CHEF SAMBRANO Food Articles Video Recipes



Saturday, April 25, 2015


Eggplant, a.k.a. aubergine in some parts of this planet. I just call em "Eggplant." Filipinos call it talong, but I just call em "Eggplant." So how can you cook this veggie or fruit? What? Veggie or fruit? Okay eggplants are really a plant that has this oblong thing that looks purplish, and I don't care if it's a fruit or a vegetable. It's an eggplant. 

How can you prepare an eggplant or eggplants? Alright junior let's concentrate on who Ron Sambrano is, and what is his background. 1. Am I an Italian? No. So this leaves out anything Italian although I can do it. 2. Am I an Indian? No. So I won't do some Indian thing to it, although I can. I will my friends do eggplant like I do it in my own kitchen cooking for myself and family. First let's take a look at the different kinds of eggplants you are bound to see in your local market.

1. If you look at the picture on the top of this post, those are the good ones for making breaded eggplants, or even slicing them smaller for stir fries. 

2. The other one is like this one, long and slim.
These are good for soups, stews, and stir fries as well. Filipinos have a dish called Pinacbet and it is a braise with ginger, garlic, maybe some okra, and some tomatoes, shrimp, and fish sauce. These skinnies are good for kung pao chicken, although the big round ones can be used as well. I'm going to let you choose which ones you want, but I'm going for those big ass round ones. And we're going to make some Pork and Eggplant with a little heat.


Cooking the Eggplants
1 large round/oval eggplant, peeled and sliced halved long ways, then sliced into halves, and then into triangular pieces about 1/4" thick.

1 cup of vegetable oil (use sparingly). Tip: Eggplants soak up liquids like you would not believe, so you'll need to eyeball the oil, 1 cup should be enough. just use like a 1/2 cup to start in a large 14" wok. Heat up the oil to medium high, and cook each slice until slightly soft and remove and cool.

Marinating the pork
1 lb. pork loin, sliced thin across the grain, very thin to allow quick cooking.
1 tbsp. sesame oil
2 tbsp. cooking sherry or rice wine (not rice wine vinegar)
1 tsp. white pepper
In a medium bowl, mix all of the ingredients and let it sit for about 20 to 30 minutes.

1 cup low sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup sambal oelek (hot chili paste) or more
2 tbsp. raw brown sugar
1 tbsp. fish sauce (patis or nam pla)
Mix all of this in a small bowl and set aside until ready to add to the wok.

(You should have the eggplants cooked and set aside, as well as the pork sliced and marinated).

1. In the same wok used to precook your eggplant, add about 1 1/2 tbsp. of vegetable oil, and add in 1 tsp. of minced ginger. Over medium high heat, sauté the ginger for about 15 seconds.

2. Then add in the pork, half batch at at time. (You want the pork to get a crust on its exterior).. Finish the fist batch by cooking until it turns brown and set aside. Add in the last batch and do the same. Now when the second batch is cooked, add in the fist batch, toss to heat through.

3. Now add in the sauce, cook until it bubbles. Then add in the eggplants that were pre-cooked. Heat through, and serve with rice. Boom! 

There you have it, an easy home style dish Asian style. We keep it easy, noting too complicated.

© 2015

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Some days you just want something old school. Something totally delicious, comforting, and you got your girlfriend with you. You hop in your 1995 Honda Civic with all the moldings coming off, and then you both drive to Eddie's Diner (fictitious for blogging purposes).

Once you're there you are greeted by the lovely and longtime employee at the counter Jolynn, yep, good old Jo girl is the best. Friendly as ever, has her own family, and by golly gee whizz, she sings in the church choir. And the cook and owner is Eddie, tattoos on his forearms, in his mid forties, has a gut, likes to use the F word constantly, loves the Green Bay Packers, cold Budweiser, and strippers, by the way for this creative writing Eddie is divorced and his wife took the house but left him with the run down grungy diner. However, Eddie makes the best meatloaf, best chicken pot pie, best roast pork, best all beef hamburgers, and best steak omelets for breakfast. There's always a line come six to seven in the morning, and then it slows down only to pick up again around eleven thirty to one in the afternoon for lunch. Eddie is closed for dinners now days.

