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Mary Pang's Sweet and Sour Pork

From: Gai
Sent: Thursday, May 23, 2013 7:48 PM
Subject: Mary Pan's Sweet & Sour Pork - recipe

Mary Pang’s was very big here in Seattle for a very long time. They went out of business 
several years ago. They specialized in frozen entrees like pork fried rice and the sweet & 
sour pork. Hope you can help.

Hello Gai,

Mary Pang’s was a commercial enterprise in Seattle producing frozen Chinese foods that were sold in area supermarkets. Mary Pang’s actual production recipes, if they were available, would be large-quantity recipes and might use some commercial ingredients. I had no success locating any of these recipes, nor was I able to find any copycat recipes for any Mary Pang products.

There was a fire at the Mary Pang warehouse/production facility in 1995 that killed 4 people. The company went out of business as a result of the fire and never reopened. Mary Pang passed away in 2009 at the age of 87. Mrs. Pang taught Chinese cooking to thousands of students, and in 1990 she published a cookbook, "A Wok with Mary Pang."

That cookbook might contain recipes for her sweet & sour pork and pork fried rice. There are used copies of it for sale at for prices ranging from $7.99 to $20.00: “A Wok with Mary Pang: A Healthy Stroll Through Chinese Cooking” (Peanut Butter Publishing, Seattle, Washington) [Paperback]


From: roxann 
Sent: Friday, April 17, 2015 9:04 PM
Subject: Mary Pang sweet and sour sauce , missing the sweet and sour pork short ribs and 
trying to recreate them.

I have the recipe book, but it seems to have a flaw, it calls for 1/2 cup water, 1/2 sugar, 
1/2 cider vinegar, what is the 1/2 cider vinegar 1/2 teaspoon or tablespoon it is killing me. 
Does anyone know what the vinegar is it apple cider or what and who much.


Hello Roxann,

I had no success finding anything on the Internet about this recipe. I looked at 40 or so OTHER recipes for sweet and sour pork, and I have some comments that might help you.

1) If this is a misprint in the cookbook, then no one except Mary Pang, her relatives, or the publisher would be likely to know the correct text exactly. One of my readers might have the cookbook, but they’d have the same thing that you already have. I’ll post this on my site for input from readers. Perhaps someone else had the same issue with the recipe and made the bold step of guessing at the amounts until they got it right. If so, then I hope they’ll respond.

2) The vinegar is certainly APPLE CIDER VINEGAR. All of the recipes that I looked at called for APPLE CIDER VINEGAR.

3) From the dozens of other recipes that I looked at, neither 1/2 teaspoon or 1/2 tablespoon of cider vinegar would be right. That’s just not enough vinegar according to the recipes I examined. It wouldn’t be enough to give it any sourness. The recipes that I looked at called for anywhere from 6 tablespoons or vinegar to 1 cup of vinegar.

4) In general, the amounts of water, sugar, and apple cider vinegar in sweet and sour sauce recipes. are approximately the same. Therefore, if the “1/2” in the text of the recipe in the book is correct for water, then the correct amounts are most likely: 1/2 cup water, 1/2 CUP sugar, and 1/2 CUP of apple cider vinegar.

Hope this helps.


Harry's Grille Almond Crusted Chicken

From: Elaine
Sent: Friday, May 24, 2013 3:42 AM
Subject: chicken with cherry sauce

There is a small  restaurant in Bloomsburg, Pa., which is a college town and the name of 
it is Harry's Bar and Grill on Main street. they have a fried chicken breast with a cherry 
sauce.  I have tried to duplicate this recipe but cannot.  Can you get this recipe for me?  
It doesn't have wine in it.

Hello Elaine,

It is of prime importance to have the exact name of the dish from the menu in such cases. I located a menu for “Harry’s Grille” at 20 W Main in Bloomsburg, PA here: Harry’s Grille Menu

There is no chicken breast entree with cherry sauce on that menu. There is a “Chicken Lafayette” on the menu, which is a sautéed chicken breast with a sherry sauce. Yes, I know you said “no wine”, but that’s all there is. I could not find any mention anywhere at all of a fried chicken breast with cherry sauce from Harry’s in Bloomington. Sorry.


From: Elaine
Sent: Friday, May 24, 2013 7:24 PM
Subject: Fw: chicken with cherry sauce

It is on the menu you sent me as Almond crusted chicken.  It is served with a cherry 
sauce as per the menu, under appetizers.


Hello Elaine,

Ok, I see that the menu description is somewhat different from yours, "almond crusted" being the key:

Appetizer: Almond Crusted Chicken
Chicken tenderloins dipped in beer batter,
coated with slivered almonds, and fried.
Served with black cherry dipping sauce.

However, Harry’s recipe is not available at any rate. There are other almond crusted chicken recipes with some sort of cherry dipping sauce that are available. I’ve no idea whether they are similar to the Harry’s Grille appetizer.See:




Double Dolphin Salad Dressing

From: Leslye
Sent: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 3:36 PM
Subject: Double Dolphin house salad dressing request

The Double Dolphin was a seafood restaurant on the upper east side of New York City 
in the 1960-70's. They had a light pinkish orange colored house salad dressing that 
I remember these decades later. I don't remember it as being like a Russian dressing, 
although the color suggests that it might have had that base. I have been looking for 
that recipe since they closed and if you could help, you would be my hero!

Thank you,

Hello Leslye,

The Double Dolphin Restaurant was owned by Michael Wayne, who also owned The Assembly, The Old Homestead and The Press Box.

I was not able to find any mention at all of the salad dressing other than two requests for the recipe that you apparently posted about a year ago on message boards.

I’ll post this in case a reader can help.


International Menus Cookbook

From: Michelle 
Sent: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 4:30 PM
Subject: Looking for a cookbook

Dear Uncle Phaedrus, 

I once had a cookbook that contained menus from different countries.  I do not remember 
the title of the cookbook unfortunately, but it may have had the words "International" 
or "Entertaining" in it.  It may have been a Woman's Day or Sunset cookbook, as I have 
several of those, but again, it may not be.  I made the Russian menu from this cookbook 
one time.  The appetizer consisted of pickles with sour cream and honey.  The main dish 
was a roast, unfortunately I cannot remember the details of that, but the side dish 
consisted of shredded parsnips and carrots that were sauteed in butter.  I know it's a 
bit of a long shot, but I'd love to know the name of this cookbook.  Thank you!



Hello Michelle,

Your clues are not enough for me to find this. I’ll post this on the site in case a reader might recognize it.


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