CHEF SAMBRANO Food Articles Video Recipes



Tuesday, November 13, 2018

TOKYO TEI Japanese Simplicity

The old saying goes, "Nothing stays the same." So true. And on Sunday evening November 11, 2018 it was an evening that was meant to be. Me and my buddy Pete from Oahu was just winding down on the MAUI SUNDAY MARKET event in the old Kahului Shopping Center. When all of a sudden Pete says, "Hey Ron is 
Tokyo Tei open tonight?" Since it was a Sunday befor Veteran's day I figured I'd call. And sure enough they were open, and I requested a table for 2 and that we'd be there shortly. The drive only took us less than 5 minutes.

Once there, we were instructed to get to our table in the corner, and once there our water glasses were ready with our salted cabbage. Wow we were styling. The place was busy with lots of family taking out their kids, and grand parents. It was nice to see that. Pete already knew what he was going to order. Teri pork and shrimp tempura. Cool. I figured what the hell I'd order the same thing. I love their tempuras, it's something I can't make to save my life. The batter is always too much like a cake batter, or too thin. Oh well... 

When the food got to our table it was perfect, the pork looked like it was cooked correctly, it had this nice steam coming off of it, plus that nice glossy sheen you know? And the tea was hot and good. The rice perfect, not too soft or too hard like pellets. But the tempura was perfect as always. Crispy light but with some body to it. Not too greasy. Just perfect is all I can say. The tempura dipping sauce was nice and sweet. Just excellent. I ate 2 shrimp and was full. It's huge!

But what got us was when our waitress told us that we were possibly eating our last meal there,f as Tokyo Tei was going to be under new ownership in a month. According to her it was going to be Bernard from Bernard's Bentos and Banquets. OK that's good. But Bernard better not mess it up like changing it all around because that tempura is killer. If he does change it up, like most egotistical chefs do, we did eat our last meal as it was that night. I hope he keeps those recipes. If not, life goes on.

Pete Pao pours the tea at this point not knowing that the restaurant has been sold.

Pete with the rice offerings, shit look how huge that tempura is!

Our waitress letting us know the news, good or bad that the place has been sold!

A work of art, shrimp tempura with a few veggies, what a delightful dish, and it is less than 16.00

So-in the event chef Bernard changes it all around once he takes control, we did sample our last meal at Tokyo Tei. This restaurant has been a Maui staple for decades. My first time here was when my sister Ess took me with her first husband. My friends all good things must come to an end, that's just the facts of life. But enjoy what you have when you have it, because one day it will be gone forever.

If you need any blogging services, call me Ron Sambrano 808-385-7667


It was a Sunday the day before Veteran's Day 2018. A cool November weekend. Our mission was to see first hand what the MAUI SUNDAY MARKET was all about. Kaui Kahaialii is the head organizer, on an earlier meeting with him he explained that the event was for the local community to gather at the old Kahului Shopping center. From 4-8pm every Sunday, it features some of Maui's finest food trucks, food tents, and artists selling their products. It's a really good idea for that area in Kahului, it is central with Kihei minutes away, Up Country minutes away, and Wailuku right up the street. The cruise ship is docked across at the harbor so there's some visitors that will visit the event and sample local food and other things.

The event starts at 4pm, however me and my buddy Peter from Oahu started at 1pm to visit Kaui as he and his family (ohana) was setting up the main tent, and getting all of his audio system together. Kaui comes from a famous entertaining family, the Kahaialii's have been performing as a family unit forever. I went to school with all of them. The most famous of them all is Uncle Willy K. So we said our hellos and then decided to go walking around the old shopping center that still stands despite the fire many years ago that consumed over half of the center's structure. The famous Ah Fook's market was sold to another busniness entity. According to sources, the whole structure will be coming down soon to make way for something else.

The event started in mid 2018, and it has been picking up steam since day one. At 1pm there were a few food trucks already in place as the chefs started their prepping and pre-cooking. Other artists showed up to start building their tents and benches with tables from Costco. Lots of die hard entrepreneurs working hard on a Sunday. This is the American way, hard work for a profit. Or to just break even. Business people are a different breed aren't they? They are the foundations, the ones that makes things happen for jobs.

When the sun began to set that's when entertainment was at the ready. Geroge Kahumoku Maui's slack key god showed up and played a few minutes with Kaui by his side with his uke. Totally local style, I loved it. Below are some photos of the event.

Facing west the 5,000 foot Pu'u Kuku'i with clouds displays a firery sunset
Photo © 2018
Ramen? It was there.
Healing Hawaiia Mamaki Tea anyone?
The Pastele House truck was there with a line.
Dope BBQ truck was there if you love BBQ
The crepe guy was there pumping it out for crepe lovers
Peter Pao (l) and Kaui Kahaialii (r) discuss future plans

The overall experience of the Maui Sunday Market for an event that started in mid 2018 it looks like it will be successful in the future as well. Right now according to Kaui, "We are just feeling it out, and will make adjustments as we continue to grow. Creating a local atmosphere is the main goal." And I agree, good job Kaui.

