CHEF SAMBRANO Food Articles Video Recipes



Thursday, November 16, 2017


Lunch time on Maui is all about the local food, especially when you want to eat a whole plate by yourself!

The reason I say that is I've met a couple from England, and the good man says, "Me and my wife had one of your so-called plate lunches, it was the combination plate, and the waiter said that each person gets their own plate. When it came to the table one plate could feed me and my wife. You locals eat a lot."

Well, the plate lunch- well let's stop right here. My English pal says he and his wife ordered the combination plate. Let me elaborate what he got. He and his wife had the same combo plate. And this is what they both got on their plates.

2 scoops of white rice

approx. 6 oz. of teriyaki beef, and approx. 6 oz. of chicken katsu, and a scoop of macaroni salad.

OK that's over a pound of food each, but we locals don't care, we just stuff our faces! It is what we do. Not all the time. I mean I can't go to Kansas and tell them, "Shit you guys eat a lot of ribs, man you eat a lot of ribs." I'd expect them to tell me to go home, and eat something else. We do things with gusto. When it comes to plate lunches, you are talking NO DIETS! And add to that a nice cold large Coke, are you kidding me? You are going to go to sleep Jackson.

"Back home we do eat a little lighter, we could definitely share one plate." My English friend and his wife were in awe of how we eat, or shall I say, how we "Grine!"

So don't be alarmed if you visit Maui or any island in Hawaii, and when you go to buy a plate lunch, the portions are generally just right, in fact, some places when they serve you, you can't close the lid on the styrofoam box. We like that, I mean lots of food, and if we can't eat it all, we give it to someone who is hungry.

But this is what I ate at Mike's Hong Kong Bistro the other day, and nope, I was not going to share it! I mean I would if someone was without food nearby, I'm not a stingy person, but if no one will stop me, watch out, I'm taking no prisoners!

Does this look good? Does this look Yay Yay?
There were like 3 chicken thighs on this plate, and the curry sauce was just right, the mac salad (top right) was just right, not too much mayonnaise, and the rice wasn't too sticky.

© 2017

Friday, November 10, 2017


Here's another Thanksgiving video featuring Chef Mario Batali's chefs.

Stuffing is an important side for a roasted turkey on Thanksgiving day. I mean, it's like having a Hawaiian style plate lunch without the mac salad. It's like getting a Playboy magazine without the centerfold. Well you get the idea. Watch, enjoy, and learn.

Thanks for stopping by my blog guys!


As Thanksgiving is right around the corner, as well as Christmas, I'll be running this post through 2017.

Here is Sandra Lee's video on making a Thanksgiving turkey. 

Sandra Lee of Food Network

This will give you an idea on how to prepare a turkey for your family and friends.


This blog post will be a video of Chef Sam Choy cooking the local favorite, Chicken Katsu.

So relax and enjoy the video, it will give you something to look at instead of just reading. Lately I do not have the time to do any cooking videos, and the fact that I am without a studio and a video crew now, so the next best thing is to have celebrity chefs do their thing and thank God for Youtube.

Chef Sam Choy with the KHON 2 crew

Thursday, November 9, 2017


Portuguese Sausage Nachos! A different take on typical ordinary nachos. The kids will love it, your spouse will love it. I'm telling you, everyone will love it, unless they hate Portuguese sausage and nachos in general.


20 oz. of minced Portuguese sausage, (brand don't matter, mild or hot)
* (Sautee the sausage in a pan first to release all the oils)

1 cup of chopped round onions

1 cup of sliced pitted olives

1 cup of diced tomatoes

1/2 cup canned sliced jalapeno peppers

10 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

8 oz. sour cream

1/2 cup chopped cilantro


1. Preheat oven to 400 deg f

2. On a baking sheet large enough, spread out the chips, and spread the Portuguese sausage over and under the chips, and spread the cheese, then top with the olives, tomatoes, peppers.

