CHEF SAMBRANO Food Articles Video Recipes




Monday, June 24, 2013


If you are looking for some good Breaded Teriyaki Beef with 2 scoops of rice and a scoop of creamy macaroni salad, stop by Tasty Crust in Wailuku, Maui. Four pieces of thin sliced beef, marinated in sweet teriyaki sauce and breaded and deep fried to perfection, and 2 scoops of hot rice with that macaroni salad hits the spot even during the breakfast hours before 10 am, perfect, local style is lunch during breakfast.

Maybe you'll be visiting Maui for the first time and you are wondering where the locals go, we hit Tasty Crust, and their pancakes are fluffy. The restaurant is an old building and renovated, it's a throw back to like the 50s style drive inns, I remember going there after shopping with my parents and stopping there on the way back to Lahaina which is a 30 minute drive. So to get us kids from getting all cranky we stopped at Tasty Crust for some food. The food is simple home style cooking, nothing fancy the way we like it. If we want fancy Maui has lots of those all over the place, but for simple foods Tasty Crust is just right on!

Located at 1770 Mill Street, Wailuku, HI 96793; 808-244-0845 (inexpensive); 
M-6am-3pm T, Wed, Thrs, 6a-10pm; Fr, Sa-6am-11pm; Sun-6am-10pm

Sunday, June 23, 2013


Okay Paula Deen was never my favorite t.v. chef, but I did however love her rich recipes the ones that would give you a f..... heart attack! However, the Food Network will let this t.v. personality go after a long time on the air. Let's break this down.

1. Under oath, she was asked if she ever used the N word, she said she did, but it was a long time ago. 

2. Blacks use the N word, but if it's a white rich lady using it, then no good.

3. Saturday Night Live writers will have a blast with this one.

4. David Letterman will have a blast with this one.

5. Jay Leno will have a blast with this one.

6. I'm having a blast with this one.

7. Now she can hang with Martha Stewart and learn how to rebound, remember Martha went to prison?

8. Black cooks may take her spot, but they're allowed to say "Whitey, or Honkey"

9. Paula Deen will make several million telling her story to TMZ, and then writing a book, only in America.

10. She can move to Hawaii, love the natives, and have a farm like Oprah.

All in all, she made a mistake, firing her was justified I guess, but there's so much more violent stuff out invasions, car jacking, stuff like that...but Paula made a mistake, it was a bad thing, but she deserves these times, when Jackie Robinson was remembered with a movie about him, we can't have that, and I really feel the Food Network did a good job letting her go...I mean if I was white and said the N word, that would be bad. Real bad.

Though everyone has said something dumb in the past, myself included. But we're only human, and despite I'm not a Paula Deen fan, she did touch lives in the foodie world...she can't be all that bad can she? But for sure I wouldn't trespass on her property, my skin's brown, she may look friendly on camera, but man...imagine if she had a shotgun in hand and I was trespassing on her land?

"Hey Boy!"
"Yeah you you brown skin ______ a _____! Git off my _____ land before I blow your N____ head off you son of a ________!!!!"
"Sorry mam! My name is Ron, and I'm Filipino that's why my skins brown, please don't shoot!"
copyright 2013 TM


Hawaii peeps are canned goods lovers, at times myself included, I guess that's why we got high blood pressure, ha ha. Not funny when you're in the ER.

Okay lets do something with SPAM. Okay? Ready? I'll go over some stuff here, real simple. Cooking Spam is easy, there's so much sodium in it, you can't screw it up. Can't get spoiled. Somebody die in your family? Stuff him with Spam, save money on the funeral home expenses, you can embalm someone with Spam.

First dish, Spam with Cabbage.


1 can of Spam (Cut some cubes about 1/2 inches)
1 round onion sliced thin
1 small head cabbage halved (use only half) chopped
1 clove garlic minced
1 cup water
10 fl oz tomato sauce low sodium
Dash of pepper


1. Heat up a large skillet with a little oil, sauté the garlic, onions and the Spam cubes until slightly browned.

2. Add the water, heat up to a boil, add in tomato sauce, bring to boil, add in cabbage cook until wilted, season with pepper to taste or more salt. However the freeking Spam is plenty salty enough, but it's up to you.

