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.
Big Bowl Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup
VIETNAMESE CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP
Big Bowl Restaurant Recipe
4 ounces dried rice noodles
6 ounces boneless skinless chicken breast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon sesame oil
6 cups chicken stock
3 thin slices fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, mashed
1 stalk lemongrass (bottom third only, sliced on the bias)
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 cup Asian basil leaves, lightly chopped
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup fresh bean sprouts
fresh red chile pepper, julienne cut
Soak the noodles in hot water to cover and let stand, about 30 minutes, until soft.
Cut the chicken breast into julienne shreds. Toss them with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, the cornstarch, and the sesame oil. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Drop the cold chicken into a small saucepan of boiling water and stir, using chopsticks, to separate the shreds. Just when the meat changes color, drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Drain again.
Bring the stock to a boil with the ginger, garlic, and lemongrass. Turn the heat to low, simmer, covered, for 35 minutes. Strain the stock, discarding the lemongrass, garlic and ginger, and heat again. Add 1 teaspoon of salt, the fish sauce, and the sugar. Continue to simmer.
Drain the noodles well and divide among 4 serving bowls. Divide the chicken and basil among the bowls. Add the lime juice to the broth and pour into the soup bowls, sprinkle with cilantro leaves and black pepper. Serve with bean sprouts, chiles, and lime wedges on small plates to be added by each diner according to taste.