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 Hot and Sour Shrimp Noodle Soup
HOT & SOUR SHRIMP NOODLE SOUP
Big Bowl Restaurant Recipe
8 ounces dried rice noodles
1 pound medium shrimp
few drops sesame oil
2 quarts chicken stock
6 thin slices fresh ginger
6 garlic cloves, smashed
2 stalks lemongrass, (bottom third only, sliced thinly on the bias)
5 shallots, sliced
4 small green serrano chile peppers, coarsely shredded, including the seeds
1/4 cup Thai fish sauce
3 teaspoons sugar
1/4 cup whole fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup lightly chopped Asian basil leaves
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Soak the noodles in hot water to cover and let stand, about 30 minutes, until soft.
Peel the shrimp, reserving the shells. Cut them in half lengthwise, then toss with 1/4 teaspoon salt and the sesame oil, and refrigerate.
Bring the stock to a boil with the ginger, garlic, and lemongrass. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 35 minutes. Add the shrimp shells and simmer for another 1 to 20 minutes, skimming if necessary. Strain the stock and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and simmer with the shallots and chives. Simmer for 15 minutes and add 2 teaspoons of salt, the fish sauce, and the sugar. Continue to simmer.
Drain the noodles well and divide among 4 to 8 bowls. Then add the shrimp to the simmering broth. Turn off the heat and stir in the fresh herbs and lime juice.
Divide the soup among the bowls, sprinkle over the black pepper and serve. Makes 4 to 8 servings