After an emergency involving an out of date sauce & relatives coming round for dinner, I spent the next few minutes investigating the contents of my mum's cupboards & then every chinese cookbook we had to find a sauce that I could make in a couple of minutes. In the end, I found that the following ingredients were common to most recipes. If I hadn't been feeding my dad as well, I would have added something from the following - garlic, ginger, spring onion or chili pepper. As it was, I added the sugar instead to richen the sauce. I used the medium-dry sherry that my mum "cooks" with - although the recommended alternative for rice wine appears to be dry sherry.