Okay where was I? Oh yeah so you and your girl is ordering two plates. Your girl Hannah orders the meatloaf with mash and a green salad and a Coke. You order the double bacon and mushroom cheeseburger with a large side of fries and two of Eddies delicious pancakes he serves all day. You sit and chat, as patrons stand in line... You don't know what Eddie's kitchen looks like, because if you did? You'd run for the hills! But the food is the best in town. Little do you know, Eddie takes a dump and washes his hands for only three seconds. He's never called the pest control hence roaches run rampant. And his diner is so out of the way and no one complains, the health inspector doesn't even make it out to Eddie's. But man the food taste good. Conclusion? What you don't know won't hurt, but enjoy!

When in Las Vegas, stop in at the Heart Attack Grill for awesome burgers. Yes their restaurant is clean and very much so.

© 2015

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


This could be just me, however when it comes to local grinez here in Hawaii, a plate lunch has to have white rice, sorry that brown crap shouldn't be on a plate lunch. 

Well some people who has diabetes claim that brown rice is better, not the refined white version, well whatever the case may be, I'm still not sold on brown rice on a killer combo plate of tender teriyaki beef and chicken adobo, and delicious mac salad. Really? Brown rice? Just run me over with a tow truck.. no make that reverse the truck after you run me over and back over my head again to certainly kill me!

Eating brown rice with a plate lunch is going to a Rolling Stone's concert and seeing Keith Richard's being replaced by some session's guy. Or it's like going to  KISS concert and Paul Stanley has Tom Petty as a replacement. Or it's like going to an Usher concert but Eminem is there subbing. I can go on and on but I don't want to bore the shit outta you. You get my drift? Okay you do.

Brown rice... man...what a lame ass invention, brown rice. Brown rice is for hippie vegans. Brown rice is for people that are stuck up on a health kick. It's for hospitals that serve tasteless I said, you may as well shoot me or something. Don't ever cook for me killer lau laus and serve me brown rice. Don't cook me epic beef stew, with the fatty brisket and serve me brown rice, how dare you! Brown rice. Brown rice is like the nice kid on the same street as you but you don't want him hanging with you and your other cool friends..brown rice c'mon. 

Okay I'll think about it. I seriously will! 

© 2015

Thursday, April 16, 2015

This is a video me and my buddy James Kudlich did a few years ago when Teddy's Bigger Burgers opened in the Lahaina Gateway Shopping Center, in West Maui. James was being groomed as the local Man vs Food guy.

Watch him eat his Western Burger like he's having a major foodie orgasm, James loves his food, and you'll love the video too it'll make you want to go to Teddy's soon!

Click This Video

Island Honda Maui

© 2015


Local style grines is easy to cook, there's a lot of products at the local market that can be easily fried up and eaten with white rice. 

Slice up some of your favorite Portuguese sausage, with some garlic, and then add in some bottled kimchi cabbage, heat it all up nice and hot and you got a meal for two, three, four... all depends. Simplicity my friends is what us locals are all about! We don't like making sauces, reducing liquids, or using wine.. or messing with herbs and spices we can't get. Heck no, I'm not gonna go looking for some exotic basil F that! I'm using whatever I can get at Foodland be it GMO or not... I don't give a _____!

So turn up your simplicity and eat simple ono foods local style.

© 2015

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


What is Chicken Long Rice? Well, it is chicken with long rice what else? Alright alright, relax. This dish can be traced to the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand and Hawaii. Hawaii because all the people from those three countries ended up on the shores on our major islands. Generally this dish is rather soupy, and when the rice noodles soak up the soup, it becomes well...less soupy. I like mine soupy, don't want it mushy however I won't complain if someone made it for me mushy, I don't turn down free food. Are you kidding? Free food? Turn it down? "No way Batman!"

