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Imperial Oyster Rolls

From: Bob
Sent: Friday, June 02, 2017 12:53 PM
Subject: Imperial Oyster Rolls

Uncle Phaedrus,

I would like your help in finding the recipe for a Chinese food appetizer called Imperial Oyster Roll 
that was served at a now defunct restaurant named Peking Garden in Santa Rosa, California 1980-1990. 
It was served with a simple lemon juice sauce for dipping. Similar to a egg roll but thinner and longer 
and yes, it was deep fried.

Thank you, Bob

Hello Bob,

“Peking Garden” is a common name for Chinese restaurants, but I could not find any mention at all of one by that name in Santa Rosa, CA. I suppose it’s because it existed pre-internet.

I searched for any mentions of an “Imperial Oyster Roll,” but I had no success with a recipe. I found two restaurants that have this item on their menus:

Yen King Restaurant
Mandarin & Szechuan Cuisine
1327 E. Monte Vista Avenue, Vacaville, CA

Soo Yuan Restaurant
1354 Lincoln Ave
Calistoga, CA 94515

Finally, I searched for just “oyster roll.” Most all of the “hits” that I got for that name were for three things:

- A sandwich consisting of fried oysters in a bun or crusty bread roll, with a bit of dressing and some lettuce. In the South, this is on French bread and is called an “Oyster Po’ Boy”. Elsewhere it is often just called an “oyster roll” and is served in a roll similar to that used for a lobster roll.

- A sort of party appetizer made with cream cheese and minced canned smoked oysters.

- An item that used to be served at Chinese New Year. It’s an oyster inside some sort of fritter. It’s gone by the wayside because it supposedly cannot be deep-fried, at least not as it was originally conceived. I could not find a recipe of this item, just brief mentions.

I don’t think the first two are at all similar to what you are seeking. However, your “Imperial Oyster Roll” might be an updated variation of the third one that could be deep-fried. I could not find any recipes, and only vague mentions of this.

I found this statement on a message board: “The roll consisted of stir-fried oyster and napa cabbage, wrapped in a (tapioca?) flour pastry, and pan fried”

I found this description and a photo on the website for Tayih Landis Hotel in Tainan, Taiwan:
“Oyster roll is wrapped with oyster, fish, and some vegetables and then fried until become beautiful light brown. The outside is crispy and crumbly and inside taste soft and juicy.”
If you click on the photo of the oyster rolls on that page, you get a screen saying “Click here to download your attachment.” I DID NOT CLICK ON IT. THAT SOUNDS LIKE AN INVITATION TO DOWNLOAD MALWARE.
That hotel site is here: Tayih Landis Hotel in Tainan, Taiwan
CLICK ON THE OYSTER ROLLS LINK AT YOUR OWN RISK. It may sound like it leads to more info about the oyster roll, but why would you have to DOWNLOAD IT? Malware can ruin your day. Don’t take a chance. You will probably have more success by visiting the restaurants listed above.


Hello again,

I hope this email finds you well, enjoying the summer breezes.