3. Bake for about 12 minutes until cheese is melted.

4. Top with sour cream, and cilantro

Use any brand of chips you want

Any brand of Portuguese sausage will do

© 2017

Pan Fried Opakapaka with Hot Teriyaki Sauce

Pink Snapper (Opakapaka) pan fried, with a Hot Teriyaki sauce, it is totally YAY YAY! 

Opakapaka is a primo fish in Hawaii
part of the snapper family (Ohana)
It is caught in deep waters from 100-600 ft.
In the winter this fish has a higher fat content
and is perfect for sashimi (raw fish) or sushi.


4- Opakapaka filets about 5-6 oz each, have your fish department guy make the filets for you, unless you know how to break down a fish.

Salt and White pepper to taste. (Sprinkle it over each filet)

Vegetable oil for frying.

Please do not crucify me, I know what your are thinking, "This fish is delicate why fry it?" Because I can. Hahah!

But we aren't going to kill it even further past its death already, so relax. Basically we will only fry the skin side crispy. Read you knuckleheads!


Hot Teriyaki Sauce

1 cup soy sauce, Yamasa brand or Aloha

1/4 cup raw sugar

1 tsp. minced ginger

1/2 tsp. minced garlic

1 tbp. honey

1 tbp. or more of Sambal Oelek, (Garlic Pepper Sauce)


First you will need to fry the Opakapaka filets. Heat up about 1 cup of vegetable oil in a stainless steel skillet with lid. Heat up pan over medium high heat. Once hot. Place each filet skin side down on to the hot oil. And fry it but not burn it, making sure the skin is sizzling, turn heat down to low, and cover the pan. 

This fish is delicate, so it will be a quick fry, the trick is, to cover the pan as soon as the skin is sizzling, turn heat down to low immediately. Cook for about 3 minutes, and using a slotted spatula plate it, and let it rest. The top of the filet, the meat should be tender like steamed, the skin crips.


In a small sauce pan, add all of the ingredients together and bring to a boil. Stirring to mix well. (No thickening agents needed, since the Opakapaka is soft and tender, we want a teri sauce to be soft as well) Off the heat, and spoon over each filet.

Serve with white rice.

© 2017


Chicken with Tofu- this stuff is comfort foods to the max! Easy to make, feeds at least 4-5 people or one hungry ass Mo Fo!


3 lbs. of chicken thighs bone on skin off, using a cleaver or sharp knife, split each thigh in half.

3 tbp. vegetable oil

21 oz. of firm tofu (most packaged tofu is sold in 14 oz. tubs) Cut them in about inch squares.

Directions: Heat up a stainless steel skillet with lid, 12" will be fine. Heat on stovetop with the oil in it. Then heat up to medium high. When hot, brown each piece of chicken, when all done, remove some of the oil.

Add in the tofu.


1 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup raw brown sugar
1/4 cup water
1/8 cup chopped ginger
1/4 cup minced green onions
1 tbp. vinegar

Directions: Mix all of the ingredients in a large enough stainless steel or glass bowl. Then pour contents into the pan, and bring to a boil, the lower heat to simmer.

8 oz. shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated in water to soften
8 oz. canned water chestnuts
4 oz. of sliced Chinese cabbage

Directions: Add the vegetables, and heat through in the pan, then turn off the heat, and cover lid.

Serve with white rice.

© 2017


Chinese style Pot Roast, that's right junior, that's right Rachel, you heard me right. Who said you can't give your Pot Roast a little flavor? Find the Mo Fo, I got a word for him. Find out where he lives, Wo Fat is coming to see him, and he will not take no for an answer.


3-4 lbs. chuck roast
Vegetable oil (used sparingly)
6 cloves garlic peeled and smashed
4 inches of fresh ginger chopped
1 large carrot sliced into 1/2" slices
2 large russet potatoes cut into medium size cubes
8 stalks celery cut into 1" slices
4 cups of low sodium beef broth
* 1 cup of sliced green onions for garnish

Stage 1 Directives

Preheat oven to 350 deg. F

In a stainless steel roasting pan with a lid, lid off at the moment, place over stovetop over medium high heat, add some vegetable oil to lightly coat the bottom. When hot, add in the garlic, ginger, and stir around for about 30 seconds. Then place the chuck roast on to the pan, and begin to sear the exterior until golden brown. Keeping meat in the pan, start to sear all of the vegetables, giving it a brown exterior.

