CHEF SAMBRANO Food Articles Video Recipes



Friday, August 19, 2016


 Longanisa (long-ah-nees- ah), is a cured sausage from the Philippines, it is kind of sweet flavored, with hints of vinegar and garlic. It is very tasty, and exceptional for breakfast, or for that matter any meal of the day. You gotta have eggs with it, it's a must.

I was kicking back with a friend of mine today, and by the by we are both Filipino American dudes. And he was asking me how I cooked longanisa. I responded by "I just put it in a frying pan, and fry it up...why?" He told me that he boils it, and when the water evaporates, he lets the sausage sit in the pan, and lets the fat from the sausage ooze out, and lets it fry in the fatty juices. You see, by boiling it, it cooks it thoroughly, before it fries in the oils. The way I did mine was by just heating it up, it worked. But at times by just frying it, for some reason I would burn the outsides because the inside of the sausage would be cold, and I'd fry it longer.  I guess there's two ways to do it. One would be the way I do it, just fry it up without the par boiling. Or by boiling it. Guess what, I spoke to many people on this subject, as well as looked online. And boiling it first seems to be the way to go. Hey I learned something new today. Boiling it first seems to be safer because it is pork, you want the inside of the sausage to be heated up well to kill bacteria.

Directions (Boiling method)

1. Get the sausage links, and thaw it out if frozen.
2. Using a paring knife, make small slits around the links.
3. Place the links inside of a pot, and cover with water about 1/2 an inch from the links.
4. Bring to a boil, and then lower to simmer, cook until water evaporates, then let the links cook in the dried out pot for about 4-6 minutes, it should be cooking in its own fatty juices.
5. Remove from pot, serve with rice or fried rice.

Directions (Frying method)

1. Get the sausage links, and thaw it out if frozen.
2. Using a paring knife, make small slits around the links.
3. In a large enough skillet, over medium high eat, pan fry the links until the fat comes out.
4. Check the inside of the sausage to see if it is hot. Using a thermometer (No need for it really), check to see if it is around 165 deg, F. Or, using your finger, if it is hot to the touch it should be safe.

Whatever method you choose, try taking some cooked rice, and toss it into the pan with the fatty juices from the longanisa, and stir fry it, the flavors from the sausage is amazing. Thanks to my buddy Benny for sharing that method. Can't believe I did not know that one. Alright I'm the out of the loop longanisa dude, but not now.

© 2016

Monday, August 15, 2016


Having fun in science class was cool. Mixing chemicals to see them react. You know in life, it's all about chemistry period. Can you get along with your in-laws? Chemistry babe! It's all about chemistry.

Let's talk about food chemistry in this blog post. Let's talk about my favorite foods, and it's the rich stuff. Yeah yeah, I keep blogging these things. But it's a refresher again. Let's talk about the basics of say... making custard. You can fill ramekins with custard like creme brûlée, or fill custard in a cream puff, or Long John, or a pie shell to make custard pie. Let's do some Long Johns shall we?

These are rectangular pastries filled with sweet custard. Whole milk is tempered and added to the egg yolks so they do not become omelets. (Chemistry).

1 cup milk
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoons salt
Deep frying oil

2 cups milk
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 egg
5 large egg yolks
1/4 cup corn starch
1/2 cup sugar 
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup brewed coffee
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Directions for the dough:
Warm up the milk on the stove for just about one and a half minutes on low heat. It should be about 110º F,  if it's too hot it will ruin the yeast, just keep in mind if your finger touches the water and it's warm and doesn't hurt, it is good to go. Stir in the yeast and let it sit for about 3 minutes, then add the oil and sugar. Add the flour about 1/2 cup at a time, then add the salt. The dough will be moist, so knead for about 10 minutes with a stand mixer, or food processor. Put it in a greased bowl and cover with a wet paper towel. Let rise for about an hour until it doubles in size. At this juncture start to make your custard. Yay! Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Press it out into a large rectangle with floured hands, and cut it into the desired size for your doughnuts. Fry in a pot of oil that is 350ºF, use an instant read thermometer.

Directions for the Custard:
Add vanilla extract into the milk.  Bring it to a simmer. In a separate bowl beat together the eggs yolks, corn starch, and sugar until smooth. Once the milk is simmering, begin to temper the milk into the egg mixture ( Be careful to add a little at a time until you've added about half, then add the whole egg yolks mixture back to the pot). Bring this back to a boil, stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from heat and whisk in the butter and more vanilla extract. 

Directions or the Frosting:
Melt the the butter, and then add in the cocoa. Add in the coffee and powdered sugar until the desired consistency is reached. Add the vanilla extract.

Directions on assembling Lohn Johns:
Fill the doughnuts with custard using a 
Wilton pastry bag with a 230 size tip. Do this as the doughnuts are still crispy out of the fryer, it makes it easier to insert the pastry bag tip in. Best to fill from one end and then from the other, from both directions. Spoon some of the frosting on top of each pastry, and some powdered sugar for decorations.