In response to this request:, I write bearing a number of recipes 
I happen to already have on file and some notes. While I found records of Peking Garden in newspapers, there was no 
specific description of imperial oyster rolls’ filling, only that they were essentially fried spring rolls.
Oyster rolls this individual is in search could be similar to what this person seeks - there’s a recipe contain in 
the thread here:
There are even more versions of oyster rolls than you list, but it’s no surprise the results are few in English- 
you’ll find many more searching in Chinese, or searching in connection with Taiwan. There’s one variety mentioned 
in the following article where rehydrated dried oysters are mixed with porkhash, fishcake, and other ingredients, 
wrapped in caul, lightly coated with a thin batter or lightly breaded then fried. I include recipes for this kind 
Additionally, searching in Chinese (?????, ????, ???, ???) you’ll easily find versions wrapped with bean curd skin, 
rice paper skin, thicker flour wrappers like American-style-Chinese egg rolls are wrapped in, each of which usually 
have a filling with fewer ingredients, and a variety of rolled omelet. They’re quite common, in many iterations. 
I include a few recipes of different varieties below, perhaps one will sound to the requester like a good jumping 
off point for replicating those from Peking Garden. 
Note that in the translated recipes, leek and chives refer to Chinese chives and Chinese leek, which are distinct 
from the versions Americans and European are accustomed to. The Chinese varieties are much more fragrant than their 
Western counterparts and recipes using them often do not include garlic for this reason, thus, if anyone attempts 
these recipes using the Western versions they should be sure to include garlic. 
Also note that the spring roll wrappers called for are thinner than those of egg rolls, made from a batter of flour, 
water, and sometimes salt, thinly brushed, not ladled, onto griddle in the shape of a disc about the size of a salad 
Finally, cooks in China often use ginger, 5-spice, and chicken broth powder to taste in these fillings even when 
it is not listed on the recipe, and the requester should feel free to do the same when and if experimenting.
These videos, which are safe to watch in terms of malware, detail the variation and making of fried oyster rolls - 
visual instruction can be helpful despite the language barrier:
The recipe for the last video, badly translated:
spring rolls 12
fresh oyster 100g
fish paste 200g
pig meat 80g
30g of chives
chopped green onion 20g
celery 20g 
salt 1 tsp
sugar 1 tsp
rice wine 1 tablespoon
White pepper 1 tsp 
White flour 1 tablespoon 
flour water paste (for sealing the egg rolls):
4 tablespoons of medium flour
water 8 tablespoons 
1. Chive, onion, celery cut, into the water and mix thoroughly mix 
2. Take the crystal bowl into the fish pulp, pig meat, a little flour water and All the seasonings mix well into 
the fillings spare (filling at least put frozen ice about 30 minutes) 
3. Take a spring roll skin, put the filling, then fresh oyster rolled up, with flour water paste sealed into the 
160 degree pan Fried to golden yellow can be.
Oyster rolls (translated from Chinese)
Spring rolls wrapped in a similar "oyster" of the stuffing, a bite, crisp skin burst delicious seafood, it is memorable!
Oysters 300 grams
leek (cut into small pieces) 100 g
sprouts 100 g
carrots 30 g
10 spring roll
salt 1/2 tsp 
1/2 tsp rice wine 
small sugar 1/2 Spoon
white pepper 1/4 tsp
1 tablespoon white flour
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon water
fried oil, vegetable oil
1 Add leeks, bean sprouts and carrots to seasonings and mix well
2 Turn the flour and water into a batter
3 first with a napkin dry oyster surface of the water, and then take a spring roll skin, put 1 tablespoon steps 1, 
   and then put three oysters
4 will step 3 roll up to step 2 of the batter
5 to the vegetable oil to 8 minutes after the heat, into the volume of good steps 4, with the fire fried about 
   4-5 minutes to golden yellow and cooked

Oysters can be changed to other seafood, such as shrimp or squid. Hot to eat the most crisp and delicious, but 
after the bombing can not eat, eat can be put into the oven back to the bar
When eating, stained with sweet chili sauce or garlic paste sauce the most taste
Fragrant crisp oyster roll (translated from Chinese)
Fresh oyster 300g
leek 150g
chives 150g
pig meat 100g
shrimp 30g
ginger 10g
minced garlic 10g
Spring roll wrappers 5
Rehydrated dried Chinese mushrooms 30g
lotus root powder 2 tablespoons (you may also use sweet potato powder, and if unattainable, arrowroot or cornstarch)
flour 1 tablespoon
1 tablespoon rice wine
1 teaspoon of soy sauce
2 teaspoons of sugar
1 tbsp of white pepper
1 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of curry powder
Sauce for serving: sweet chili sauce
1. flour plus 3 tablespoons of water and mix well: leek, leek cut, into the crystal bowl, add 1 tablespoon 
   lotus root starch mix well. 
2. Take a crystal bowl, put oyster, and then into the hot water soak 3 minutes to half cooked, remove and drain spare. 
3. Take a wok, the next pork meat saute, and then under the shrimp, mushrooms Ding, ginger, garlic burst incense, then 
   seasoning , a little water stir well, then add 1 tablespoon lotus root starch mix, Into the practice of leek 1 , 
   chives and mix well, slightly cool standby. 
4. Take the squeeze cake, put the practice of 3 fillings, and then put oysters, rolled up after the flour water seal, 
   in the oyster surface sprinkled with the remaining flour water, then the next 160 degrees of pan fried Crisp, wok 
   plate after wiping plate can be.