For those of you interested in visiting this event, it is held every Sunday from 4-8pm. Do not eat that day save it for the food vendors, give them your support. Keep it local.

For any blogging needs call me, Ron Sambrano 808-385-7667

Monday, November 5, 2018


It's time for a little rant, a little of my 2 cents if you will on cooking shows, or food shows on t.v.. It seems that food shows are just too ridiculous these days. Drama in the kitchen? Chefs and cooks going at it, reality? Or scripted crap? Yeah OK, that crap can happen in real life and it does actually all of the time in a pro kitchen. All kinds of shit goes on in a pro kitchen. Egos are huge with chefs. I can't stand chefs! Don't like em. Anyhow, let's go to the cooking shows on t.v. and why I can't stand em. I've said this a gazzillion times. Food is a special thing, it's for feeding and nourishing people. And the way food is exploited, when we have good humans starving is insane. Of course entertainment is just that. Entertainment. And it makes money. It makes stars of chefs and foodies. That's all good you know. However I am not into that stuff.

I mean, drama in the kitchen because of some bull shit. What? C'mon and just show how to make the dish, who gives a f---- about the cook and his chef having a spat because the schedule isn't working out for the guy because he wants to go to f----- Burning Man, or some music fest. I mean, you do need time off to go to your favorite event, however I could care less what happens to some employee in a kitchen. 

So what do I watch when it comes to food shows? Nothing. Seriously nothing. I'd rather go on to Youtube and watch documentaries of history. I seldom delve into food shows anymore. It's gotten too stupid. Chefs are like rock stars, all good. In fact we have a couple here on Maui that have been on major food shows. One is pretty cool while the other is a f----- cock head! I mean, c'mon man all yo do is cook. You guys are a dime a dozen.

The reasons why I dislike the food shows now is it's been dumbed down like all shows on t.v.. What next, Chefs That Are Bi-Polar? Chefs That Do Porn? Chefs That Bang Other Chefs' Wives? I mean it is totally stupid. I'm not into watching stupid. Hey I'm a grouchy old man haha. "Back in my day, we had Emeril, and Ming Tsai." OK I'm outta here, enjoy your favorite cooking or food show, don't get to into it, the garage needs to be cleaned out.

© 2018


In this blog post, we'll use a Crock Pot. It's a slow cooker that works perfectly for a Thanksgiving dinner of any size. Buy one that suits your household. Hint: A small one works fine for that single person that will probably be alone on the holiday because of certain circumstances.

It's easy to use, you set the timer before you go to work and when you are done with work, you'll have some really soft turkey. Like pulled pork. So the texture will not be like an oven roasted turkey by any means. But you'll love it. 

Go to the store and buy cuts of turkey, it may be frozen so you'll need to thaw them out. But purchase some brown meat or white breast meat. I like the legs, drum and thigh. These are juicy. Buy a couple and all you do is season it with salt and pepper.  Rub it generously under the skin. 

Place it inside the Crock Pot, set the timer and temperature, or follow the instructions guide. All you do is add a little chicken broth to prime the bottom of the pot so it creates some steam. And that's it. Turn it on, go to work, and when you come home, bam! You got your Thanksgiving dinner. Simple!

And if you don't cook much, maybe just cook your turkey parts, and buy your sides before the store closes. Mashed potatoes, cranberries, pumpkin pies, whatever you love to eat, go get it. Hope it works out.

© 2018


Pumpkin Pie Recipe for Diabetics
(Before preparing this, please check with your dietician/physician)

As Thanksgiving looms in the very near distance, I found it imperative to share a recipe considered diabetic friendly. The source for this recipe comes from cookbooks geared towards diabetic cooking. Amounts of ingredients have been altered slightly as to not jeapordise the effectiveness of the recipe to help a diabetic patient.

1- 16 oz can solid packed pumpkin or two cups of cooked pumpkin
1/3 cup organic brown sugar (Sukrin Gold)
2 1/2 tbsp. granulated sugar
1/2 C. liquid egg
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/3 tsp. ground ginger
1/3 tsp. ground nutmeg
12 oz. can of evaporated skim milk
1- 9" unbaked pie crust

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

In a large bowl, stir together pumpkin, brown sugar sub, granulated sugar, liquid egg, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg. Slowly add in the evaporated skim milk.

Pour pumkin mixture into the unbaked pie crust. Bake about 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees F, and continue t bake for another 40 to 50 minutes. Insert a toothpick and when it comes out it should be clean if it's cooked through.

Remove from oven let it cool on racks before you serve.

Serve with low sugar whipped cream, this will be a total treat for anyone.

Baby Stacks Cafe

Baby Stacks Cafe in Las Vegas, NV., located at 4135 S. Buffalo Dr, Ste 101, 89147 according to some locals is the place to go for breakfast. Hours of operation is 7:00am-2:00pm Mon-Friday, and they close at 3:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday. (702)-207-6432 *Their website seems to be a tad messed up. Call them instead.