Add in the beef broth, bring to a boil. Once boiling, off stovetop, and cover the roasting pan. Carefully place pan into oven, and roast for 1 hour, then turn heat down to 300 deg f. roast for another 1 hour.

Remove from oven, and let it sit for 30 minutes covered.

Stage 2 Directives

Take the roast out of the pan, onto a cutting board, as well as all of the veggies, place them on a plate set aside.

The pan will have the gravy, using a strainer and another bowl that can hold at least a quart of liquid, strain the gravy out removing all bits and pieces of the garlic and ginger.

Place roasting pan on to the stovetop, pour strained gravy back into the pan, and heat over medium high heat. As the gravy is being heated, add in 1/4 cup of oyster sauce, 1/8 cup sesame oil, 1/4 cup of soy sauce, 1/2 cup of sugar, stir well. Taste the flavors and adjust to your liking.

In a small bowl, add in 3 tbp. of cornstarch and 6 tbp. of water, mix well and add to the boiling gravy, cook stir until thickened.

Adjust with salt and pepper.

Slice the roast into thin or medium slices, onto serving platter, place veggies on the side of it. Put the gravy in a gravy boat, or bowl with a serving spoon.

Serve with hot rice and garnish with green onions.

© 2017

Wednesday, November 8, 2017


As Thanksgiving approaches, and you manly chefs want to brine the bird, here's a video of Chef Thomas Joseph teaching us how it's done!

Remember after watching this video, it's your turn to do it, email me and tell me how it turned out. I'm not much on a cooking mission these days, I'm mostly writing about foods and learning as I go along. So all you foodies enjoy!

Turkey Brining Video
Thomas Joseph


Since it is almost Thanksgiving, I figured I let you watch a video. Here is Sandra Lee doing some Thanksgiving Appetizers on Youtube!
Watch and learn something, email me if you found this video interesting since I don't have a studio at this time to do my own cooking videos, so enjoy and be safe!


Today's post is about oyster sauces, like what is really in those bottles in the Asian aisles that says "Oyster Flavored Sauce" Or "Vegetarian Oyster Sauce"

Being a guy growing up eating and cooking mostly Asian foods, Pac Region, and Island foods, using oyster flavored sauces was common. It goes hand in hand with the likes of shrimp sauce or fish sauce.

So let's take a look at what is really in these sauces shall we?

Lee Kum Kee's Oyster Flavored Sauce
As the brand states, it is an oyster flavored sauce, the ingredients are as follows, water, sugar, salt, oyster extract (11%), flavor Enhancer (E621), modified cornstarch, wheat flour, color (E150c).

This is a very common brand used in a lot of Chinese restaurants, as well as some fine Chinese restaurants that charge an arm and a leg for a wok fried oyster chicken. When science is at hand, companies can do things to enhance life, such as oyster flavored sauce. For one, it would be almost impossible to have a 100 % oyster sauce, you will need to have preservatives inside to make it last long and cost effective. And to thicken the sauce cornstarch is added, and wheat flour. 

WARNING: Wheat is used, and oysters, if you are allergic to these items, do not consume.

As of this writing, I have used this sauce for many people in private sessions, and none of them complained after I explained that this is how the sauce is made, and if they do not want to consume it, I have really no other alternative than to use a vegetarian oyster sauce which is a mock sauce made with mushrooms.

Again, a lot of fine Chinese and Asian restaurants use this brand or similarly made sauces and it works fine for any wok dish you will be creating such as oyster beef, oyster chicken, or soups as well. 

What is Enhancer (E621)? In the United States the Food and Drug Administration considers MSG Monosodium Glutamate as an additive to be used in food preparation. It is added to foods to give it a very authentic Japanese flavor that comes from foods common in Japan such as seaweed etc. So the E621 label is part of the European Union's E code designating it as MSG, hence E-621, and is limited in usage to only a certain type of food production.

