CHEF SAMBRANO Food Articles Video Recipes



Friday, May 29, 2015


Two days ago I needed to do the Wi Fi action, so I walked to the neighborhood Barnes and Noble, and since Starbucks is the supplier of their coffee and deli stuff, I decided to get breakfast. The meal of choice... The Farmer's Wrap.

The Farmer's wrap was light, with egg, veggies, and cheese. It came with potato chips, they don't serve hash browns because it's not really a diner sort of place, just heat up ready made foods which does the job for those book worms or like myself, a Wi Fi junkie. But what really made this meal sort of suck was that it was more like a freeking laxative for me. Seriously, after I ate it, I had to use the restroom. I couldn't leave my backpack sitting by itself for there was no one to watch the stuff for me. Long story short, I used the restroom, and split. Because of that laxative wrap, I had to cut my wi fi ing short to the T.

If you don't want to take a dump after eating, then don't eat this stuff... well maybe it won't make you take a dump, it sure did for me. Until next time. Happy eats!

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2 lbs pork belly (or buto-buto)
1 bunch spinach (or kang-kong)
3 tbsp fish sauce
1 bunch string beans (sitaw), cut in 2 inch length
2 pieces medium sized tomato, quartered
3 pieces chili (or banana pepper)
1 tbsp cooking oil
2 liters water
1 large onion, sliced
2 pieces taro (gabi), quartered
1 pack singing mix, powdered tamarind (good for 2 liters water)
  1. Heat a pot over medium-high heat and put-in the cooking oil
  2. Sauté the onion until it turns translucent and it breaks apart
  3. Add the pork belly and cook until outer part turns light brown
  4. Put-in the fish sauce and mix with the ingredients
  5. Pour the water and bring to a boil
  6. Add the taro and tomatoes then simmer for 40 minutes or until pork is tender
  7. Put-in the sinigang mix, powdered tamarind and chili
  8. Add the string beans, and whatever vegetables you have on hand, and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes
  9. Put-in the spinach, turn off the heat, and cover the pot. Let the spinach cook using the remaining heat in the pot.
  10. Serve hot. Share and enjoy!

Sunday, May 24, 2015


Fried pork, with tomato and onions is a favorite of my Filipino culture, our foodie culture, our love to eat with beer, our love to eat it for lunch or dinner, or even as the protein sitting on top of English muffins for Eggs Benedict. Yeah you heard me, fried pork baby!

We love to get a piece of belly pork, and deep fry it so it's crispy all over, and crunchy. Different cooks have different methods to make belly pork crispy. Some will take a pound or so, and boil it until it softens up because the skin on bell pork can be tough. The final product we all want is a very crispy crust but sort of juicy in the center. 

My method. 

1 lb. of belly pork.. multiply for more.
Score the skin a few times with a paring knife.
Take the pork, and cut it into bite size pieces.
Get a pot of boiling water going, and place all the pieces in the boiling water.
Lower heat, and simmer for about 30 minutes. Remove and drain well. Place pieces on a strainer and drain out all the water. 
Place the pieces on to a pan, and refrigerate for about 8 hours.

Remove to room temperature, and heat up about 3 cups of vegetable oil and bring it to hot, test by putting a small piece of bread inside if it starts to bubble and get golden, that's the temperature you want. Working in small batches, fry each piece of pork until golden brown. Continue to fry the rest, place in bowl lined with paper towels. Never crowd the pan you're frying with, the less pieces of pork you have inside the hot oil, the quicker it will turn golden.

Now for the tomato and onions, basically our version of salsa. Only difference from the Mexican version is we add in Patis (Pah tees) fish sauce. This is easy to make, take about 8 oz. of cherry or grape tomatoes, and one medium red round onion, and slice the tomato in half, and rough chop the onion. Toss with parsley if you like for color. Add in a dash of salt and pepper, and about 1/4 cup of fish sauce. You can use any fish sauce you can get, try and use patis the Filipino version it comes in various brands. Also add a twist of lemon or lime to it too.