Science. The heat of the oil makes the pastry puffy and golden brown. The tempered milk, not too hot, makes the eggs and milk come together in perfect harmony, Yay!

© 2016

Monday, August 8, 2016


I do this thing where I'll deliberately talk to visitors walking around Lahaina, and ask them where they are from, and where's a good place to eat. Today's topic "Breakfast."

I ran into Judy and Jane from Las Vegas, Nevada. Hmm Judy and Jane, sounds like a sitcom, but these two 30 somethings were talking about this place in down town Las Vegas called MTO Cafe.

JUDY: I like to eat healthy, and they have some cool breakfast. I like to eat their Veggie Hash. And their Yoga Pants.. (go online and see).

    Okay- before I go any further, I had to jot this stuff down to research it on Google of all places. Since my blog is... Google driven. So it was Jane's turn.

JANE: I'm the opposite, I like to eat breakfast and not full around-seriously. I'll go for a stack of pancakes, topped with fruit, or stuffed French toast. And lots of coffee (laughs)...

JUDY: They have good lunches too, healthy wraps.

JANE: (laughs) Ah no! It's gotta be a burger are you kidding? How the heck? Wraps? I love their Teri Burgers, or Patty Melt. That's a lunch baby! (Laughs).

I asked both ladies if they were originally from Las Vegas. Both were transplanted. Judy came from Idaho when she was a teenager, and Jane recently moved there from California. They plan to stay there for a few more years and move to the east coast. Friends for life as they say. No one to tie them down, they plan to just travel and live in different places across the country. Cool, makes them happy just do it eh?

So I went online to check out this place called MTO Cafe. Here's some pics I got from Google.

Click to see website : MTO CAFE LAS VEGAS

Monday-Sunday 8am to 2pm

10970 Rosemary Park Dr. Suite 100
Las Vegas, NV 89135
Monday-Friday 9am to 8pm
Saturday 8am to 8pm
Sunday 8am to 7pm

Didn't find the meals they like there, but these are true pictures of MTO Cafe.. The prices are totally reasonable. And by looking at the photographs, the place looks clean, the food looks delicious. Maybe I'll stop by one of their restaurants when I'm in Vegas, and FYI, they have a food truck too. Go online and check it out if you are heading to Sin City soon. One location in Down Town and one in Summerlin.

© 2016

Sunday, August 7, 2016


What's a great pastry/dessert that goes well with coffee, hot chocolate, or a port? I tell ya what... it's the ever so, sweet and creamy Cream Puff. Yay! Cream Puffs! We all want Cream Puffs!

When we were kids my mother the lovely Peggy Sambrano would work full-time at the old Nashiwa Bakery in Lahaina Town. And one of my faves were the cream puff. It's exactly what the name implies, it is a puffy shell pastry with a sweet creamy filling, hence cream puff.

Here's a simple recipe for you, now remember I myself am not an expert baker. I kinda suck at the baking department. But hey, I'm still learning.

INGREDIENTS Makes about 20 small guys

2- 3.5 oz. packages of instant vanilla pudding mix. (why not?)
2 cups of heavy cream
1 cup of whole milk
1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
1/3 tsp. sea salt
1 cup of a.p. flour
4 whole large eggs


1. Mix the vanilla instant pudding mix with the cream and milk, then cover it with plastic wrap and chill it in the fridge until it sets.

2. Preheat your oven to 425 deg. F. Or 400 deg. F if you have a convection oven.

3. In a large enough pot, boil the water and butter. Add in and stir the flour and salt until the mixture forms a round looking ball. Then move the dough to a large mixing bowl, and using a mixing spoon, beat in the eggs one at a time. Mix it well. Drop single tablespoonfuls of dough onto a baking sheet that is ungreased.

4. Bake for about 20-25 minute until golden brown, check the centers it should be dry, using a long toothpick, insert it and see if it is moist when to pull it out. Let it cool on racks.

5. When the shells are cool, using a pastry bag, insert the nozzle into the side top of the shell, and fill. * Using a knife make a small hole in the shell so the nozzle can penetrate the shell.

Yay, you are all done, enjoy!

Saturday, August 6, 2016


Asian rice noodles come in different brands, strands, thickness, and flavor. Being from Hawaii, we are used to the thin strands of rice noodles, which we dubbed "Long Rice."

However on this blog post, we are going the way of Vietnamese cooking. There are several brands of rice noodles, and if you are cooking that style, it's a good idea to get the noodles accustomed to their nation.

This is Rice Vermicelli Vietnam style

What you must remember is the thin noodles that are labeled Cellophane Noodles, are not made of rice but mung beans, and I guess you could use that as well, however it is much thinner, these Vietnamese style noodles hold better, especially when rolling into a spring roll, or lettuce wraps. And the color is much dense, making it look heartier.

