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.
Big Bowl Crab Cakes
Big Bowl Restaurant Recipe
1 (14 oz.) can unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons fish sauce
juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon finely minced lemongrass
3/4 pound crabmeat
1/2 pound halibut, chopped
1/4 pound shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped
1/4 pound pork fat
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 cup Japanese bread crumbs
3 egg whites
1/2 tablespoon finely minced ginger
1/2 tablespoon finely minced ginger lemongrass
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
6 tablespoons minced red onion
1/4 cup sliced green scallion
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, lightly chopped
2 tablespoons Thai basil leaves, lightly chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
freshly ground black pepper
Begin the sauce ahead of time. The saucepan, simmer the coconut milk and chicken stock together until they reduce by one-third.
Break the crab meat up lightly and set it aside. Place the halibut and shrimp in a separate mixing bowl. Blanche the pork fat and small saucepan of simmering water for 10 minutes. Remove when cool. Chop as finely as possible. Add the halibut and shrimp mixture along with the cornstarch, bread crumbs, egg whites, Ginger, lemongrass, black pepper, fish sauce, salt, onion, scallions, cilantro, and lightly chopped basil, and stir with your finger in one direction to mix. Fold in the crab meat, taking care that it doesn't break up too much.
With your hands, form the mixture into cakes of about 2 inches in diameter, ( you'll have about 15). In a lightly oiled skillet over medium heat, cook the cakes on each side to golden brown and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes on each side.
While the crab cakes for cooking, continue making the sauce. Reheat the coconut mixture and add the fish sauce, lime juice, and lemongrass. Drizzle the sauce generously over a serving plate. Sprinkle with the chopped fresh herbs. Arrange the crab cakes top with black pepper and serve. Makes about 15 crab cakes.