What is Colour (E150c)? Again in the European Union, the E code and number 150c, designates this as a food coloring, and the color it is assigned to is the colors Browns & Blacks. So if you look and observe most oyster flavored sauces or even soy sauces you will notice that those sauces are colored in the browns and blacks. Now it does not define the colors as non-organic or organic. We must assume it is not. Is there organic oyster flavored sauces? Yes, mostly made of mushrooms that are organic, making it a mock sauce.

© 2017

Tuesday, November 7, 2017


Roast chicken breast is always a good meal for two, or one hungry mother ______. I'll make it easy, and all you'll need are these....


1 whole chicken breast with skin on and bone on
Kosher salt to taste
Black pepper freshly milled to taste
Olive oil to your liking
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary
6 garlic cloves peeled and smashed
1 large russet potato sliced into fourths
1 large carrot peeled and cut into 1 inch slices
1 large round red onion cut into fourths


Safflower oil as needed
4 tbp. of curry powder
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. white pepper
juice of half a lime
12 fl. oz of canned coconut cream


1. Preheat oven to 400 deg. F. grease a small roasting pan with some vegetable oil

2. Rest the chicken breast at room temperature for about 20 minutes, making sure you've rinsed it first and patted it dry

3. Sprinkle the salt, pepper, over the chicken breast and more if you like, rub it into the skin, and even underneath the breast bone. 

4. Place breast skin side up in roasting pan, as well as the garlic, potatoes, onion, carrots, and also the herbs,  then drizzle the olive oil over the skin, of chicken, and all over the veggies, and more salt and pepper if you like.

5. Place roasting pan in the center shelf of the oven, and roast for about 40 minutes, remove and let stand for about 10 minutes.

Warning: Use an instant read thermometer to check the thickest part of the breast to see if the temperature is at least 155 deg F. it will rise as it rests. So it may take sooner or a little longer depending on your oven. Always keep tabs on the temperature, the directions are just a guideline.

6. Remove the breast and place on a cutting board, slice it in half lengthwise with a sharp knife or cleaver.  Then slice into 5 or 6 pieces each, and place nicely on two serving plates (for two).

7. Remove veggies, and equally distribute to each plate.

8. Remove all loose bits of food from roasting pan, then place roasting pan over the largest stovetop burner you have. Turn it on to about medium high.

9. Put a little safflower oil on the bottom of the pan, and using a wooden spoon scrape any food items that's remaining, then add in the curry powder, and all powdered ingredients. Add a little more oil if needed. The powder cannot be dry. But not too much oil, then add in the coconut cream, and stir until all is blended, adjust with salt and pepper, the pour in the lime juice, stir for a few seconds.

10. Pour curry over breast slices and veggies, and enjoy.

© 2017

WON TON MIN At MIKE'S Hong Kong Bistro

Back to Mike's Hong Kong Bistro in Wailuku, Maui. And it was the Won Ton Min, tasty broth, some veggies, charsiu pork, and 5 pieces of steamed won tons with pork filling.

Mike's is one of the only Chinese/Local restaurants that is acceptable on the island. No, it can't compare with the restaurants in some major cities, but it is a good place to eat. And yesterday was the Won Ton Min. Basically it's saimin, with won tons inside.

The won tons weigh in at least 2 oz. each, and I believe I had like 5, so that's like 10 oz. of food, plus a few ounces of noodles, and a couple cups of tasty broth, served hot! I got a couple of ramekins and filled them up about 1/4 way with water blended yellow mustard. Then filled it with soy sauce to pour into the broth, and to use as a dip for the dumplings. 

Mike's also serves other items as well, like kalbi ribs, hamburger steaks, roast duck etc. However the won ton min, did hit the spot indeed. It was filling, for around 10.00, it was OK, nothing to complain about, nothing.

