At Pine Manor College’s noodle bar, students choose not only their ingredients, but they can also personalize their portion size and seasoning, says foodservice director Anthony Dedek. Here’s a look at how two students at the Chestnut Hill, Mass., school might personalize their meals with one trip down the same bar.
1. Grab a bowl.
2. Choose a vegetable. Options might include slivered snow peas, bean sprouts, matchstick carrots and julienned shiitake mushroom.
3. Pick your protein. The kitchen rotates options often to keep things interesting. Meat options might include char siu chicken, Korean barbecue pork or hoisin-glazed flap meat; vegan proteins include fried tofu or sesame tempeh.
4. Choose a noodle. Choices might be lo mein noodles or rice noodles, or noodle alternatives such as rice.
5. Add your choice of broth. The hot broth heats up the thinly sliced vegetables while keeping them crisp.
6. Season at will with your choice of sauce.
7. Crown your creation with crunchy toppings such as fried chow mein noodles or wonton strips.
Bowl option 1: Savory vegan soup
Slivered snow peas + matchstick carrots + lo mein noodles + sesame tempeh + lots of miso broth + dash of sambal + wonton strips
Bowl option 2: Spicy char siu chicken bowl
Julienned shiitake mushroom + bean sprouts + jasmine rice + char siu chicken + a little chicken broth + heavy dollop of sriracha + fried chow mein noodles