Here is some par boiled rice noodle vermicelli cooling down and ready to be used

Lemon Grass Barbecue Pork with Rice Vermicelli Salad
Serves 4-6

  • 3-4 large garlic cloves, thickly sliced
  • 3 large stalks of fresh lemongrass,  inner white bulb only, sliced crosswise
  • 1 or 2 large shallots sliced, up to you.
  • 1- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Nuoc Cham fish sauce. Or any Asian fish sauce is all Yay Yay!
  • 3-4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless pork loin, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/2 pound rice vermicelli
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, quartered
  • 3 Thai chiles chopped
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup Nuoc Cham fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup chopped mint
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 large cucumbers, peeled and seeded cut in half and sliced cross wise thin.
  • Carrot and Daikon Pickles to garnish
  1. 1. In a food processor, finely chop the garlic, lemongrass and shallots. Add the sugar, Nuoc Cham, lime juice, vegetable oil and soy sauce and process to a paste. Using a large shallow dish, coat the pork with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. 

  2. 2. In a large bowl, cover the rice vermicelli with cold water and let soak until pliable, about 20 minutes. 
  3. 3. Using a mortar, and a pestle, pound the garlic cloves to a paste with the chiles and sugar. The stir in the Nuoc Cham, cilantro, mint, lime juice and water. 
  4. 4. Bring a large pan of water to a boil over high heat. Then drain the rice vermicelli and add it to the boiling water. Cook, stirring, until just before tender, about 1 minute. Drain the vermicelli and rinse the vermicelli in cold water and drain well. Place the vermicelli to a large bowl, then add the cilantro, and the mint dressing and toss well. Scatter the slices of cucumbers over the rice vermicelli salad for presentation!
  5. 5. Grill the pork over a hot fire until nicely charred, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the pork to plates and serve with the salad, and have the carrot and daikon pickles on the table. 

© 2016


I've done a blog on teriyaki marinades. However, living in Hawaii, the Japanese influence is very strong, and teri marinades are something every family has. Why would I write about teri again? It's the love of it I guess.

The most basic ingredients are, soy sauce (shoyu), sugar, garlic, ginger, water, green onions. Very basic. In fact, people are spicing up their teri marinades by adding Sriracha, Tabasco, to name a few. Or mincing some ghost peppers for more heat. I like the basics, just that sweet soy sauce flavor.

A plate of teriyaki beef.

No matter what it is you are marinating, it could be thin slices of beef, chicken, pork, or seafood. Your marinade needs to be strong. Too many times I've seen amateurs mix their marinades, stick their finger into the mixing bowl, and go "Too strong, needs to be watered down." Well, you don't want it too sweet, or salty on the flip side of that too, but you need to have your marinade strong. The reason why is most meats, or proteins have water content. And when your proteins are mixing, the water content in the proteins will weaken the marinade.

Tips: If your proteins are thin cuts, then the marinating times will be less than for thicker slices or cuts. If you are marinating chicken breast whole,  it is a good idea to flatten out the pieces by pounding it with a meat tenderizer. I find marinating the proteins for too long is not suitable for my taste, because I want the flavor of the proteins, not just the marinade. Over soaking is not great in my book. Over soaking is a big fat Nay!

For chicken thighs, without the bone, with skin on or off, I can soak it for at least 3-4 hours and it's good to go. Simply reserving the marinade to brush over the cooked protein. I'll touch on this matter later in this blog, there's some important things you need to know. I did blog this before, but I'll repeat myself. 

For the soy sauce, I love Aloha Shoyu made in Hawaii. It's not strong, it's got a great flavor, and if this were wine, it would be smooth on the tongue, and the nose. Not harsh at all.

For the sweet, it's got to be brown sugar, it makes the marinade more than sweet, it's got a unique flavor. I don't use honey, or mirin mostly brown sugar.
Garlic and Ginger is a must for flavor and aroma.
Green onions makes the marinade really delicious
This is all you will ever need to make a nice teriyaki marinade. To thicken the marinade, use some water and cornstarch to thicken.

Question: Do I cook the ingredients or do I just mix it?
Answer: It depends, all up to you. However by simmering the marinade over low heat, it brings out all the flavors much better than by stirring it without cooking it.

So let's cook it then.

DIRECTIONS- Makes 24 fl oz.


3 cups of shoyu (soy sauce)
1 1/2 cups of brown sugar (less if it's too sweet)
1 inch smashed ginger
4 cloves smashed garlic
1/4 cup chopped green onions

1. Heat up all the ingredients in a small sauce pan over medium heat
2. Stir ingredients, once it starts to steam, off the heat, and stir well. Let cool.

Note: Once cooled down, you can marinade your proteins. 

Soak your proteins for at least 2-3 hours before pan frying, or grilling.

Reserve your marinade to drizzle over cooked proteins. Return to heat, bring to a boil, to thicken add a combination of cornstarch and water, and add to the marinade, stir until thickened. Pour over cooked proteins.

For my foodie fans, sorry I wrote about an old topic, however, it is summer time, and grilling teriyaki is huge. Share your recipe. Check me out on Facebook, Chef Sambrano and share.

© 2016