually your missing taste.

                                                  I use a long grain rice. The best rice is the sticky rice used in sushi. You need that extra starch but if you don't have the starch and your rice is too loose, you can always use tapioca starch in the water when you make your rice. This works with stripped rice like Minute Rice. Add a tablespoon of starch (corn or potato starch will also work) to the water before bringing the water to a boil and then add your rice. It will make the rice sticky.

                                                  1. re: Hytzipky

                                                    Why don't you write a cookbook? I just looked, and there's not one out there.

                                                    1. re: rudeboy

                                                      I do have one but the price to print it is outrageous. I was selling the PDF Chinese food section here but ChowHound won't let me do it. They removed my post with the price and PayPal info saying it was against their policy. I still sell the chapter with hopes of earning enough money to buy the first 2500 copies of my cookbook myself. The publishers till me that if those copies sold that they would pay for the future publishing. I've been told that cookbooks do not sell unless you are a famous chef. I don't know any other way to raise money to publish my cookbook. Write to me privately if you wish.

                                                  2. re: oconnortf

                                                    Years ago, I broke down and bought an outdoor propane rig - you might try that since you are serious. My old chambers range doesn't get nearly hot enough, and I just ended up boiling stir fry items. I finally have my cheap wok seasoned beautifully.

                                          2. re: Hytzipky

                                            I also want to thank you Hytzipky - I have been playing with many of these recipes you have posted for us! - My Lobster Sauce was almost spot on perfect! - My Ribs were close but still missing something (I know many of the New England Restaurants do things somewhat differently from one another - I made up a batch of Pork Wontons and Crab Rangoons - I made a wontons soup and they were great (although I made a mistake in making both batches at the same time so some spices ended up in the wontons that weren't supposed to be there (still tasted great, just a tad spicier) I froze the rest to cook at a later date and looking forward to it.
                                            Next up is the rice - So far not close enough but I know I need to get better with my Wok skills (not getting it hot enough is a problem) and the rice texture / color is wrong - flavor is still a bit off but I'm working on it -- what do you recommend Long Grain Brown (Parbroiled?) some recipes I read also said to the rice sit for a day... Hoping I can get closer to perfection -
                                            My Beef Teriyaki Skewers - good, but still not close enough to the flavor up north. My prep is off and the flavor although yummy has not hit the mark -
                                            And my last question if you know - many of my friends who have moved away miss one vital massively addictive component.... Duck sauce - I am 95% there with my latest batch. Its so close and its certainly good enough to use as its far better than anything I can buy locally here in Atlanta. I buy a few containers when I occasionally make it up to Mass. and bring it back with me and use it sparingly. I have found a few recipes (various places around the net) and some are just way off. But there is a "zing" to it I cant quite reach -
                                            Its know its almost entirely sweetened apple sauce and sugar - Molasses yes maybe a little, but too much carries too much of that pungent flavor and smell - Soy again, a little bit but some brands have different tastes - and a little bit of Vinegar I think so - but what type? - But there is still missing component(s) - that creates that distinctive zing on the tongue the darker color and the somewhat syrupy/almost slightly oily consistency
                                            - any thoughts? Thanks again and in Advance!