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 Summer Chicken Stir Fry

SUMMER CHICKEN STIR FRY
Big Bowl Restaurant Recipe

2-3 ears fresh sweet corn
1/2 pound fresh peas in the shell
2 teaspoons oyster sauce
1 teaspoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 cup chicken stock
6 ounces boneless chicken breast, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 cups peanut or vegetable oil
3-4 fresh shiitake, oyster or other mushroom, sliced
1 fresh red chile pepper, seeded and sliced
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
2 tablespoons rice wine
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Husk and, with a knife, cut the corn kernel off the cob into a mixing bowl. Shell the peas into the bowl. Set aside.

Mix the oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and the chicken stock. Set aside.

Mix the chicken breast with 2 teaspoons of the cornstarch, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon of the sesame oil. Set aside. Mix the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water. Set aside.

Heat 2 cups of peanut oil in a wok or skillet until hot but not smoking. Add the chicken and stir, separating the pieces, just until the chicken changes color.  Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon to drain.

Remove all the oil from the wok or skillet and reserve. Wipe the pan and reheat over high heat. When hot, add 4 tablespoons of the reserved oil. Turn the heat to medium and add the mushrooms and chile pepper. Cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes, until the mushrooms are softened. Add the garlic and stir briefly. Add the corn and peas, and cook, stirring, over high heat for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the chicken stock mixture, bring to a boil, turn the heat to medium, and simmer until the corn and peas are cooked, about 2 minutes. Re-add the chicken.

Turn the heat to high. Re-stir the cornstarch and water mixture and add. Stir over high heat until the sauce thickens and clears. Splash in the wine and continue to stir briefly. Spoon into a serving bowl or platter and serve sprinled with sesame oil and the black pepper.  Makes 2 to 4 servings.



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