Serve with rice local style.

Spam Tempura


1 box tempura batter, follow directions on making the batter, set aside keep it ice cold.
1 cup of all purpose flour for initial dredging
1 can of Spam, sliced thin, make about 8 per can.


1. Put the all purpose flour in a bowl, this is the first bowl, the second bowl will be your tempura batter.

2. Heat up a deep fryer, or a pan with about 1 inch of oil for frying, heat it up until high and bubbling, then turn heat down to medium high.

3. Dredge each Spam slice into the flour, then dip it into the tempura batter, carefully lift the battered slice into the hot oil, and fry until golden on each side, then remove. You can do about 2 at a time. Never crowd the pan it will rob the oil of precious heat, you want the oil hot when deep frying.

Cook all of the slices, serve with rice, make a dipping sauce with ketchup and soy sauce with some brown sugar, or some mayonnaise and soy sauce.

The next canned goods is from Libby's and that is the Vienna sausage in those little cans.

Vienna Sausage Teriyaki


2 cans of Vienna sausage, drained and set aside
1 cup of soy sauce
1/2 cup of water
1 clove garlic minced
1/2 inch ginger minced
1 tbsp minced green onions
3 tbsp. of sugar or more if you like


1. In a mixing bowl, mix the soy sauce, water, garlic, ginger, green onions and sugar real well, and set aside.

2. In a small stock pot, heat up 1 tsp. of oil, and cook the sausage for about 1 minute, remove from heat.

3. Add in the teriyaki mixture from the bowl return to stove and heat over medium high heat, and cook for about 10 minutes.

Serve with rice, drizzle sauce over sausage and rice

The next is canned corned beef, another favorite of locals in Hawaii, I'll have 2 recipes for this canned meat. The first will be a Corned Beef Hash, although canned corned beef hash is sold, I like to make my own.

The brand that I like is Libby Mc Neil & Libby's Product of Brazil 12 oz. can, there is a key you need to insert into the can to open it it. That's the brand that's the bomb! Of course vegans won't agree with me on that.

Corned Beef Hash


1 can of corned beef
2 large russet potatoes boiled and mashed
1 small round onion chopped fine and sautéed in oil
1/2 stick of melted butter (unsalted)


1. Break up the corned beef well. Add to the mashed potatoes and mix a little bit, then add in the onions and butter, mix it well. (Note that the corned beef is already cooked).

2. Now mix all of the ingredients up well together, and form some patties.

3. Heat up a nonstick pan with a little nonstick spray, over medium high heat, fry up the patties until crisp on both sides.

Cook some eggs and serve with toast or rice.

Corned Beef and Tomatoes


1 can of corned beef
8 oz. of cherry tomatoes halved
1 small round onion sliced
1 1/2 cups of water


1. In a large nonstick pan, heat up a little oil, add the onions and tomatoes and cook until wilted. Remove.

2. Return pan to heat, add in the corned beef and cook until turns color and juices release. Add in the water and cook until it bubbles, then add in the tomatoes and onions, cook for about 3-4 minutes, cover let sit until ready to eat.

Serve with rice.
copyright 2013 TM

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Thinking of cooking Japanese foods? Here are some of the common stuff you'll need in your kitchen to cook Japanese foods.

Soy sauces, it comes in a variety of brands and flavors, dark, light, gluten and wheat free tamari. Experiment different brands.

Sake is a must to have, some dishes will be enhanced with this fermented rice, it adds edge to anything like teriyaki sauces, and soups such as Suimono, and miso.

Mirin adds sweetness to dishes, it is like sake with a lower alcohol content and sweeter, I love to add mirin in sauces that I want sweetened along with honey or brown sugar.

Miso paste, used to make sauces, gravies and of course the famous Miso Soup, there are different colors, white (shiro), aka (red).

Rice wine vinegar adds sour to dishes and salad dressings.

Bonito flakes, or tuna shavings are a must to make soup stock, it is a main ingredient in preparing Japanese Dashi stock.

Shitake mushrooms dried, is a very important ingredient to have, dried Shitake can be found in most Asian aisles in your supermarket, dried mushrooms need to be rehydrated in warm water for a few minutes and drained.