What's in this dish? How would Chef Ron make it? Okay, here we go.

Below pic of a dish of Chicken Long Rice from Google Images

Here is the recipe for Chef Ron's Chicken Long Rice

1 tbp. vegetable oil
1 lb. chicken breast, meat shredded or diced
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. minced ginger

6 cups of chicken broth low sodium
1 1/2 tbp. of fish sauce (Patis)
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
2 small bunch of long rice noodles cut in half (this will be hydrated in the hot soup)
1/4 cup chopped green onions

1. In a large enough pot, heat up the oil over medium high heat, sautee the chicken, garlic and ginger until the chicken has turned brown and some juice has been released.

2. Add in the broth, and turn heat up to high, once the liquid bubbles and boils lower heat to medium.

3. Add in fish sauce, stir and simmer for five minutes.

4. Add in the mushrooms and then simmer for about 10 minutes.

5. Add in the cut long rice, and let the noodles soak so it gets softened. Off heat, and then add in the green onions. Serve hot.

Season with salt and pepper as needed or more fish sauce per diner.

 Until next time be cool!

© 2014

Tuesday, April 14, 2015



Locals in Hawaii love to 
cruise, take it easy, go to the beach, visit family and friends. And when we cruise, we cruise with a purpose...does that make any sense? Purposeful cruising, haha. 

No matter what island you come from locals have one thing in common, it's the love for good food. Now good food doesn't mean foods sautéed in wine and garlic butter, and pate and aged beef. Comfort foods are what locals are into, simple easy to make comfort foods. Cruising to an uncle's house for some beer is standard, and with it comes food. Dropping in unannounced is not a good thing by most standards, it's always good to give anyone a heads up before dropping in. It's not like the old days when everyone worked at the mill and came home at the same time. Now days everyone is burnt out from differing schedules. So giving someone a call before hand is really a good thing.

So what's expected at a local's beer stop? Well for one thing, most peeps in Hawaii has a back yard, and in a back yard there's always a small area where the large fishing cooler is stored with ice, and no fish if not on the ocean but you guessed it, cold beers. Not only beers but some meats ready for the grill. So whenever you are invited to a local's beer get together, do stop by. And maybe bring a 12 er yourself, and a pound of raw fish, or poke style from a local supermarket that's building good relationships right off the bat!

What's on the grill? Maybe it's some shrimp aunty had marinating in some soy sauce and sesame oil with some garlic and ginger. Or some Korean Kalbi ribs, or thin slices of teriyaki beef. Some locals will toss on a few packs of Portuguese sausage that's always great with some rice and beer. So be a local style peeps yourself. Cruising with a purpose, and that is to eat and drink as being a part of the cruise.

© 2015

Monday, April 13, 2015

Frida's Beach House with Chef Nick Cleveland

Chef Nick Cleveland has his hands full making sure things run smoothly for Mark & Judy Ellman's trifecta of cool restaurants on Front Street. 
We'll start with Mala Ocean Tavern the very first restaurant built in the Mala District of Lahaina, and then Honu Seafood & Pizza a few years later, and just this year Frida's Beach House was added to complete the "Hat Trick"

And I had a lot of fun today shooting a blog video with Chef Nick Cleveland who is an avid fisherman, and a very talented chef. Watch the video below and see for yourself the man can break down an ahi. So today Chef Nick got into a very simple dish, a ceviche style ahi, done Mexican called Ahi Aguachile with a Leche De Tigre, a nice sauce that cooks the raw fish in, with shaved red onions, iced blanched, cilantro sprigs also iced blanched, shaved Kamuela cucumbers, and red and green pickled jalapeños made in house.

During the shoot, he unwrapped a slab of Ahi Loin from Tropic Fish Maui and Barry Masuda, "We get fish daily, this is a 26 pound slab," said Chef Nick. "We don't waste anything here at Frida's or any of the three restaurants, everything must yield a profit, we have 200 plus employees, we need to keep people working, and having great food so the visitors keep coming back."

