Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >
Jul 11, 2014 07:59 AM

Finally, Mary Chung: order what?

Somehow, after 15 years of eating across Boston, I've never made it to Mary Chung. What are the classic dishes there?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Suan la chow show, grandma's pie (a frequent special), pan-fried Peking ravioli, and dun dun noodles (maybe with chicken) are the standards.

    I also recommend something yu shiang (shredded pork, or chicken with green beans), chicken velvet shrimp soup, trotters (a less-frequent special), hot stuffed eggplant, and peapod shoots.

    A friend once ordered the crab rangoon here. I was surprised that they were nice and not disgusting at all.

    1 Reply
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      I was also surprised by the crab rangoon. Usually I find those unpleasant, but I ended up filching several when someone else ordered them. Not greasy at all.

    2. Thanks, Slim. I was hoping you'd chime in all concise like that!

      4 Replies
      1. re: newhound

        Happy to help! Mary Chung won't make you forget more traditional Taiwanese or Sichuan places, but it hoes its own little row nicely anyway. And the t-shirts are awesome.

        1. re: MC Slim JB

          IMO if one considers MC to be it's own style of chinese it's a healthier view point than trying to shoehorn it into a comparison w/ one of the more authentic cuisines. They really have their own flavor profile which I've not really seen elsewhere.

          1. re: jgg13

            Quite agree, and I'm a longtime fan, despite generally favoring more traditional styles; just trying to set expectations.


            1. re: jgg13

              I like their weekend dimsum scallion pie the best. As for it's own style, it is indeed. The closest I've come to Mary Chung's dishes is in Taiwan. Sorry to say but the equivalent dishes in Taiwan are much better in Taiwan.

        2. Seconding suan la chow show and dun dun noodles; they're the canonical Mary's dishes. When I worked in Central Square I got the "suans" for lunch once a week and never tired of them.

          1 Reply
          1. re: dfan

            So cool!: googling a bit brought up the info that MC worked at Colleen's long ago, where she learned the Suan la chow show (like the Hunan Palace chef/owners who worked at Joyce Chen's long ago and learned the Strange Flavor Chicken) and an MIT fan came up with this back in 1990, but looks like some tinkering is in order to get them as special as MC's are now:

            <OK, OK. Here's Colleen's recipe for Swans. This comes by way of a friend who took her cooking class several years ago. I tried this recipe recently, and while I got something that resembled swans, they just weren't the same. I'll have to figure out what needs changing. -Mark

            SUAN LA CHOW SHOW


            2 Tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
            4 Tbsp Water
            1 tsp Vinegar
            1 Tbsp chopped Garlic
            1/2 Tbsp minced Ginger
            1 tsp Hot Oil or Hot Oil Paste
            Dash of White Pepper

            Combine all ingredients. Make sauce a day ahead of time to allow
            taste to blend. If you want to double the portion, DO NOT ADD
            additional Garlic, Ginger or Hot Oil.


            2 1/2 cups White Flour
            3/4 cup Hot Water
            1/4 cup Cold Water

            Stir hot water and flour together with chopsticks. Add cold water and
            work dough with fingers. Roll dough into a ball and cover with damp
            cloth or plastic. Leave it at room temperature for about 20 minutes.
            Knead the dough again for approx 10 minutes. Form it into a long roll
            about 1 inch in diameter. Cut it into 20 to 24 small pieces. Press
            each one flat with the palm of your hand. Roll it out thin.


            1 lb ground pork or beef
            1/2 to 1 lb Chinese Cabbage
            3 Tbsp Soy Sauce
            2 Tbsp Wine
            2 Tbsp Oil
            2 tsp Salt
            1 tsp Sesame Oil
            2 Tbsp chopped Scallion
            1/2 tsp minced ginger
            1 egg
            Dash of White Pepper
            Bean sprouts

            Boil a large pot of water. Mix together everything but the cabbage in
            a bowl. When water starts to boil, add cabbage. Turn off heat and
            let cabbage soak for approx. 2 minutes. Rinse cabbage in cold water
            and squeeze out excessive water. Chop cabbage finely and squeeze
            again. Sprinkle a dash of salt onto cabbage and stir it into the meat

            Boil another large pot of water. Wrap filling in skins, and drop
            wontons inside boiling water and wait. When it starts to bubble, pour
            in 1/2 cup of cold water and wait for it to boil again. When it does,
            repeat with another 1/2 cup of cold water. The enxt time it starts to
            boil, the wontons that are floating on top should be done. Scoop them
            out and rinse under cold water.

            Serve wontons over bean sprouts topped with sauce.>

          2. I like a nice dish of whatever sauteed greens they're making- usually water spinach or pea tendrils. Makes me feel more healthy while stuffing myself on the dishes everyone else has suggested.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Parsnipity

              I try to pick one items from the specials board upfront. I recall an asparagus dish that made me wish it was always on the menu.

              Dun Dun noodles, spicy green beans, and the pan fried ravioli are choices when I'm with have a group.


            2. Along w/ the SLCS, dun dun noodles & grandma's pie, another favorite of mine is something like "fried chicken with yu shiang sauce and spicy salt". It's pieces of fried chicken, a bowl of yu shiang sauce and a little dish of a salt/spice mixture (definitely white pepper, not sure what else). Dip in sauce then in salt and pop in your mouth.

              1 Reply
              1. re: jgg13

                Two more items that I really dig are the hot & sour soup w/ wonton and there's a cold/spicy cabbage appetizer, I forget the name.

                Also while I'm not generally a huge fan of The General, their version is much better than usual.