Udon noodles are the Japanese spaghetti, dried noodles need to be cooked following the package instructions, if you've cooked pasta before, you'll have no problem cooking udon, some brands soften up very quickly so keep an eye out on it when cooking.

Kamaboko or fish cakes are a prize garnish for salads or soups, and eaten in slices for appetizers served with soy sauce and hot mustard.

Wasabi paste is a condiment that is used constantly in sushi bars, offering some heat to soy sauce and other sauces. Having this unhand will offer your diners some heat for dumplings such as shumai.

Japanese cooking is very healthy, my mom used this earthy flavored root called Gobo in Japanese or Burdock root, cleaned and sliced and softened in stews or one pot meals adds personality.

Mayonnaise is used in modern day Japanese cooking as styles in cooking fuses, mayonnaise offers sauces and dips richness. My favorite brand is Best Foods Real Mayonnaise, or for vegans Vegenaise TM, is a good brand.

So this is just a few of the ingredients you'll need to start off your Japanese cooking and foodie journey. Other ingredients that's standard are garlic, ginger, green onions, Chinese cabbage, onions, squashes. 

Tip: It is always a good thing to read up on current food publications, take cooking classes from reputable sources such as professional Japanese chefs, or your local college, or even some martial arts dojos will have fund raisers with experienced Japanese cooks there, ask questions and always remember cooking should be fun, it should be respected, so enjoy your foodie journey.

Seek and you shall find.


Oxtails are easy to cook, if the quality of the meat is all good, you don't need much to make it taste great. In fact I am not a proponent of utilizing a lot of herbs and spices unless I really want something spicy you know? Or my clients, if they want it spicy I'll do it.

Here is a simple Oxtail Soup recipe.


3 lbs. of oxtails. (serves 2-4)
1 small head cabbage quartered and leaves loosened
2 tbsp. chopped ginger
1 tbsp. chopped garlic
8 oz. cherry tomatoes cut in half
3 cans of beef broth low sodium
Apple cider vinegar to taste
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 large russet potatoes cubed (add in about 15 minutes before done)


1. In a  6 qt. stainless steel stock pot, add a little vegetable oil heat up over medium high heat, add in oxtails and brown them, fill up water to cover, bring to a boil over high heat, boil for about 10 minutes. Drain water.

2. Return stockpot with oxtails over medium high heat, add in ginger and garlic, toss around for about 2 minutes. Add in the cherry tomatoes and continue to heat up until the juices are released from the tomatoes.

3. Add in the beef broth, bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer, add in about 4 cups of water to that. Simmer for about 1 hour on very low heat, covered.

4. Check to see if more water is needed, making sure that there is at least 3 inches of liquid over the oxtails. If there is more, no worry. The oxtails should be softened a little, add in the apple cider vinegar, start off with about 1/4 cup and taste it. If you want it more sour add in more. Simmer 10 minutes.

5. Add in potatoes, cook for 10 minutes, then add in the cabbage, simmer 5 more minutes, and off the heat, remove cover let soup sit. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with rice or bread.

Raw Oxtails can be found in most meat departments in your local supermarket. For sure if you have an Asian market near by, you are bound to find oxtails there. Oxtails need to be braised or stewed to be eaten it is a tough meat, and the heat needs to be low to break down the structure of the meat, once done it is a very tasty cut of beef meat.


People on Maui ask me all of the time this simple question, "Hey man who was your television chef idols?" So here is my answer, and it is kind of vast.

Graham Kerr, also known as the Galloping Gourmet, he was the guy on public stations when I grew up, it was the first exposure I had with a so-called t.v. chef. I used to watch him make unbelievable gourmet dishes, he'd roast, sauté, and do all kinds of delicious looking meals, and he was able to be simple when explaining how to cook. And he always had a guest he fed at the end of his program, it was a cool show, so looking back he was one of my t.v. chef idols.

Julia Carolyn Child, along with Kerr, she was the t.v chef I admired because she'd cook from the heart, and everything she used though some would look like only rich folks would eat, I could relate on the techniques she used, and she explained her demonstrations in simple terms, so I could definitely relate to her.

