CHEF SAMBRANO Food Articles Video Recipes




Friday, October 18, 2013


Before I get into #8 of the Plate Lunch Series Fall 2013 Series, I want to say to all of you out there wondering what kind of foods we like in Hawaii, well we like em all, and any entree that we love can be part of our plate lunch culture.

Today we'll delve in some Asian style stir fries utilizing pumpkin, ripe pumpkin, that is either stewed soft or roasted soft tender and then incorporated into a stir fry, and we'll delve in this very soon, but first!

The Grilled Cheese Truck!!!!!
Go online on to Facebook and Twitter and check out The Grilled Cheese Truck an intersting take on grilled cheese in a food truck.

And when on Maui go to Honu Seafood and Pizza look them up on Google
Alright, now that I got two of my favorite interesting eateries all propped up let's talk about the Pumpkin and Pork Stir Fry and how this dish is a hit once the uninitiated becomes....well, initiated. You see in Hawaii we got lots of Asians, from China, Korea, Japan, and the Southeast Islanders, including people from Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines. All of these cuisines have similarities.

Now growing up in an American Filipino household, it was probably exotic before that word was that word, I mean now days you see people going to Asian restaurants and talking about the pork and rice noodles with fish sauce in a Vietnamese dig, how exotic the smells, and the flavors were. Well the Filipinos as well as the Vietnamese and Thais, really do things exotic if you will, I mean lots of ginger, scallions, fungus (good ones of course), garlic, peppers, and vinegars, wines, and fish sauces and shrimp pastes. The Filipinos use patis, and it is a fermented sauce made from fish, very salty and adds kick to soups, salads, stir fries, stews and braises. And since we're talking Pumpkin and Pork Stir Fries, it adds to that too. Most Pumpkin and Pork dishes that are influenced from Southeast Asia no doubt will have fish sauce incorporated into it. Maybe not, but it's a good bet that there is.

Pumpkins have a tough exterior that needs to be sliced off so that the flesh or meat is exposed, chefs will slice it in half, removing the seeds for something else, usually they would save the seeds and dry them and eat them, or put them into salad dressings. Once the seeds are removed, the chef will cut the flesh into cubes and either boil them soft in some vinegar and water with ginger or other herbs and spices and set them aside for the stir fry. Or like I was saying earlier, the chef can also roast it in an oven or even over a hot grill, just to soften the flesh, and because the flesh is cooked once and if flavored, it adds to the dish, it lends another layer of flavors once the finished product is done, the pumpkin will stand out on its own with the other flavors in the wok or skillet.

Chefs will heat up either vegetable oil, or a flavored oil like peanut, and stir fry fresh minced garlic and ginger, then they will toss in some pork, either the bellies or shoulder or a combination of both, these cuts have flavor and natives don't think "Jeez my cholesterol is high." Nope, they go about their cooking for optimum flavors, and pork lends a flavor all its own, nothing like it in a hot wok.

The chef once cooks the pork at least 80% will add in some sauce made from either soy sauce (dark), vinegar, sambal, sugar, and fish sauce. Steaming the pork in the sauce until it bubbles, then adding in possibly scallions, more ginger, or cabbage, but the star or co-star is the pumpkins, once the pumpkins are added in it is cooked until it is all heated through, and served immediately with rice, Vietnamese and Thais may favor Jasmine rice, no matter, it's all good. And in Hawaii we serve it with rice and macaroni salad.

These pictures are from Google and I am not making money off of these.

So if you ever get to Hawaii, or if you got an Asian restaurant near by ask them if they do cook this dish, and see if you like it, pumpkins aren't just for Halloween.