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."
PF Chang's Copycat Recipe
1 pound medium shrimp (71-90 count)
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
dash of white pepper
1 pound snow peas
1 tablespoons sake
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
1 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 1/8 cup water
In a wok over medium high heat, cook the garlic and shrimp in the oil for 3 minutes or until they just turn pink, stirring constantly. Stir in the ginger, pepper, peas, sake, oyster sauce, and chicken broth. Cover and cook 5 minutes longer or until peas are tender but still slightly crisp. Add the cornstarch slurry to the wok and stir until thick and clear, about another minute. Serves 2.