CHEF SAMBRANO Food Articles Video Recipes




Friday, February 5, 2016


When I was a kid growing up in the plantation camps until I was about 8 years old, my mom cooked a lot of Japanese foods. One may wonder why since we are Filipino. Well one reason is we had several neighbors in the camp that were from Japan, hence my mom learned how to cook what they served up in their homes. And my mom reciprocated.

One of the dishes she used to make was pork with vegetables, the standard carrots, bean sprouts, maybe some green beans or any greens. But there was this one vegetable that just stood out, it tasted kind of earthy, it was a contrasting vegetable I've never tasted. Carrots can be sweet, onions just the same. Some beans are bland. This vegetable wasn't bland, it's really hard to explain. All I can say was when she finally cooked the dish, I made sure I was there watching her.

So she comes back from the supermarket with all of the ingredients, and then she takes out Gobo. Or Burdock root. It's a root, not like a potato, but more slim. I remember her washing it, and then soaking it in water to soften it up more. Then she'd slice it into strips, and then cook it. She was a very simple cook, sautéing the pork with ginger and garlic, then adding in a concoction of soy sauce, sugar, water, and then the other vegetables including the Gobo. And in about a half an our we had a meal. The Burdock root, or Gobo would be seasoned with the sauce, but it still had a unique flavor. All I can say is you to to try it.



© 2016

Thursday, February 4, 2016


In Hawaii we take our food seriously...No, I mean seriously...what was that? Let me explain. The Koch brothers took making billions seriously, we locals here take our food seriously. No skimping please! All righty then, let's carry on. It's been a while since I blogged on local plates, I been straying away from my culture, oh well sue my ass then! Pictured above is a combination plate from L&L Drive Inn, one of Hawaii's premier plate lunch chains. The creation of local boy done good Eddie Flores, this brand is seen all over the place from Hawaii, Vegas, California and beyond. Anyhow, the plate in the photo is what is called a Chicken Katsu & Hamburger Steak plate. A good hefty portion of panko crusted chicken deep fried, with a hamburger patty or steak, two scoops of white rice and mac salad.

Every restaurant or chef will make their katsu or hamburger steaks taste differently, however the basics apply. For the chicken the thighs is the best, salted and peppered, coated in flour, then egg wash, then into the panko flakes. And then into the bloody HOT OIL!!!!! A good katsu will be crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside not dried out. 

The hamburger steaks on the other hand is a different animal, I can have my steaks soft, mixed with bread and eggs, almost like a meatloaf and seared over the flat top. Or just straight up 100% choice ground chuck, seasoned and then grilled over the fire medium well. Now foodies have their own specifications. Some like it like a meatloaf so that a plastic fork can cut right through it. Some like it meaty and will use a fork and knife to cut it. Some like sautéed onions and mushrooms with the brown gravy. And here's the thing, I've said it before, but it may have been a while, if you order your hamburger steaks "sloppy" that means the chef will pour gravy all over the dish, over the meat, the rice, the salad. Winner!

So there you have the low down on the combo plate. Have a nice day, and oh yeah, eat well, eat a lot and be thankful you can. 

© 2016

Sunday, January 31, 2016


If you eat beef, pork or chicken but want to curtail your intake with something lighter and without the cholesterol you should make a trip to your nearest health food store, and take a look at what products they have.

Morning Star makes some delicious frozen meals and healthy as well. Check some of their products.
Italian herb chik patties
Beef flavor burgers
Buffalo Wings

Amy's is also in the game and very popular.

Vegetable Korma

There's more varieties if you're looking for vegetarian/vegan foods that are ready to be heated up at home. I tried both brands and both are exceptional alternatives to eating animal meat. You should stop by your closest health food store and see if they got these two brands, I know if you hit Whole Foods you should find something there.



This is a vegan recipe, so there's no ground beef patty that was grilled with sautéed mushrooms on top with melted mozzarella cheese. 

Vegan Mushroom Burger no animal byproducts.

1 lb. of white mushrooms, minced and set aside.
2 large russet potatoes, peeled and parboiled to soften the mashed
1/4 cup minced green onions
1 tbsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper


1. In a medium size mixing bowl add the minced mushrooms and mashed potatoes, mix well.

2. Add in the rest of the ingredients, and form 4 burgers.

3. In a nonstick pan, heat up some safflower oil and fry each burger until a brown crust is developed on both sides of each patty.

Serve with brown rice, or on toasted burger buns, garnish with kale, tomatoes and onions, use a vegan mayonnaise like Vegenaise, and organic yellow mustard.

Until next time
Ron Sambrano Blogger

© 2016

Saturday, January 30, 2016


Broccoli is one of my favorite vegetables, the tops for salads, or in stir fries like beef broccoli, or in soups. Broccoli has a lot of good nutritional properties like Vitamins A, C, B-6, D, B-12, as well as Iron and Magnesium. And that's raw not cooked. But if you were to just follow some of my advice on broccoli to retain most of its nutrients, here is what you do.

In its raw state of being, broccoli and most cruciferous plants will retain all of its nutrients, organic would be your best bet for full healthy eats. But here is what you do if you are going to use broccoli in a cooked dish.

Stir Fries & Soups

     The best way to use broccoli and retain a lot of its nutritional value is to blanch the broccoli tops or tips quickly in hot water. Just boil the water really hot, and quickly add the broccoli in the boiling water for about 20 seconds and remove it. Slice it thin before you add it into your stir fry. Add it in last so all you will be doing is tossing the broccoli in the pan or wok just to incorporate it. Or slice it thin in its raw state, and garnish your stir fries. Or add it in last into soups.