Harry Kojima, was a local guy from Honolulu that hosted Let's Go Fishing a Hawaiian fishing show, and he'd cook fish local style on his program, so simple that anyone could do what he could do, soy sauce, green onions, ginger, garlic was the staple.

The Food Network Stars.

The Food Network started this new craze in the foodie adventure, though I am not too thrilled with the current Food Network's fluff, I was a huge fan of these three chefs.

Emeril Lagasse, his live cooking shows with his live band with Doc the leader was a very phenomenal show, he cooked the way everyday folks would cook, and that was great. He wasn't pretentious on his shows, and he was very entertaining.

Jamie Oliver, another Brit standout, I loved his simple easy going and healthy meals that he cooked. The way his producers did his shows was very relaxing, and again it was his good humor, simple easygoing mannerism which struck me. I could understand him, as long as I can understand someone, I'd watch them.

Ming Tsai, he did Chinese and Asian dishes with some flare, and I also met him and his family at the Wine and Food Festival one year out in Kapalua Maui, he was a cool guy, and when he found out I had a local cooking show, he just told me to continue with my passion, so he was very cool.

Monday, June 17, 2013


Locals from Hawaii share one particular destination that is always visited, and these cities below are not some of them, well maybe a few Hawaiians will venture there but when I'm talking about Hawaiians from Hawaii in bulk travel, there's only one city that rocks! But just for fun, these 10 cities below aren't it.

Pictured is a bowl of Ox Tail Soup
By Wes S. via Yelp Thanks Wes!!!

1. Barcelona
2. London
3. Toronto
4. Washington DC
5. Hershey Pennsylvania
6. Houston TX
7. St. Petersburg, FL
8. Dublin Ireland
9. Hong Kong
10. Pyongyang N. Korea

Again these destinations are not it...the city I am talking about is non other than Las Vegas, Nevada...that's right, Sin City!!!!

Why would anyone plan 6 trips a year to Sin City? For one it's still a cheap jaunt for Hawaiians, and there's gambling all night long, Hawaiians love that especially during the football season. Their favorite hotels? Anyone of the Boyd Gaming properties. The one in particular I am talking about is the California Hotel located at 12 E. Ogden Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89101 (702) 385-1222 it is rated a 3 star hotel.

Since this is a food blog, I won't get into the other sins one might delve in...of course I am a saint, I have no idea what this is, I've only heard of it. Such as hookers coming to your room and negotiating a sex session, nope only heard of it. Ok, let's carry on. One restaurant in the California Hotel that is always busy because it's like they're always opened is the Market Street Cafe, and one of their signature dishes is the Ox Tail Soup. A rich beef broth and soft tender ox tails, served with white rice.

There's nothing like warming up your stomach with awesome comfort foods, and the ox tail soup is the dish of all dishes to eat. Sometimes I'll order it with some fries on the side and of course a hot cup of coffee with lots of cream. Especially in the late evenings that's when it can get busy where lots of gamblers are standing in line for a table, either in a booth or at the counter, I love sitting at the counter to meet some other gamblers and see what kind of people are out there. One time I met a guy in his late 60s, divorced and ready to go and be in the obituaries, he said he was ill and wanted one more last blast of life before he went. Wow!

One time I met this dude there sitting at the counter who lived there but was from Honolulu, he was always sniffing, I figured he was a cokehead. Nice guy but kind of strange, he couldn't stop talking about how pissed off he was at his bosses at his job, he was a tire mechanic. Yeah...I think he was a cokehead. Why? He asked me if I wanted to buy an eight ball.

But for Ox Tail Soup, the Market Street Cafe is the place to be. The Breakfast Menu is served get this...24 Hours!!!! Yee Ha! Pancakes and Eggs all day!!!

11:00PM TO 9:00AM

2'S COMPANY (Pancakes, eggs, sausage or bacon) 4.49

Friday, June 14, 2013


I'm on a journey to visit some of the famous Las Vegas Resorts & Restaurants as a food blogger, let's see if I can swing it. First I'll need to contact managers of resorts and casinos in Sin City to see if they can put me up for a few days so I can really get to know the properties and of course the food and beverage people that run it.

