Rice & Gravy [NYC]

Growing up in Brooklyn early 60’s to late 70’s a cheap treat was white rice with gravy.
Nothing like it .50 & a drink it was great.
I am trying to figure out what that gravy was.
Eliminate the egg foo young type gravy.
It was a brown gravy that I am trying to replicate here in the Jersey Shore.
All help is welcome

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Like mushroom-type gravy? I’ve never had it, just spitballing here.

Thanks but if you never had it please don’t muddy the water but thanks
It’s hard enough for those of us who experienced it

All help is welcomed.

Please don’t muddy the water.
I love threads like these.


Okay only if you have actually experienced it just to clarify
I am not usually that big an ass

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It was just pretty funny :smiley:
Small h is a real new Yorker.

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Apparently not real enough.


My dad made a brown gravy that was great on pork chops, meat loaf, etc…

He worked years as the lead cook at a Chinese-American restaurant. Before his passing, I video’d him making his gravy for thanksgiving.

I’m tapping this out on an iPhone 7, so not as thorough as it could be.

Start: make a roux. Heat oil (he used peanut oil). Whisk in flour until he got proper consistency, kinda between paste and Play Dough.

Add in Swanson chicken or beef broth. S&P. Liquid Smoke. Soy sauce. A touch of ketchup. When he was in the cups (per usual when he is cheffing), he’d hit the gravy with a slug of Jack or Hennessy. Whatever within reach.

I’ve had friends beg him to make a qt or two extra on Thanksgiving to “takeaway” for their own parties at home.

This may or may not be the gravy you had in mind. I’ve had this many many times on rice. Need to make some in near future.


I had it a gazillion years ago. I recall it as plain brown gravy. Roux of oil or margarine with equal amount of flour. Add water while heating, and get it to the desired texture. Stir in Better than Bouillon beef broth concentrate. Add ground pepper.

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Just to clarify, what type of restaurant(s) served it?

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Chinese that catered to American palate

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Sounds plausible

This actually sounds pretty good. Not quite the same as American gravy, but just “Chinese” enough with the soy sauce to seem exotic but not scare Americans away.


That’s great thanks for the info much appreciated even though it’s not the cheap Chinese gravy of my youth it’s a start or even might be a finish

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I lived on that during Jr. High School. Might’ve had some “oyster sauce” in it. I don’t think hoisin. Good luck.

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Your guess is good but for the life of me I can’t figure out why it’s so elusive.
So many of us lived on it & no one has a clue what it was :heavy_check_mark:

I’ve never had the NYC rice and gravy, but I will say that oyster sauce (not too much!) is the key ingredient in the sauce for Springfield (MO) style cashew chicken, another bastardized invention by Chinese restaurants to please American palates. Worth adding a shot to a basic beef gravy to see if that’s the answer.

You sure it’s not egg foo young gravy? Chicken EFY is my go to Chinese dish because the very first time I had it, (prob in NYC Chinatown at the Wo Ki in the mid 60’s) it was an epiphany! The gravy absolutely made it. I have since had it many times & experienced less then sublime ones-- including one dark red one (not bad but NOT what I wanted-- menu declared it was “true Cantonese Style”). I also discovered efyg palate fatigue-- if I have it more then say 3x a year and/or within 2 weeks the first 2 bites hot then mark & then it’s like chewing cardboard pizza.

I’ve been complaining that EFG has disappeared off the most of the places here in Portland Maine. Luckily…well kinda… there’s a place right by us that delivers & has it and its gravy is acceptable but oh so SALTY. All the variations really depend on who’s doing the cooking.

Sorry it’s definitely not egg foo young
Fact .

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Thanks but if you haven’t had it you can’t reflect on the true taste of this gravy.
It’s a very simple gravy not very complex