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.
Thai Beef Lettuce Wraps
THAI BEEF LETTUCE WRAPS
The Big Bowl Restaurant Recipe
1 teaspoon mushroom soy
1/2 plus 1/4 teaspoons sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
4 oz beef flank steak, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons peanut oil
6 pieces Bibb lettuce leaves
2 pinches kosher salt
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup chopped red pepper
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/2 teaspoon minced Thai chilies
1/2 teaspoon minced lemongrass
1 pinch minced kaffir lime leaf
1 1/2 teaspoons roughly chopped roasted peanuts
1 1/2 teaspoons roughly dried shrimp
1 tablespoon Thai basil
1 tablespoon cilantro
1 ounce crispy rice noodles (cooked per instructions on package)
Big Bowl Peanut Sauce (as needed)
Mix mushroom soy, 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil and cornstarch together. Pour this mixture over the cubed steak and set aside to marinate for at least one hour. Mix fish sauce, lemon juice, sugar, 1 tablespoon peanut oil, and 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil together, set aside. Wash bibb lettuce leaves and set aside to drain.
Heat a wok over a hot flame. When hot, add remaining peanut oil to coat, then add the marinated steak, the kosher salt and cook, stirring, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes (until browned on outside but still tender on the inside). Pour the fish sauce mixture into a large bowl. Add all of the remaining ingredients, tossing gently to coat like a salad. Add the cooked meat to the mix and toss to combine.
Serve with the lettuce leaves on the side to use as wrappers, a dish of crispy rice noodles, and a dish of peanut sauce to season as desired. Serves two as an appetizer to share, on its own this could be a light meal for one.