Homemade Fried Rice and New England Style Duck Sauce

My friend, Ruth, had the greatest recipe for fried rice on her website, but the flipgram is now disabled!! (Ruth, we need another tutorial!!) I’ve made her recipe so many times because my kids love Chinese Rice and this recipe is quick, easy, and inexpensive.

fried rice

I’m going to summarize Ruth’s recipe for you the best I can and I think we should peer pressure her into doing another video. Mkay?

Per Ruth’s FB, you need “day old rice, lunch meat, frozen veggies or whatever you have, and eggs.”

I usually cook up jasmine rice the day before and stick it in the fridge for the next day.

To start, I cut up a boneless, skinless chicken breast into small cubes and fry them up in a little oil in my largest non-stick pan. ( I still don’t have a wok!)  When they are almost cooked through, I add green and red peppers and sugar snap peas, cubed, and I fry until slightly softened.

I scramble three eggs and add that into the meat and veggies, making a big scrambled “mess.” I add a little more oil, and then add my cold, day old rice (about 4 cups or so) and fry it until it sizzles a little and browns slightly on the bottom.

When the rice is fried, I added some soy sauce to add color. I just sprinkled it around until I got a nice brown color. Maybe 1/4 to 1/2 cup max for a large pan of rice. I also threw in a few Tbsp brown sugar, 2 Tbsp Sesame oil, and black pepper. Right before it’s done, I add a cup of frozen peas and cover loosely, stirring until they are soft.

This recipe is so easy to tweak. I’ve made it with leftover ham lunch meat that I cut into cubes. (Also, I’ve made it without lunch meat. It does have eggs in it as protein.)

I always serve fried rice with duck sauce. Apparently our area of New England has their own version of duck sauce because the grocery store version is a sicky-sweet-gloppy-orange impostor and is nothing like our restaurants serve. The duck sauce in New England is thin, almost watery, and applesauce based.

It’s easy to make at home for those of you who can’t stand the store bought version.

New England Style Chinese Duck Sauce

In a saucepan, simmer until flavors meld:

1 cup sweetened applesauce (not the kind with cinnamon)

and 1 Tablespoon each: apple cider vinegar, sugar, soy sauce.

That’s it! Enjoy.


15 thoughts on “Homemade Fried Rice and New England Style Duck Sauce”

  • A NH resident here, and I must say that plum sauce is a key ingredient. I find that Kikkoman plum sauce is the best. Avoid any plum sauce that contains anything even similar to five-spice powder. There’s no five-spice powder in any decent duck sauce around here or near Boston. Sun Luck is NOT right. I think Kikkoman is appropriate as most Chinese restaurants buy from food service providers and Kikkoman is a huge company. Their products are distributed in bulk and also available in supermarkets. The ratio of applesauce to plum sauce is probably important for perfection but a 50/50 ratio has worked well for me. I add vinegar very slowly and taste to my liking. It’s easy to overdo on the vinegar. And watch out for molasses. I don’t use it now. It seems to make it taste a bit wrong. Soy sauce can also be problematic. It too, is easily overdone. I use a dash of Maggi seasoning and prefer the European, Arome or Wurze versions over the Asian. My preferred choices all contain MSG, but I simply don’t care. I’d happily drink a shot of it served with dinner.

  • I tried both variations, website recipe and the one Scott S’s in the comments. Website was missing something and Scott S’s had too much ACV. I found this one and it is the closest I’ve had since leaving the East Coast.
    1 Cup Applesauce
    2 Cups Apple Juice
    1/4 Cup Rice Vinegar
    1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
    1 TBSP Soy Sauce
    2 TBSP Corn Starch

    Mix Corn Starch and water and set aside
    Add applesauce, apple juice to saucepan. Add in Rice Vinegar, brown sugar and soy sauce. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add in corn starch mixture. Set aside to cool.

  • Using your recipe as a baseline, I have been trying for years to replicate a more closely correct version of New England-style Duck Sauce, specifically Southern New Hampshire. I found a lot of people are missing one main ingredient that I think everybody overlooked, which is pineapple. I’ve come as close as I can with this recipe right here, which makes about a quart:

    1/2 pound of pineapple (chunked, rings, or cored, no water)
    1 cup apple sauce (unsweetened)
    1 cup apple cider vinegar
    3/4 cup brown sugar.

    Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor, then heat on stove until it boils, and then promptly remove from the stove. Refrigerate until cold, serve cold or room temperature.

    I wanted to thank you and pass this on because it has driven me nuts trying to figure this recipe out. I just had to go up to New Hampshire and had my standard Chinese food fare, and the pineapple was the ingredient that was missing. Everyone thinks its apricot, but that’s not it. Simple, easy, and cheap!

      • I have you to thank!

        I didn’t pack down the brown sugar, I think not packinging it and using 3/4 cup will be enough.

        Also, it might need a tsp ginger, a tsp garlic powder, and maybe a pinch of red pepper flake, but that is as close as I have come to the base of it!

        • Scott,

          Try replacing the pineapple with equal parts plumb and apple sauce…. you will be amazed that pineapple is not the missing ingredient, but Plumb sauce.

          • Steven, would you replace the 1 cup applesauce from Scott’s recipe with 1/2 cup applesauce and one cup plum sauce? Sarah, have you tried it yet?

    • Goodness, I thought I was the only one! Also from Southern New Hampshire, I’ve been across the country and had to come back before I once again enjoyed Chinese food. The Chinese food in Southern New Hampshire is so good, it can be had cold – especially chicken fingers, haha!

      I’m so glad to have found this recipe, I had asked about it on a number of other sites, and I received a bunch of different recipes, all calling themselves “duck sauce.” None of these were close to this lovely sauce. I put it on pork fried rice, chicken fingers, and even beef/chicken teriyaki!

      Also, hello fellow Southern New Hampshirite!

      • It’s a regional thing for sure and nothing like the plastic pouches they give you at all the take out places! Did you see the suggestion to try the plumb sauce? I’m going to see if that perfects it!

  • I came here to check out the brown(duck?) sauce recipe and I am going to try it. I make hot mustard sauce, too. Can’t have one without the other and it is super simple.
    Equal amounts of dried mustard and liquid, and stir together. Let it sit for a few minutes and you’re golden. For the liquid you can use plain water, plain oil, or half of each.
    The reason I’m writing this is because I am questioning the amount of sesame oil you add. Two tablespoons is a LOT, since it imparts a very strong flavor. I start with a scant teaspoon and add a couple drops more, depending on how big a batch I’m making. I don’t think I would ever add the brown sugar, either. Maybe the brown sugar is necessary to cut the sesame oil?

  • Sarah, don’t buy a wok, they are not made for our stoves, they are made for a heat source that fits their shape…I learned this on America’s Test Kitchen. Use your pan with a good sized flat bottom and sloping sides.

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