To serve place a few saucers for each diner, chopsticks or forks have the pork on one platter, and the tomatoes and onion in a small bowl with a spoon, the fish sauce in a small bowl with a spoon. And dig in.

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Saturday, May 23, 2015


From me to you my friend who has a family, and on a tight budget. There are many ways to cut cost when feeding a family of 4 to 8. And that way is the one pot meal. Soups or stews is what will feed your army, and the cost is effective, no wasting any ingredient, and purchasing ready to expire less attractive cuts of beef, pork, chicken... you'll be styling. So let's get to the formula for cooking for 8 max. Let's take into account that each person will eat about 4 to 6 oz. of protein from an animal. And about 3 oz. of veggies and some gravy. You'll be able to save money.

First of all, let's take the 4-6 oz. of meat.. for example let's say I'm choosing beef. We'll multiply 6 oz. (max) by 8 persons, that is 48 oz. of beef I'll need. Or 3 lbs. of beef. To save money, go to the beef counter, and ask the butcher if he's got any chuck, round, or brisket on sale that's ready to be expired. If he does, you'll save money, as little as a buck something a pound maybe less. And the veggies, get about a 1/2 pound each of celery, carrots, and potatoes. And for seasonings, all you need is salt and pepper.

Get out your pot big enough for all of the ingredients, put some cooking oil on the bottom, over medium high heat, brown the pieces of meat (cut into cubes first), then add some water to just cover the meat. Lower to simmer covered for about one hour, the water should turn golden, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes longer. Add in the veggies cover and simmer for another 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Let it sit so the potatoes work as a thickening agent. When ready serve with rice or bread. Easy!
Stew meat cuts from a supermarket ready for expiration is very cost effective to feeding families in one pot meals.

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In Hawaii the dessert bread of choice for all locals involved is...the Portuguese Sweet Bread. Brought over from Portugal, the Portuguese settlers in Hawaii turned us on to this very tasty, versatile bread. The golden shiny crust with the soft and delcious inside, the color yellow because of the eggs used. The bread is sweet, and great toasted with real butter, sliced for sandwiches, sliced for French Toast in the mornings, this invention is made with love by many moms, aunties, and grandmas... each with their own recipe but the end product very similar.

I remember growing up we'd have fund raisers for our elementary school band, or little league baseball, to raise the money needed we'd sell sweet bread by the boxes. No one could resist it, "Hey wanna buy sweet bread? Three dollars for one?" The local hearts were always willing to help out the kids for their trips or new equipment, or uniforms. I remember selling several dozen with the help of neighbors, man those were the good old days.

If you ever come to Hawaii, you got to get some sweet bread, sometimes it is sold in a large loaf, or into rolls. Frankly I love the rolls if I'm on the road, just break a few and dip it into my hot coffee, or slather butter all over it and just eat it like that. If on Maui check the local markets, sometimes they'll stock it as fresh as can be from local bakeries, or the best yet would be to find some church bazaar and get it from the real deal home loving bakers, the moms, aunties and grandmothers I was talking about. Try it you'll love it.

Think a piece of bbq brisket in between some sweet bread, you can't go wrong for this bread is versatile. Until next time happy grines.

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Moron. Yep we know these Bozos anywhere, we can spot em, we can hear em, we can smell em, we can just feel their vibes!

According to my dictionary on by MacBook Pro, the definition is an adult with a mind of an 8-12 year old. Or I just call these adults dumb shits! Yeah that's it, dumb shits. And in the kitchens all across America, in those restaurants you like to eat, at one time or another, a moron was working there. I know, I've been in the business, and I've worked along side MORONS!

Here's one example, back in the day, like so long ago...Guns and Roses just came out with Sweet Child O Mine. Okay? Good. Now shut up and listen junior. Working in the kitchen, there was always one, one perfect moronic dumb shit. This guy, is an adult.. but like the dictionary on my MacBook Pro denotes, he had a mind of an 8-12 year old. Give him a task and he'd mess it up! Oh yeah, my moronic subject's name is Randy. Randy was maybe oh... 22 years old, a surfer type, with an attention span of a dead ant.

