P.F. Chang's China Bistro, Inc.'s 40-plus restaurant chain, operating in 19 states, owes much of its success to founder Paul Fleming's unique idea of pairing oriental cuisine with American-style service. At the outset, when he opened the first of the restaurants in Scottsdale, Arizona, Fleming broke with the traditional Chinese restaurant format. With his collaborator, chef Philip Chiang, he devised a comparatively limited menu that featured far fewer dishes than the menus of typical, full-service, Chinese restaurants. Incorporating an American steak house dining style and a formidable selection of wines and cheeses, P.F. Chang's offers such additional oriental restaurant anomalies as espresso and cappuccino. Although P.F. Chang's China Bistros are stylish in decor, displaying motifs from the Ming and T'ang Dynasties and hand-painted murals, the dishes are moderately priced, partly because one of Fleming's aims was to provide high quality but affordable Chinese food for "the masses."




Chili Orange Noodles

P.F. Chang's China Bistro Copycat Recipe

2 ounces chili-orange sauce (see recipe below)
10 ounces thin egg noodles
4 tablespoons bean sprouts
3 tablespoons carrots, finely shredded
2 tablespoons scallion rings
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
3 tablespoons roasted peanuts, chopped

2 cups chili oil
2 cups black soy sauce
2 cups cider vinegar
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons kosher salt
zest from 6 fresh oranges, finely grated with no white pith

For the sauce: Place all ingredients in a blender for 30 seconds.

For the noodles: Cook noodles until al dente. Shock in generous amounts of ice water, turning by hand to speed chilling. Drain very well. Coat lightly with sesame seed oil. Blanch bean sprouts for 10 seconds in boiling water (no salt). Chill in ice bath and drain before using.

To Serve: Shake the sauce thoroughly. In a clean bowl, add noodles and 2 ounces sauce. Toss. Add bean sprouts and carrots. Toss. Add additional ounce of sauce if needed. Don't over apply sauce. The mix should not be soupy. Using a chilled large noodle bowl, mound in the center of the bowl. Lightly garnish with chopped peanuts, scallion rings and chopped cilantro.

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