Panda Management Company, Inc. (PMC), based in Southern California, has grown dynamically ever since 1983 when it opened its first Panda Express, its most successful operation. As that name suggests, Panda Express units are fast-service Chinese restaurants, now found in over 34 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Japan. Altogether, PMC manages over 300 Panda Express Restaurants, six Panda Inn Restaurants, eight Hibachi-San Restaurants, and seven Panda Panda locations. Panda Inns, the first of which opened in 1973, are all located in Southern California, as are the Panda Pandas, upscale, gourmet Chinese food restaurants. The Hibachi-San Restaurants, featuring Japanese cuisine, are located in shopping mall food courts, about half of which are at select sites outside California. The much more ubiquitous Panda Express Restaurants are located in five basic operating environments: mall food courts; supermarkets and retail chains; shopping centers and key intersections; university and college campuses; and airports, casinos, and sports arenas.
Spicy Sesame Peanut Noodles
SPICY SESAME PEANUT NOODLES
The Big Bowl Restaurant Recipe
2 cups fine peanut oil
1 cup raw blanched and peeled peanuts (available at Chinese markets)
1/2 cup freshly brewed Chinese black tea
1 tablespoon chopped ginger
6 garlic cloves
1-2 fresh red chili peppers
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons sesame oil
Heat the peanut oil in a pan to nearly smoking. Add the peanuts, stir once and turn off the heat. Allow to sit about 10 minutes in the oil until the peanuts are a light golden color. Remove the peanuts with a slotted spoon to a food processor and reserve the oil.
Grind the peanuts to a coarse paste. Add 1/4 cup of the reserved oil, a splash of the tea, the ginger, garlic, chili peppers, salt and sugar and continue to grind. Add the soy sauces and vinegar and grind some more. Remove to a mixing bowl and stir in the oils by hand. Stir in the remaining tea until the sauce is smooth.
Serve over Chinese egg noodles that have been cooked, drained, run under cold water to stop the cooking, drained again, then tossed with 1 teaspoon of sesame oil per 1/2 pound of cooked noodles. Use 2/3 cup of peanut sauce for every pound of cooked noodles and serve with a garnish of finely julienned seeded and peeled cucumber and fresh coriander leaves. Serves 4.
Notes: This sauce, native to Sichuan China, which we serve with cold noodles is best made starting from scratch with raw peanuts, and it is best served at room temperature.