So this is the deal with Randy the moron. I was running breakfast and lunch at a restaurant on Maui, the delivery guy shows up around 730 in the morning, I'm cranking out hotcakes, french toast, omelets, Eggs Benedict and going crazy on the line. Randy is sitting on the chair messing with a knife singing a song.

"Hey Randy, get that checklist and check off all the stuff the delivery guys is taking off of his truck. And when you're done, bring all the perishable stuff in and stick em in the walk-in, then take all the cans and other stuff and store it, first in first out, got it?"

Randy scratches his head, "Ah yeah..." But for some reason I didn't think he got it. He kept scratching his head. Well, about 5 minutes later, he comes in. "Hey I got all the stuff checked out."

"Good, bring em in man."


Well... "okay" was the last words I heard from Randy during his shift. You see, our kitchen was on the beach.. it was the perfect place to work. On our lunch breaks we'd take a swim, dry off in the back room, and get back to work. Perfect gig. So Randy is not around, I walk outside, the cheeses are melting, the milk and cream is all warm. The veggies are wilting. Where the hell is this moron?

Well, my shift ended at 330pm, I called my boss Roy, and told him that Randy went AWOL, he told me to just let him go if I see him again. Well I did. As I'm about to clock out, here comes the moron walking into the kitchen, a wide smile on his face, his eyes blood shot.

"Hey man! I went for swim with some hot chicks from Santa Cruz bro! I smoked some unreal weed with them man! I'm soo stoked man! You are the best boss bro!"

"Hey Randy, ah... did you know you had a job to do?"

"Aww yeah bro! For sure man! Hey where's all the shit? I'm supposed to put em away, I don't want that shit to spoil you know?"

"Hey Randy you don't work here no more, you're fired man."

"Whaaat? Fired? What the hell did I do man? All I did was go for a swim with some hot chicks and smoked some weed!"

The End!
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Thursday, May 21, 2015


ZING Maui, is mom and pop meets the modern day. A husband and wife team of Joe and Jamie Birrer, with Aulani in the front helping their customers. 

A tad camera shy, no problem the owners are all about making the experience happen for their foodies that frequent Zing Maui in the food court on Main Street in Wailuku. A customer by the name of just Pattie works nearby and either doesn't want wheat or bread, or gluten, so Jamie and Aulani and Chef Joe cater to her needs. "They will tell me what to get," says Pattie with a smile, although she called me another name, not Ron...but Ryan? Oh well, no worries. "I come here often, I love the Turkey Avo Eggs Benedict, the Turkey Bacon Avo Sandwich, and the house made Tortillas," Pattie continues. "Hey Randy, you gotta try it, it's great Raymond." Ah my name is Ron Pattie...but that's okay. "This place, they take care of me George." Ah it's Ron...but never mind.

Pattie waits patiently for her order
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Brendon works at the music store around the corner, he says he comes to ZING Maui all of the time, "I love this place, the food's awesome!" he says with a smile. "Why go anywhere else, they are super nice people." Ah...did you hear what Brendon just said folks? Why he said, nice people. Wow! It's hard these days hearing "Nice People" because there's so much drama around... but hey I got to vouch for Brendon because Jamie, Joe and Aulani is No Ka Oi to the T!
Brendon ready to mop up his grines!
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Then it was my turn, moi, me, all about me, da food blogger of the world. Nah, just me flying in from Lahaina to make my 130pm appointment to sample awesome food! First Jamie mixes up, homemade kine Ginger Tea with cinnamon and lemon... wow! This drink can cleanse you up dudes... Got a cold? Feeling like a slug that's overweight? Stop by and have a Ginger Tea, very refreshing, cold, spicy, just perfect after a hot drive from the west side baby!!!!!