Oyster Spring Rolls
Makes 14 to 18 medium or 12 to 14 large rolls
8 to 10 ounces drained fresh oysters 
1 teaspoon plus 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
6 ounces (about 2 cups) bean sprouts, washed and drained well
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons oyster liquor or water
1 tablespoon canola oil
8 ounces ground pork, roughly chopped to loosen
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons light (regular) soy sauce
3/4 cup lightly packed finely chopped scallion, white and green parts
14 to 18 medium or 12 to 14 large Shanghai spring roll skins (also called lumpia wrappers)
1 egg, lightly beaten
Canola Oil, for deep-frying
1. Give the oysters a quick rinsing and drain well. If the oysters are large, cut them into 3/4 to 1-inch pieces. 
   Transfer to a bowl. Add the 1 teaspoon white pepper, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, fish sauce, and 1 tablespoon rice 
   wine. Stir gently to combine. Set aside to marinate for 5 to 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Using a mesh strainer, blanch the bean sprouts until they 
   have just slightly softened, 30 to 45 seconds. Dump them into a colander and set aside to cool and drain. 
   Return the water to a boil, then blanch the oysters for 20 seconds. You can use the mesh strainer or not. Drain 
   the oysters and transfer to a bowl; they will continue to release liquid after draining. Set the bean sprouts 
   and oysters near the stove.
3. For the seasoning sauce, in a small bowl, combine the remaining 1/4 teaspoon white pepper and 1 teaspoon rice 
   wine with the salt, sugar, sesame oil, and cornstarch slurry. Set aside near the stove. 
4. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork, stirring and poking it to break it into small 
   pieces. When the pork is halfway cooked, about 1 minute, splash in the soy sauce. Keep cooking for another minute 
   or so until the pork is cooked through. Add the scallion, and cook for about 30 seconds until they’ve lost their 
   rawness. Then add the bean sprouts and oysters, give things a stir and cook for 30 to 45 seconds to heat through.
   Give the seasoning sauce a stir then pour it into the skillet. Stir gently to combine and in about 30 seconds, the  
   mixture should have thickened up. Transfer to a platter and spread it out. Set aside to cool to room temperature, 
   about 20 minutes. The mixture can be refrigerated overnight and return to room temperature before using. You 
   should have 2 1/2 to 3 cups.
5. For each spring roll, place a skin, smooth side down, on your work surface. With medium skins, place a generous 
   2 tablespoons of filling (or 3 to 4 tablespoons of filling, if using large skins) slightly below the center of 
   the skin. Fold and roll up the skin to create a cigar shape. Before folding in the sides, brush some beaten egg 
   on all of the exposed edges to ensure a good seal. Set the finished rolls, seam side down, on a parchment 
   paper-lined baking sheet. Keep covered with a dishtowel to prevent drying. 
6. Heat 1 to 1 1/4 inches of oil in a wok, saucepan, or deep skillet over medium-high heat to about 350ºF on a 
   deep-fry thermometer. (If you don’t have a deep-fry thermometer, stick a dry bamboo chopstick into the oil; 
   if bubbles rise immediately to the surface, the oil is ready.) Slide in few spring rolls and fry for 2 to 
   4 minutes, turning as needed, until golden brown and very crisp. Remove from the oil and drain. Return the 
   oil to temperature before frying more.

5 fresh oysters
50 gm minced pork
20gm bean sprouts
2 eggs beaten
1 stalk leek
2 tbsp Chinese Shao Xing Wine (or sweet sherry)
½ tsp minced ginger
½ tsp curry powder
½ sesame oil
½ tsp minced garlic
½ Chicken essence powder or cubes (or powdered chicken stock) 
½ Black pepper
1 tbsp light soy sauce
Pinch of salt
Make the Filling as follows: Heat oil in wok and pour in 1 beaten egg. Stir fry until dry and set aside. Dice the 
oyster into small chunks and cut the leek finely. Heat oil in wok in medium heat and fry minced ginger and garlic 
until fragrant. Add minced pork, wine, sesame oil, soy sauce, black pepper, chicken essence powder, curry powder 
and stir fry for 3 minutes. Add flour and mix well. Lastly add oyster chunks and fried egg. Turn off heat as soon 
as the oyster chunks have been added.
Make the Wrapping as follows: Use about 2 tbsp of filling for each spring roll. Wet the edges of the wrapper with 
beaten egg (for the purpose of sealing). Place filling near the bottom of the wrapper, roll over one time and then 
wrap in both sides of the wrapper and continue to roll the wrapper over. Be sure to seal the top of he wrapped roll.
Cook the rolls as follows: Heat some oil in a wok or deep fryer. Fry the spring rolls until they are golden brown. 
Remove with tongs drain on kitchen towels. NOTE: Fry 2 or 3 rolls at a time. Attempting to fry too many at a time 
will reduce the the temperature and make the rolls soggy.

fried oysters bean curd skin rolls (translated from Chinese, not the ingredients include the filling, batter, and 
a dipping sauce) 