No other colors like orange from some carrots

3 pieces of charsiu pork, could have put one more

The size was OK

Steaming hot is good

Taking a photo with my iPhone 6s, thinking of
going for the 8+ soon!

All photos are mine © 2017

The Yay :)   or Nay :(  Scale

Parking: Yay :)
Friendliness: Yay :)
Comfort: Yay :)
Food Quality: Yay :)
Quickness to table: Yay :)
Price: Yay :)
Restrooms: Yay :)
Big breasted waitresses: Nay :(
Stand up comedy: Nay :(
Souvenir shop: Nay :(

Thursday, November 2, 2017


Siu's Chinese Kitchen, Maui Mall, Maui, Hawaii.
It's the second of November, 2017 and in deep mourning, one of the saddest days of my life. My beloved L.A. Dodgers lost in Game 7 of the World Series to the Houston Astros last night. I felt like a family member that was loved is gone forever. Well- until next spring. LOL!

Once again I'm in Kahului on an airport run picking up my sister and her husband, so with 2 hours to kill, and since it was like noon, it's lunch time. So my senses was seeking some Chinese food. And with this said, I wish I was in Honolulu in China Town with the best Chinese food in the state. However it is Maui, so I headed to Siu's Chinese Kitchen in the Maui Mall. Automatically I knew what I was going to eat.

The 2 choice plate for $8.99, and this comes with your choice of chow mein noodles, white rice, or fried rice. I took the chow mein noodles of course. Then the ginger chicken, and the roast duck. Was it good? Of course it was, if I eat all of my food, it's good. Now there's always better Chinese someplace in this world, but for Maui, Siu's is always good. That and a small Coke.

Below is a few pics check it out.

The entrance looks like this.
No bums looking for handouts :)

Siu's interior is a standard, few booths, a pick and choose,
and also a menu that features soups and stir fries.

A straight up angle of my plate, tasty chow mein
on the left is the cold ginger chicken
to the right is the roast duck pieces.
From another view, are you hungry now?

Me speechless and still reeling from the Dodgers loss!
From another vantage point, now are you hungry?

If you've never had ginger chicken, it is served cold, kept at a safe 41 degrees F. Chefs generally boil a whole bird, skin and bones intact, this gives it a flavor you will have a foodie ejaculation. So the bird is boiled, in a brine of salt, and ginger. Then the sauce is made with blended fresh ginger, vegetable oil, salt, and green onions. And the roast duck is roasted whole, it is marinated in a special Chinese style connection, and then it is hung dried, so that the skin gets really crispy when it is roasted. Then it is roasted.

The Scale (1 weak- 5 awesome)

Chow Mein: 3.3
Ginger Chicken: 3.7
Roast Duck: 3.9
Freshness: 4.7
Cleanliness: 4.3
Friendliness: 5
Parking: 4
Cost: 5 (affordable)

Above average pick and choose food.


Wednesday, November 1, 2017


Welcome to November 1st, 2017 my foodie friends! And, pray for the Dodgers because it is game 7 tonight at Dodger Stadium. The Astros are dangerous, so we gotta win tonight. We must.

Now on to my blog post here, yesterday I was feeling creative for breakfast, so I got myself some Spam, and 2 eggs, and a couple pieces of all grain bread. No cheese, no dressings, no mayonnaise to speak off. Just a natural Spam juiced with egg sandwich.

I call this one: "The SPAMEGGY!"
No it is not pronounced Spaymgee, but Spam-eggee

Now that we got that out of the way, what is a Spameggy? It is this.

2 large eggs, cooked over-medium-well done, so a little yolk oozes out.

And 2 slices of Spam Low Sodium (like it matters right?)

I cooked the 2 slices of Spam first in a tablespoon of vegetable oil, this makes the oil Spam flavored, and when you put the Spam on to the bread it flavors the bread so you don't need a sauce.

Then I cooked the 2 large eggs over-medium-well, and placed it on top of the cooked Spam.

If you want you can add vegetables, like tomatoes, kale or whatever. I just went with it basic, I was lazy. So try it my foodie friends and see what you can come up with.

Copyright 2017