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And then Jamie has some Broccoli Cheese soup for me to sample, mmmmm, mmmmm, woo hoo! Nuts! Epic! This soup rocks! Cheesy and flavorful, the cup is huge, they don't skimp on the broccoli either, this can be a light meal. No need to add anything, seasoned just right!
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Then it was the moment of truth, "Your sandwich is up Ron," says Jamie. I glanced her way, and OMG! That plate is huge! Oh man, Chef Joe's Truffle Fries golden the way it should be, fried in peanut oil, with parmesan shavings, man! And the sandwich, house roasted corned beef, 1000 island dressing, sauerkraut and swiss cheese melted all over, woo hoo! Heaven... Foodie Heaven!!!!
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And a customer to my right ordered some Fish Tacos for $12, with corn tortillas, fish of the day, black beans, cabbage, house made roasted tomatilla salsa. 3 of these baby! Yee Ha!
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I'm telling you, this is a spot to eat, before I'm dead, I'm going through this whole menu baby! Stay tuned because Chef Joe and I are going to film his cooking some time soon. I don't know what he'll cook, but I know... I know it will kick major Ass! And I mean that with respect, kicking Major Ass means cooking great food! Now on the other hand, if I said, "Ahhh that Chef did not kick major ass." Then I'm saying don't go there. But I said it, the food at ZING Maui kicks major ass folks! No Ka Oi to the T!
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I was ready to devour my Reuben Sandwich and Truffle Fries! Guess what? It was so huge I had to ask them to doggy box it for me. And they did with a smile... Now that's catering to your customers, that's what I call....THE MIDAS TOUCH!!! THEY KICK MAJOR ASS!

© 2015

Sunday, May 17, 2015


 This is Hawaii's awesome, everyone wants it shell seafood creature, you can say it's our oyster, kinda sorta. From the east to the west, to the south and up north shores in Hawaii, the Opihi hunters are out in force, armed with flathead screwdrivers, or butterknives, with a band tied to the handles, and with rubber slip on shoes for grip. They are out possibly to scrape opihi off the rocky shoreline to fill 5 gallon buckets to take home and freeze for a future baby luau, or a high school graduation, or any special celebration. The bigger the medallian size opihi, the better. Yes ladies, I guess in this instance even for dudes.. haha, size matters.

Grilling opihi is the common method for cooking these little guys, with a douse of simply soy sauce, or chili pepper water and a nice cold beer, it's heaven. Anytime you get a chance to come to Hawaii and you find opihi in a local market, or you're invited to a local's backyard party, try it and see if you like it. If you love oysters and clams, you'll have no trouble swallowing opihi anytime and any day.

Photo above is from the Kam Family on Word Press.

Photo from Pinterest

How to clean it and cook it.

1. In a bucket filled with cold water, simply rinse the opihi to rid of sand or other unwanted particulars. Some people will use sea water, or fresh water with salt added to it.

2. Drain it, then heat up your grill. Grill the shell side down, and using a tablespoon, add on some of your favorite sauces, I mean anything you like. Tabasco, Soy Sauce, Vinegar, anything. We like Chili Pepper Water. And yo can find that in some local markets like Filipino stores or Asian marts. Once the meat starts to prop off of the shell and the sauce is bubbling it is ready to be eaten, with a cold beer always!

Happy Opihi Pickings!

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Monday, May 11, 2015


Fish is usually delicate, and you don't need to cook it for a long time. I'll give you a recipe for fish stew with a Filipino touch, with garlic, ginger, potatoes, tomatoes, celery, and bitter melon (you can get at Asian markets).

This can serve 6-8 people

3 lbs. of fish filets (cod, mahi, ahi) cubed
* Keeping the filets cold is key. Slice them into bite size cubes, and sprinkle some salt and pepper on it and set it aside keeping it cool.