Oysters, fresh 8
100 g chives
bean curd skin 4
egg amount, the number of the rolls, 
squid fish (dried) 230 g 
shrimp 60 g
pepper 1 g
Tang Xin powder 0.5 grams
75 g low gluten flour
13 g of starch
4 g baking powder
25 g of salad oil
the amount of salt, 
130 g of water, 
30 grams of vegetable oil 
soy sauce, 5 grams
rice vinegar, 5 grams
7 grams of sesame oil
pepper amount, 
mirin 6 grams, 
10 grams of broth, 
2 g of mustard
Fresh oysters from the shell out, washed with salt water, hot in hot water. Shell shrimp. Cut chives, lightly stir 
fry and let cool. Chop the squid, shrimp and add to taste Lin, salt, Tang Xin powder and pepper, stirring in one 
direction evenly. Divide mixture evenly on bean curd skin, covered with asparagus, 2 chives and 1 oysters and 
shrimp, folded up, picking eggs wrapped tight. Take a bowl, mix the material of the batter, the bean curd skin 
roll quickly covered with batter, fry to golden yellow.

Crispy Pork Oyster Roll (translated from Chinese)
oysters (fresh) 200 grams 
pork (too fat) 150 g 
leeks 75 g 
chives 75 g 
celery 75 g 
wheat flour, 200 grams
pepper 2 grams 
lard (refined)  100 g 
sugar 15 g 
monosodium glutamate 5 g 
Salt 2 g 
potato flour 15 g
1. Green, yellow leek and celery washed, to the end of the end of the tail, and meat (pork chopped) after mixing, 
   add white pepper , salt 2 grams, sugar, sweet potato powder 15 grams, 2 grams of MSG seasoning The
2. Green oyster rinse to impurities, add appropriate amount of salt, monosodium glutamate and white pepper stir well.
3. Add the flour and add the dough into a small dough, roll it into a thin skin, and cook it. Tile the pancake, 
   put the green leek , yellow leek, oyster and grips up and put it in all Above the material).
4. The oyster into about 80 degrees of heat in the pan, about 3 minutes, to be oyster fried to golden yellow, can 
   be removed.
This product has a frying process, need to prepare about 1,000 grams of vegetable oil.

Oyster Rolls
2 cans (8 oz each) whole oysters, drained and chopped
1 can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
2 can (4 oz each) mushroom stems & pieces, drained and chopped
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 eggs
1 lb fishcake paste
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp shoyu
1/4 tsp 5-spice
1/4 c chopped green onions
 oil for frying
Combine cornstarch and eggs with a whisk.  Mix in fishcake paste, sugar, shoyu, and 5-spice.  Stir in oysters, 
water chestnuts, mushrooms and green onions.  Heat oil in a skillet.  Place panko in a small bowl.  Drop heaping 
tablespoons (#40 disher) of mixture into panko.  Coat completely with panko then shape into 2-inch long flat oval.  
Fry in heated oil, turning once.  Drain on paper towels.  Serve with shoyu-oyster sauce mix.

Chinese Deep Fried Oyster Rolls
1 lb Chinese fishcake preferably awa awa
1 lb Porkhash
1/2 to 1 lb Dried oysters
1 can Water chestnut
Chinese parsley (optional)
Salt and pepper 
Eggs for egg wash
Flour(enough to coat rolls)
Cracker meal or panko
Pork lining(get it at Chinatown) optional, if mixture is firm enough to make rolls lining not needed
Oil for frying
Soak oysters in water till soft then chop into small pieces. Chop water chestnuts into small pieces, Mince Chinese 
parsley. Mix fishcake, porkhash,water chestnuts,oysters and chinese parsley. Salt and pepper to taste. Make sure 
consistency is firm enough to form football shaped rolls about 3" long and 1" in diameter. Place rolls on pork 
lining, roll into shape and cut of excess lining. Repeat till all mixture is used up. Place rolls in a bowl or 
pan, place in steamer and steam for 1/2hr. Cool and coat rolls with flour, dip into egg wash and coat with panko 
or cracker meal. Deep fry in oil till golden brown. Serve with shoyu/hot mustard sauce.


Chicken BBQ Sauce

From: Pat
Sent: Friday, May 19, 2017 11:27 AM
Subject: shared recipe

Mr Phaedrus,

I have a Bar-B-Que sauce that I grew up with that my Dad and his Army buddies used post WWII.  
So it has some history. It is Chicken Bar-B-Que sauce.  Trying to research it over the years 
at the library and now the internet has only led me to a hint that it may be linked to the 
4-H club's at their annual Mid-West Fairs.  If you accept such recipes I will gladly send it 
to you. I have been using it continually since around 1975. Maybe when you see the ingredients 
it may ring a bell with you or your followers?
Tallahassee, Fl

Hi Pat,

Thanks, please do send it. I’ll see if I can find anything about it.


