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.

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Big Bowl Spring Chicken Stir Fry

SPRING CHICKEN STIR FRY
Big Bowl Restaurant Recipe

8 ounces boneless skinless chicken breast, sliced
2 teaspoons corn starch
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 cup peanut oil
3 small fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon Chinese salted black beans
2 teaspoons fresh red chile pepper, julienne cut
2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger
2 teaspoons chopped fresh garlic
1/2 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut on the bias into 2 inch lengths
2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed into 2 tablespoons water

Mix the chicken with the cornstarch and sesame oil. Set aside.

Combine the oyster sauce, light soy sauce, sugar and chicken stock. Set aside.

Heat 1 cup of oil in a wok or skillet to hot and add the chicken. Cook, stirring, just until the chicken turns color. Remove to drain. Reserve the oil.

Heat a wok or skillet over high heat. When hot, add 3 tablespoons of the reserved oil. Add the mushroom slices and cook, stirring, until browned lightly and soft. Add the black beans, chile pepper, ginger, and garlic, add cook while stirring. Add the asparagus and toss until well coated with the seasonings.

Add the oyster sauce mixture and bring to a boil. Re-add the chicken and cook, tossing, until it heats. When the sauce boils, restir the cornstarch mixture and add.  Cook over high heat until the sauce thickens slightly and clears.  Remove to a serving bowl and sprinkle with sesame oil. Serve with plain rice.  Makes 2 servings.

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