Chef Nick with the slab of Ahi
Frida's staff at work slicing and dicing
Sister is making Pico De Gallo all fresh
"Simple is the best."
The Ahi Loin awaits Chef Nick's sharp filet knife
Quarter of the slab will be used, (watch the video below)
3 pictures of the finished product
Ahi Aguachile Leche De Tirge

The dish was awesome, very refreshing, all natural.
The selfie with Chef Nick

Okay gang click on the video below and enjoy pure culinary delight Maui Style at Frida' Beach House in Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii.

Click on the pic for video or link on bottom.

copyrights © 2015 Ron Sambrano DBA CHEF SAMBRANO


Another day trying to find some cool drink...and where do you go? Do you head to Whole Foods? Nope. Safeway? Maybe. Food World? Is there a Food World?

The place most of us go to is that little corner store/gas station right? Right! And in these little food expresses that serve four grades of fuel, Diesel, Unleaded in three grades, there's all kinds of food and drink that isn't really healthy, but what the heck, if you're thirsty or hungry, that little corner store in any town U.S.A., hits the spot. Tree hugger organics...sorry. 

So here's a little stuff I wanted to fool with.
SPAM theres nothing like Spam to start off the mornings, slice a few and stick in a hot pan sear these little slabs up, eat em with 2 eggs overeasy. Or make a sandwich with some cheese, mustard, ketchup and some mayonnaise. Or cook em with tomatoes and onions, Spam rocks man! And you can get em at that little corner store that sells gas.
Kellog's Frosted Flakes is the cereal I used to love eating every Saturday mornings watching cartoons. Those crispy corn flakes, soaked with cold milk are so good! And when all the flakes are eaten, I drink the milk in the bowl that by now is really sweet. And Tony the Tiger is the best character on those cereal boxes, "There grrrrrrrreat!"
LOG CABIN Pancake Syrup for your GMO pancake batter, matches up real fine. And this is not real maple syrup, the ingredients is mostly artificial stuff. So you can have your pancakes, but there's a good chance spreading a lot of this stuff on your hotcakes will give you pre-diabetes.
Beers are always found at little corner stores, it's common to see all those alcoholics coming in as soon as it's open for booze business. In Hawaii it's like 6:00 am to 10:50 pm. So in between this time, it is the time to get entertained. People without I.Ds., Smashed drunks that are denied a purchase, underaged kids giving money to adults to buy them beers. Only at the corner store.

Jade Cuttle Fish, these salty strands of fish is great for snacking and drinking beers, however you will need some breath mints afterwards, don't bother trying to make out with someone, the crap does smell fishy. But if you're at the beach or camping with the boys who really gives a rat's ass?
Freal milkshakes another diabetic concoction, for about 5 bucks you get to choose your poison, stick the cup under a blender and in a few seconds you got yourself a milkshake. I gotta say, there's some good flavors in this thing..However the dumb machine is broken. 

Thanks for stopping by, have a good day!

© 2015

Friday, April 10, 2015


Coffee... I love this shit! Okay I'm not rich, in fact I'm kinda waiting for my riches and wealth... you know you got to wait, don't do shit, just wait.. wait and wait. Well that's what it says in the Bible, wait.. just wait.. so I drink the lesser cost coffee.
However once in a great while I'll get one of those more expensive cups you know instead of buying gas for the car so the family can make it to the other side of the island, you stop at Starbucks to get the family, 20 of these assholes a Frapp a Fucking Chino! That's like what? over a 100 bucks for sure. Haha. Okay... let's get on with getting on this Coffee Wanking bullshit. Let's learn about some coffee terminology shall we? And shit if you don't go watch t.v., or play with the dog, shit wash the fucker while you're at it, Bubba smells like horse crap, and he's a dog!

Now before I get started, I'm not going to be talking about Hills Bros. or MJB, or Foldgers canned coffee. Sorry! I'm being one of those Coffee Wankers!

The coffee term for today is Espresso, some coffee kiosks calls it Expresso, I on the other hand call this "expensive bullshit!" And for the love of Jesus, please don't get me started on the organic espresso Bozos!