From: Pat
Sent: Saturday, May 20, 2017 8:08 AM
To: Phaedrus 
Subject: Re: shared recipe

4 - cups water
1/2 cup salt
2 cups peanut oil
4 cups apple cider vinegar - unfiltered if available
1 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cups Franks or Crystal hot sauce
1 spray bottle or squirt bottle

Mix salt with water till salt has dissolved.  Add remaining ingredients and stir well.  
Spray or squirt on chicken while grilling.  This Bar-B-Que sauce can also double as a 
marinade, one hour prior to grilling.  Keep in refrigerator, it lasts a long time.  
Bring to room temp before using and stir again before using.

Makes 1 gallon of Chicken Bar-B-Que Sauce

Hello Pat

I can’t find a recipe that fits your description exactly. There is a traditional 4-H recipe that is similar, but it calls for garlic powder or garlic salt, and it has margarine or butter. See:


Chicken for a Cause

Tennessee BBQ Sauce

I’ll post this for reader input. Maybe someone will recognize it.


I checked those sites you gave me and they are spot on.  My guess is that what you sent me 
is the accurate 4-H recipe and my Dad and his Army buddies just had a little different version 
by adding lemon juice and subbed in oil for butter.  I'm making a new batch this weekend for 
Memorial Day get together.  This time I will add the garlic salt as suggested. One more thing 
off my Bucket List, thanks to you.  Next thing up is the Indy 500!!!!

Tallahassee, Fl

Rabbit with Sweet Gale Sauce

From: Phaed Subject: Sweet Gale Sauce

Hello Readers,

Requests have been rather slow for a couple of weeks now, so I am going to close out this week's trio with a puzzle of my own. A few weeks ago, my wife and I went to Quebec City, Quebec for a vacation. We spent several days walking around the Old City of Quebec, and we had some excellent food in the provincial capitol on the Saint Lawrence River. I'd have to say that the best meal to me was the lunch we had at the Le Parlementaire Restaurant. The Quebec Provincial Parliament building contains two restaurants for the convenience of Members of Parliament when they are in session. These are the Le Parlementaire Restaurant and the Café du Parlement. When Parliament (Assemblee Nationale Quebec) is not in session, both of these very fine restaurants are open to the public. The Café du Parlement is sort of a quick lunch cafe, and the Le Parlementaire Restaurant is a fine dining restaurant. Both are only open for breakfast and lunch.

Café du Parlement menu

Le Parlementaire Restaurant (English)

Le Parlementaire Restaurant (French)

On the menu, the rabbit caught my eye. I've had rabbit cooked several different ways. When I was young, my grandfather would occasionally go rabbit hunting and then we'd have fried wild rabbit. Then, many years later, I once bought a package of frozen farm-raised rabbit from the grocery store and cooked it according to package directions, but it had an off-taste that I did not care for. I've had rabbit at fine-dining restaurants a few times, but was mostly unimpressed with it.

I had the French version of the Le Parlementaire Restaurant menu, and this item in French was what caught my eye:
Duo de râble et de confit de lapin, sauce crémée au myrique baumier, seigle entier, pommes, carottes, chou"
The English version of the menu had it as:
Rabbit, two ways: roasted saddle and pulled confit, creamy sweet gale sauce, whole rye berries, apples, carrots, cabbage

I decided to have this dish, and I was not disappointed. The saddle of rabbit was similar to white meat roast pork, only better, and the pulled rabbit confit was delicious, almost like a croquette. The whole rye berries were tender, like eating tiny peas. The "gale sauce" was excellent.

The puzzle I refer to was the "creamy sweet gale sauce." When I got back to the hotel, I searched the Web, but could find no recipe for "gale sauce", sweet or otherwise. I noticed that on the menu in French, the sauce was called sauce crémée au myrique baumier. Searching for "sauce crémée au myrique baumier," I could only find it mentioned on the Le Parlementaire Restaurant menu. Searching for just myrique baumier, I found that this is a bush of the bayberry family, native to Europe and North America. Its common names include bog-myrtle and sweetgale or sweet gale. It's main use historically was as a hops substitute in beer-making, but it has also been used as a spice, although not much in recent years. The whole leaf is used for flavoring while cooking, and then removed before serving, similar to the way bay leaves are used. This delicious sauce appears to be a rarity now. There are recipes on the Web for "Roasted Saddle of Rabbit" and for "Pulled Confit of Rabbit", but they aren't quite the same as what I had. I found no recipes at all for "Sweet Gale Sauce."


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