I'll need a round trip ticket, I'll need some get around cash...who can sponsor this? I don't know, but I'm on a journey to see what the business is like in Sin City as far as the resort and casinos goes.

Alright, the first guys I'll go and seek is the Luxor Hotel & Casino. I'll write them, I'll write to the executive office or something...who knows what's going to happen, but let's try the Luxor first and see if I can get a room for myself and 2 family members, some food on the house for 2 days, that would be nuts, 3 days in Vegas just checking out the Luxor, 2 days should be enough to get to know the operations.

Alright, I'm going to start my letter.. I'll update this blog when I find out what's going on. Other than that, stay tuned I'll blog some Japanese recipes. Just for kicks eh? Alright stay tuned.

Thursday, June 13, 2013


Just chilled at the Ritz Carlton Kapalua for a light lunch with Clifford Naole and Kamaunu Kahaialii today.

Easy no hassle kind of day on Maui, also had a late breakfast at the Plantation House Restaurant Kapalua, the Eggs Benedict was nuts!

Clifford Naole kicking back and sharing stories with me and Kamaunu, and good light lunch, Arika in the background our awesome waitress.

Braised Short Ribs Potstickers, Ritz Carlton Ono!

The Carrot Cake and Vanilla Ice Cream and pineapples Ritz Carlton was Ono too!

No recipes today! Too stuffed!!!!

Friday, June 7, 2013


Lahaina Harbor Maui Lighthouse 2013
June 7, 2013- Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii at the Lahaina Harbor with my business partner Danny Agdeppa waiting for a business meeting with a very well known associate. A nice beautiful warm summer day, or morning it was only 9:10 AM. the Lahaina Boat Harbor was filled with visitors from around the world boarding the Expedition fairy to the island of Lanai for sun, snorkeling, sunbathing and golf. The Pioneer Inn Hotel is situated across the street from the Banyan Tree, if you look to the right of the photo you'll see a building with a brownish roof top, that's the old courthouse, and the tree that goes higher than the roof is the Banyan Tree.
Brother Danny stepping off the curb Pioneer Inn 2013

For breakfast Danny at the fruit plate, I had eggs  benedict, our associate Wilmont ate the loco moco.

Anyone visiting Maui, should stop by historical Lahaina town and eat at the Lahaina's Pioneer Inn Grill and Bar. Those of you surfers must know this, that the Summer season is surf season in Lahaina town, the Summer's are prone to the South swells, so surfing would be more conducive in this neck of the woods than on the North shores of all the Hawaiian islands.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Here is a simple dish to make, it is a soup, not an appetizer soup, no no no. It is a hearty full bodied soup with spicy meatballs, a pork based soup, napa cabbage, and onions that rocks! This soup serves 4 people easily.


Meat Balls
1 1/2 pounds of ground pork
1 egg 
1/2 cup panko flakes
1 tsp. minced green onions
1 tsp. oyster sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Directions for meatballs
Place all of the meatball ingredients in a mixing bowl, and mix well. Form 1 inch meatballs and set aside.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. 
Place meatballs on a greased baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through careful not to burn it. Remove and let it rest.

Directions for the soup
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped sweet round onion
8 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp. Ko Chu Jang (Korean Hot Paste)
10 cups of filtered water or 1.6 quarts
1 tsp. oyster sauce
1 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
1 round onion sliced thin
1 Napa cabbage broken into pieces any size

1. In a stock pot, add a little oil about 1 tbsp. and saute the garlic and onions until onions release aroma. Add in the Ko Chu Jang paste and stir (add more if you like). Add in water and bring to boil, then lower to medium.

2. Add in the meatballs, oyster sauce, sesame oil, soy sauce and simmer for about 3 minutes because it is already cooked, then add in the round onion slices and Napa Cabbage. Simmer until the cabbage wilts, then off heat. Season with salt and pepper or more hot paste to your liking.

Serve in individual bowls with hot white sticky rice. 

* Have some condiments ready at the table like Ko Chu Jang, and Soy Sauce.

Here is a bottle of store bought Ko Chu Jang Hot Bean Paste (Use sparingly)