Okay what the hell is Espresso? It is fine ground coffee, really fine. And it is placed underneath a very high intense machine called what else? An Espresso Machine. Now this bitch can give you third degree burns, so put on your fire fighter's suit on. So this machine forces a small amount of very hot steaming water through the fine coffee grinds and the finished product is a small cup of very concentrated highly caffeinated drink. Unlike using Mr. Coffee, that classic drip coffee maker, espresso machines make Mr. Coffee look like a pussy in the playgrounds. "Hey Mr. Coffee, you pussy!" Barista's will try and sell this expensive bullshit, you don't need it... well, I don't.  But sometimes... I'll take a shot. Just because I may have some extra cash in my pocket.

Here's an Espresso Machine.
If you want to make some stony coffee, just mix your favorite bud into the strainer, and add some cream, and steam it.. 

© 2015

Ranting On B.S. Publications Naming the Best This and That!

Aloha from Lahaina, Maui... it's time for me to rant and rave, give you all my honest opinion on all this "Best Chef" crap on this bladddy island! I mean c'mon really? I read the fucking Maui Times and get sick to the fucking bladder! 
Likewise looking at all the other local publications, okay I get it, you editors, publishers you want to have readers, you want business as well... but c'mon, besides Yelp we need some real foodies to step up to the plate and either say, "Yes this chef is really good the fucker is original!" or "Fuck this asshole, his shit is like every other mother fucker out there!" Okay, now for one thing, there are a lot of really good chefs here on Maui. Seriously, really good ones. I won't get into naming who sucks and who doesn't right now, I'm chilling out... 

Here's an idea on how to really vote for the Best Chef on this rock. This is based on physical fitness, and food knowledge. You get a bunch of these fuckers that the local pubs claim to be the best, get them in the octagon and have them fight a few rounds. The winner gets 1 point.

Then it's on to the knowledge part, they need to answer some tough questions, like "How many fucking fermented mackerel does it take to make a trillion gallons of fish sauce?" Or who was the first Japanese guy that worked as a dishwasher in an Indian deli in Bangladesh?" You know shit like that. Winner gets 2 points.

Then for the cooking part, let's see these fuckers cook blind folded, after taking some shots of some Herradura Reposado, and tying their good arm behind their backs, and they need to steam a fish, haha... and not get burned. Now that's how I'd find the best fucking chef.. all these pussy pubs naming these bastards as best chefs sickens the shit outta me! Winner gets 3 points.

Okay, you guys have a nice weekend, smoke your weed, snort your whiskey, whatever.. whatever floats your canoe. Take care, and seriously God Bless You.

                 © 2015


Okra, yes that green pod looking veggie that's a favorite veggie amongst us Filipino cooks. I remember when mom would be making her chicharrones that are deep fried twice pork bellies actually cooked 3 times because she'd put those porky morsels into a soup. So you'd have these pork rinds that were crunchy now it would be soggy crunchy....hmmm, does that make any sense at all? 

Anyhow Filipino soups or broth called sabaw is common in many a home in the hood. And okra is one of those veggies we add to our soups or broths for something to chew on. Some cooks will use bagoong (shrimp paste), or patis (fish sauce) to enhance the flavors, combined with some fresh ginger, and whatever base of the soup or broth, be it chicken, seafood, pork or beef, that soup will rock and roll baby!

Here's my sabaw with okra and some pork (chicharrones).

Pork & Okra Sabaw
1 lb. sliced chirarrones (you can buy these at your local Asian or Spanish markets, if you can't get the true pork bellies, buy some of the ones you can get in the sealed bags in the potato chips section. Note these are usually thinner so if you add this kind of pork rinds, you will have to add them in right before serving the soup.