No I have never been here. But I like to ask people where to eat where they reside. And with the Hawaii and Vegas pipeline, there's always foodie questions being asked. So once online, I did the standard Yelp search, and Google search. Seems like this breakfast hot spot is a hidden gem. Aren't these food establishments always a hidden gem?

OK their website is funky so I'll say this, all pictures by Yelp. And this blogger is not making any money on this blog post. So the pics should be self explantory. Just looking at the photos I think I could spend some money at this place.

They actually have a few other locations in the valley. I think if you have a hangover this eatery will help wake you up. Again- no, I've never went to this place. However locals there like it, so this is good info for anyone heading to Vegas anytime soon.

© 2018


As November gets out of first gear, Thanksgiving is just weeks away and one wonders what to cook or not to cook for this festive holiday. But TGD is all about being thankful for what we do have and making due with what we do have. A lof of people can't afford a decent meal anytime, so those of us with close friends and family who know that we are going to have a meal or a few on this day we should be very thankful.

Thanksgiving at the Sambrano house was always filled with lots of love from family and friends, and mom (Peg) would be slaving from morning until dinner time. She would thaw the turkey out a day or two before. And she would be chopping onions, celery and old bread for the stuffing. The turkey would be the biggest she could get because she always wanted to have extra for anyone who would stop by. If we were lucky, a baker friend would stop by and drop off homemade pumpkin pie, or a cake, or cookies. And they were always the best stuff. However if someone did go to Safeway and purchased a pie, we'd be so thankful just the same as not everyone is a baker.

So as to not bore you, let's get on with this blog. This one delves in the how to on the deep fried turkey. Personally I have never deep fried a turkey. Just being honest. So I approached other cooks and chefs that did the deed at least once. And the bottom line for all of these deep fried afficionados is this. Safety first. The oil has to be blistering hot! And safety is something one must truly consider when deep frying a bird. Listed below are some of the safety issues you will need to deal with.

1. Keep a safe distance away from the house. According to my cook buddies, it is a good idea to keep your fryer at least 15 to 20 feet away from the house. (Maybe set up a tent outdoors with fire retardent material, and something to block the breeze and drizzle).

2. Make sure that the fryer is on flat ground. When the fryer is ready to go, it must be on a steady flat surface. It can't be moving around. If the surface is weak, there is a chance of spillage of hot oil that can cause injury to anyone around or near by.

3. Thaw and dry the turkey. Make sure your bird is thawed completely, and that there is zero moisture on or inside of the cavity. Water and hot cooking oil is not a good mixture. Make sure it is thawed well and dried very very well.

4. The cooking oil's temperature needs to be monitored. To ensure proper cooking throughout the turkey, make sure that the cooking oil is at a constant temperature throughout its cooking process. Bring oil temperature to about 400 degrees F, and lower it to 350 degrees F when cooking the turkey.

5. Fire extinguisher. Have on hand close by a multi-purpose fire extinguisher in the event the oil spills out and causes a fire. Also have a first aid kit on hand. Keep a cell phone near by to call 911 in the event you need to. Be prepared for the unexpeted all of the time.

Now that we got some key issues out of the way, let's get into some specifics. Again, I am not the expert but sharing you the tips from friends who are deep fryers of turkey during Thanksgiving. Hey why do all the hot dirty work when I can show up later and eat? Hahahahaha! Not funny? OK sorry.

What seasonings you want to use is entirely up to you. So experiement watch videos, ask around. Or heck, just use the simple salt and pepper thing and go for it.

What size of a pot should you use? Well it should be large enough to hold your turkey, with oil. And you do not want that oil to be to close to the rim of the pot. You want to to just cover the bird when it is cooking. I'm going to post a recipe from a buddy of mine, and you can guage it from there OK?


3 gallons of oil such as peanut. If you are allergic get some vegetable oil. Or shortening.

1 turkey whole, neck chopped off, giblets gone! Thawed well and dried. Set at room temperature at least an hour before frying.

1/2 cup or more of your seasonings.

1 onion


Take a large stock pot made of stainless steel, set over a heating appartus such as a floor model gas burner. Keep it stable closer to the ground not on a table where it may fall easily. Make sure there is room for the turkey and a good space to the top of the pot so the oil will not spill over when heated. Heat oil to 400 degrees F. 

Take the drain basket, place the onion into the basket, with turkey neck end first into the basket. Carefully lower the basket into the hot oil. Lower heat to 350 degrees F. A 12 pound bird according the experts should take approximately 45 minutes to cook through. 

Take your time when pulling out the drain basket using fire retardent gloves, and long sleeves that culinary staff wear. Place turkey on a platter to rest. Making sure that the bird is at least 180 degrees F. at its thickest parts. Use an instant read thermometer.

Watch this video on equipment to deep fryer pots

So let me know how your deep fry turkey experience turned out. One day when I'm not lazy I'll do a deep fry. Until then, I'm just going to watch, observe, and show up when dinner is served. Got it? Got it.

© 2018