I have found it! The magic elixir! The special ingredient that turns my mediocre stir-fry into something authentically Chinese! It is SHRIMP PASTE!!!!! (OK, it is probably shrimp sauce, but the label on the jar says "shrimp paste.")
As I've mentioned before, each time we go to the Asian market I pick up another jar or bottle or can of cooking sauce. This last time it was shrimp paste, and oh wow! I hit the jackpot! I made fried noodles, and threw in about a tablespoon of shrimp paste with the half sesame oil/half regular oil I use. It smelled WONDERFUL, and it tasted even better.
Fair warning if you decide to try it, two days later, my house still smells like shrimp paste! That's fine by me, because it is a wonderfully nostalgic aroma that takes us back to our time in China.
Still hoping for change
3 weeks ago