1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves smashed garlic
2 inch ginger smashed
1/2 medium round onion chopped

1 large potato, cut into bite size pieces
2 large tomatoes, diced
3 celery stalks, trimmed about 1/2 inch
1 small bitter melon (paria) sliced 1/4 inch

3 cups of low sodium chicken broth
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp. fish sauce (patis)


1. In a medium size pot (stainless steel), heat up the olive oil, and stir fry the ginger, garlic and onion for about 20 seconds until the aroma comes out. Then add in the potatoes, tomatoes, celery stalks, and bitter melon. Cook until the juices comes out over medium high heat.

2. Add in the broth, and bring to a boil, then lower to simmer for about 15 minutes.

3. Add in the cubed fish, and cook for about 25 minutes. Season with vinegar, and fish sauce. Adjust as needed.

Eat with rice.

© 2015

Friday, May 8, 2015


Ichiban Okazuya in Wailuku town on 2133 Kaohu Street, Phone: 808-244-7276 always has a line out the door, and for good reason. The food is cooked fresh, a mostly all female crew of cooks and counter help, this little old school mom and pop eatery is a must stop if you are looking for what we locals on Maui or Hawaii in general love to eat for lunch. Because it is Japanese, you'll find the all of the favorites here, like katsu, and the pickled veggies for the sides besides the typical white medium grain rice. Ichiban's has been a Maui staple for decades, as they say some of the best tasting foods is out of the way. For moi, it is out of the way but well worth it, I live in Lahaina like almost 30 miles out. But stopping by today was well worth it, for the crew fed me Breaded Mahi, with rice, and salted cabbage with Nishime for the sides. Awesome, totally filling. I was sitting on the bench tables with another local fellow and we just inhaled the food! Haha! This was my plate in the photos below, that's right SUCKAZ!
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And the place was filled with office girls picking up grines for the staff back at their offices, and just seniors spending a day with their kids, I ran into a local brother with his dad, spending time together with some ono kine grinez... that's Hawaii for you, simple life, simple's genius while everyone else is making things difficult, we keep it simple and easy. Easy life, no stress, and Ichiban Okazuya. That's the ticket folks.
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Yours truly waiting for my grines outside taking a selfie with the iPhone hoping a car doesn't kill me because I was standing on the street.

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ZING MAUI, a very cool looking food counter on 2050 Main Street #FC-1 in Wailuku town, Phone: 808-244-3707 OPERATED by Jamie Birrer and her partners serves up good kine food from Mondays through Fridays at 7am to 3 pm; Saturdays 9am to 3pm, and their menu items has some of these that's tempting. Appetizers- Kula Onion Rings $7, Beer Battered Zucchini Sticks $6, Hand Cut Fries original $4, garlic $5, truffle $6, but what I want to try on my next visit is the BBQ Pork and Pepprjack Quesadilla $7. The salads looks like a well thought out menu, from the $10 Chopped Salad (mixed greens, crip romaine, ham, turkey, bacon, cucumber, tomato, swiss and cheddar topped with eggs! That's a meal! There's more on the salad menu, but this is just a blog guys not a novel. Their Sandwiches had Chicken Salad $9, BLT $9, Turkey Bacon Avocado $11, Reuben or Rachel $11, Cheese Burger $9. Their Breakfast Menu really looks to fill the hungry before a full day of doing whatever, they even have Eggs Benedict $10, Loco Moco $9, Biscuits and Gravy $9, and Swedish Pancakes $6 (thin pancakes filled with sweet fruity cream sauce and powdered sugar).. Man Zing is the place you gotta check out!

So in the very near future, stay tuned because I'll have a video of ZING MAUI and the crew doing a dish of theirs, what will that be I have no idea. However Jamie was very gracious to let me sample their awesome Kabocha Pumpkin Soup, the spices was just right, sweet enough, salty enough, you don't need to doctor it up, and she gave me a cup of it that rocked!
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So if you are ever in the Wailuku Main Street area, possibly in court for whatever reason, or just cruising by, make it a point to visit my friend Jamie Birrer and her awesome crew for breakfast or lunch. Support local businesses as best we can, until next time we'll have a video for you of ZING MAUI.