1 lb. of pork bones (get them from your butcher)
1 tsp. salt
1 inch ginger minced
2 tbsp. cooking oil
6 cups of water
1/4 fish sauce (patis)
4 small tomatoes sliced
1/2 cup green onions chopped
1/2 lb. okra, stem removed and washed

1. In a 4 quart pot, heat up the oil over high heat, and sauté the ginger and the pork bones, adding the salt as you do this, turning heat down to medium high.
2. Once the pork bones are releasing it's aroma about 10 minutes into the cooking add in the water, and fish sauce (you may want more after it's done).. Cover the pot and lower heat to medium low, and simmer for about 30 minutes, this will flavor the water into a nice pork broth.
3. Remove the cover. (If you are using the real pork rinds, add them in. If using the store bought thinner pork rinds wait until the soup is done before adding in). Add in the chicharrones, tomatoes, green onions, and okra. Cook for about 20 minutes on low heat. Taste the soup, if it needs more salt, pepper, or fish sauce add it in. Or let your diners do it themselves because everyone's taste buds are different, you don't want to overpower the soup with too much sodium.
4. If using the thinner pork rinds, add them in, it should get soft really quickly, but don't worry, it's supposed to be that way.

Serve with side bowls of white or brown rice. Some mamas will slice jicama and have a vinegar and fish sauce dip.

Okay that's a wrap.... until next time, hang loose... or tight whatever floats your boat or twirls your beanie!

© 2015

Thursday, April 9, 2015


It's universal, it's in everyone's refrigerator. If you ran out of it, and your local market doesn't have it there's a good bet your local sushi bar has a case of that shit somewhere in the storage room.

Everyone's on the Sriracha kick, it is common to see an American style deli serving up Asian food, and Thai food is in. And what's the sauce of the Thai folks? Fish sauce yes. But Sriracha that hot sauce is it, it is on a lot of tabletops these days. People are using it with mayonnaise to make spicy mayo. Spicy mayo? What next? I mean when we were growing up we added kimchi sauce to mayonnaise, we added French's mustard, or ketchup to mayonnaise. 

So what's the deal with this product? In America the Huy Fong Foods brand is common to see in most restaurants and markets. It is a hot sauce made of chili peppers, distilled vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt. It is named after the coastal city of Si Racha, in Chonburi Province of eastern Thailand, probably to be used at local eateries serving seafood.

In Thailand this sauce is primarily used as a dipping sauce with seafood, leave it to us to make it rich with other ingredients and spreading it over sandwiches, adding it to stews and soups, and salad dressings etc. etc.. I do love it though. It has a kick, but a bearable kick. Not like a sissy kicking you in the nuts, it hurts but it ain't anything like Bruno the ex-con kicking you in the nuts, that will hurt and possibly end your reproductive system.

Check out the Sriracha craze, sexy dresses? I guess so. She looks like a bottle of it.

 How about this hoodie? The Uni-Bomber would look styling it this get up eh?
 And of course the bottles of the hot sauce all lined up on s supermarket's shelf.



2- cod steaks 6 oz. each
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 clove garlic smashed
1/2 tsp. minced ginger
Salt and Pepper

Sauce (Drizzle)
1 tbsp. Tiparos Thai Fish Sauce
4 tbsp. Sriracha sauce
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 tbsp. water
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tbsp. cooking sherry
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
Dash of white pepper

1. Using a stainless steel pan, heat up the oil over medium high heat, add in ginger and garlic, cook for a few seconds until aroma is released. Add in the cod steaks, and cook for about 4 minutes per side. Remove and plate. Season with salt and pepper to discretion.

2. Return pan with drippings to stove top, add in the sauce ingredients but do not add the butter and white pepper. Heat up over low heat, whisk it well until it slightly bubbles for about 2 minutes do not boil!... Remove from heat.

3. Stir in the butter making the sauce glossy. Drizzle sauce of cod steaks, serve with rice.

Note: Fish sauce is a personal choice, find a brand you love... you do not need to use a Thai brand, there are good Vietnamese and Filipino brands you can use. 

Thai Brand: Tiparos Nam Pla

Vietanam Brand: Phu Quoc Nuoc Mam

Filipino Brand: Rufina Patis

Until next time, keep your shit together!