© 2016

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

TELL ME WHERE TO EAT IN YOUR HOMETOWN (Bibimbap House, Salem, Oregon)

Today on Maui I met two young ladies from the state of Oregon. And I asked them the question, "Tell me where to eat in your hometown." I was informed that they love to eat Korean and Japanese food.
Hey that's right up my alley I love Korean and Japanese food, there's nothing like a good meat jun with kimchi, or some japchae, or kalbi. Or a good katsu don, or some sukiyaki, saimin, or ramen. And sushi accompanied with miso soup... I love this conversation.

So my two new friends Holly and Casandra from Salem, Oregon told me that if I ever get to Salem anytime soon they'd take me to this dive called Bibimbap House.

"This place is really good," said Casandra. She wore a dark green tee shirt with a yellow O, I guess she's a Duck fan. "I grew up in a neighborhood with Asian families, so we're familiar with that kind of cooking. I'm a pretty good cook, and I cook some of the dishes with Korean influences." 

"I really don't like spicy Korean food, I favor more of the Japanese flavors," said Holly. "I've never had Asian food until Casandra turned me on to this place." Holly didn't wear any sports fan clothing, I took it she was more of the artistic liberal type. Nothing wrong with that just saying.

So what are their favorites?

Holly went first. "Like I said, I'm not into spicy Korean, but I love their Teriyaki Beef with veggies, in fact I'll mix it up on different visits, I'll do Teriyaki Pork too, or chicken. And their sushi is pretty amazing as well, like their New York Roll, Alaska Roll, and my favorite is the California Tempura Roll with teri sauce.. mmmm. I did like their Japchae noodle thing though. I guess I can learn to love Korean food, it's like Japanese almost."

Sheeze these girls are making me hungry.

Then Casandra stepped up to the plate, and she went off. "I love their Kalbi Short Ribs with rice. And I can't pronounce it but their spicy tender pork (Dae Ji Bul Go Gi). The tofu stew with seafood and veggies (Soon Doo Boo), Steamed Man Doo (dumplings). I like their Bibimbap with chicken, and sometimes I'll take the Bul Go Gi Combo to go, and the broiled mackerel."

Hmm, I like these girls. You see my friends, some girls are so picky when they eat, "Oh I can't eat that, I don't like that ooo can't do that, can we go somewhere else?"

Holly chimed in, "Hey their Soju is good, and they got beers too." Ah ha, so I know who the wild one is. Soju is an alcoholic beverage shared amongst Koreans. Made from rice, wheat, or barley.

So I thanked the ladies as they were on their way to get tickets for a luau. So now it's time for me to hit the computer and Yelp or Google search this place they spoke of, this, this... Bibimbap House in Salem, Oregon.

This is what I found.

Bibimbap House, 635 Chemeketa St. NE Salem, OR 97301. (505) 585-1530
Click this link for all of the information  BIBIMBAP HOUSE

trip advisor

This is a bottle of Soju

Go online and visit the website, there's more awesome pics. So then, if you ever get to Salem, Oregon the place to go for lunch or dinner is Bibimbap House.

Until next time

Ron Sambrano

© 2016

Monday, January 25, 2016


Another day on Maui, and meeting my friends visiting the island is lots of fun. Earlier today I met Fred and Clarita from Huntington Beach, Southern Cal. No pics like most of my peeps they don't trust me just yet haha. So my thing is this I walk up to them unannounced, with a ski mask on and a fake Glock 9mm and ask them "Excuse me, tell me where you from, and where should I eat if I go there?"

FRED: You like Mexican food Ron?
ME: Hell yeah, I like the soups, torta, everything man.
CLARITA: There's a place we go to just minutes south of where we live it's called Avila's El Ranchito.
FRED: They got good stuff. Look them up online.
ME: So what do you like to eat there Fred?
FRED: Hey brah, don't get me started. 
CLARITA: Yeah, he'll eat the whole kitchen.

Mind you these two are probably in their late thirties, and they got two kids back home, two boys 8 and 12 years old.

FRED: If it's the weekend we'll go for breakfast, I'll eat several items depends. One would be their Chorizo con Huevos, it has rice and beans. I love Chorizo. Or menudo. Or the Mexican Omelet with Chorizo.

CLARITA: I like their Chilaquiles.

RON: Okay for lunch or dinner?

FRED: Lunch would be a Fiesta Burrito with grilled chicken, with beans, pico de gallo and rice. 

CLARITA: For lunch I'll get Enchiladas or Quesadillas maybe a Flautas.

RON: Okay dinners?

FRED: The half pound steak grilled Mexican style, the Carnitas is good, or Steak Fajitas.

CLARITA: I like the Shrimp in garlic butter, and the salads are awesome too.

FRED: Really reasonable priced, great desserts too.

So I said goodbye, and now I'm on my MacBook Pro Googling the place. Hey they're on Facebook. And yeah they weren't kidding the prices are reasonable.

Fred didn't have his smartphone with all his foodie pics so I went online and got some of these from Avila's.

So there's a few photos that looks really nice, for more information on this chain in So Cal, check out AVILA'S EL RANCHITO MEXICAN RESTAURANT


Ron Sambrano
Food Blogger

© 2016