What kind of noodles does Bolay use?

Bolay is a fast-casual restaurant chain that specializes in build-your-own bowls and wraps featuring proteins, fresh vegetables, and noodles or rice. With locations across the Southeastern United States, Bolay aims to provide healthy, customizable meal options to its customers.

One of the signature elements of Bolay’s bowls and wraps is the variety of noodles that customers can choose from to build their perfect meal. With options like rice noodles, egg noodles, udon noodles, and more, customers have their pick of starch bases to complement their proteins, vegetables, and sauces.

But with all the noodle choices on the Bolay menu, many customers find themselves wondering – what exactly are the noodles made of? What ingredients go into Bolay’s noodles? And what makes their noodles unique?

In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into answering the question: what kind of noodles does Bolay use? We’ll explore the various noodle options on the Bolay menu, break down the ingredients that give their noodles their unique flavors and textures, and help you understand exactly what you’re eating when you order a bowl or wrap with rice or egg noodles at Bolay.

Overview of Noodle Options on Bolay’s Menu

Bolay offers customers an array of noodle types to choose from to customize their bowls, wraps, and salads. The specific noodle offerings vary slightly across locations, but most Bolay restaurants offer the following noodle selections:

– Rice noodles
– Egg noodles
– Udon noodles
– Glass noodles
– Soybean noodles
– Sweet potato noodles
– Zucchini noodles

Within each broader noodle category, there are a few varieties that provide different flavors, textures, and eating experiences.

For example, under rice noodles, customers may find options like thin vermicelli rice noodles, wide pad thai rice noodles, or traditional pasta-like rice noodles. The egg noodle selection often includes ramen-style thick wheat noodles as well as thin egg noodles similar to chow mein.

Bolay’s udon noodles are thick, chewy Japanese wheat flour noodles that can stand up well to hearty sauces and stir-fry dishes. Glass noodles are mung bean or sweet potato vermicelli noodles that have a very mild flavor and become almost transparent when cooked.

Some locations also offer noodles made from vegetables for low-carb and gluten-free options, like noodles spiralized from zucchini or long strips made from sweet potatoes.

Altogether, Bolay’s diverse noodle selection allows customers to tailor their bowls, wraps, and salads to their personal taste and dietary needs. The variety of flavors, textures, and nutrition profiles makes for endless customization possibilities.

Ingredients in Bolay’s Signature Noodle Options

To better understand what makes Bolay’s noodles special, let’s take a closer look at the main ingredients that go into their top-selling noodle varieties:

Rice Noodles
– Rice flour and/or starch
– Water
– Salt

Bolay’s rice noodles are made from a simple blend of rice flour and/or starch combined with water and salt. The ratio of the ingredients affects the texture of the final noodles. Some are made from all rice flour for a heartier, chewier texture, while others incorporate more starch for a softer, more tender noodle.

Egg Noodles
– Wheat flour
– Eggs
– Salt
– Kansui (alkaline mineral water)

Bolay’s ramen-style egg noodles are made from a dough of wheat flour, eggs, salt, and kansui. The kansui gives the noodles their characteristic yellow color and fluffy texture. Thinner egg noodles maintain the egg flavor but skip the kansui for a more tender, delicate texture.

Udon Noodles
– Wheat flour
– Salt
– Water

The primary ingredients in Bolay’s thick udon wheat noodles are simple: wheat flour, salt, and water. But it’s the kneading process that gives udon noodles their signature chewy, resilient texture. The dough is kneaded extensively to develop the gluten, then rolled out and cut into thick strips before boiling.

Glass Noodles
– Mung bean starch or sweet potato starch
– Water

Also known as cellophane noodles or bean thread noodles, glass noodles get their clear, glossy appearance from mung bean starch or sweet potato starch as the main ingredient. When boiled, they absorb flavors from sauces and surrounding ingredients.

Unique Manufacturing Processes for Bolay’s Noodles

In addition to ingredients, the manufacturing and cooking processes have a significant impact on the final texture and taste of noodles. Many of Bolay’s noodle types undergo special production processes that contribute to their distinctive textures.

Hand-Pulled Noodles

Some Asian-style noodles at Bolay, like lo mein or pad thai noodles, are hand pulled to create chewy textures. The process involves repeatedly stretching and folding the dough before pulling it into thin strips. The pulling aligns the gluten strands in the dough, yielding springy, toothsome noodles.

Extruded Noodles

Many modern noodle factories use extruders to churn out consistent noodles en masse. Bolay’s rice noodles and some wheat noodles are extruded, pushing the dough through small dies to form various noodle shapes. Extruding under high pressure gelatinizes the starch for smooth, resilient noodles.

Slurried Noodles

Udon and some thick wheat noodles are made using a slurry technique. Wheat flour and water are mixed into a slurry, kneaded thoroughly, then flattened with rollers. The slurry has more moisture than a traditional dough, resulting in noodles with an especially chewy, bouncy texture after boiling.

Fresh Noodles

While some noodles are dried after extruding or cutting to extend shelf life, Bolay also offers fresh noodles made in-house. Fresh noodles have superior taste and texture but must be consumed within a few days. Hand-pulled and udon noodles are often produced fresh.

Nutrition Profile of Bolay’s Noodle Options

Alongside ingredients and texture, nutrition is an important factor that Bolay customers consider when building their noodle bowls and salads. Here is a nutrition comparison of a few of Bolay’s most popular noodle choices:

Noodle Type Calories per serving Protein Fat Carbohydrates
Rice noodles 113 1 gram 0 grams 24 grams
Egg noodles 221 8 grams 1 gram 43 grams
Udon noodles 176 6 grams 1 gram 37 grams
Zucchini noodles 18 1 gram 0 grams 4 grams

As shown, noodles made from wheat flour and eggs generally have significantly more calories, carbohydrates, and protein than noodles made from rice flour or vegetables. Zucchini noodles are the lowest calorie option.

So customers aiming for a low-carb or vegan meal may gravitate towards rice noodles or zoodles, while those wanting higher protein opt for udon or egg noodles. Having nutritional info empowers customers to craft bowls aligned with their diet and health goals.

Unique Flavor Profiles of Bolay’s Noodle Offerings

In addition to unique textures and nutrition profiles, Bolay’s diverse noodles each lend their own distinctive flavors to bowls and dishes. Here’s an overview of the key flavor characteristics of their noodles:

Rice Noodles
– Delicate, mild flavor
– Absorb flavors of sauces and broths
– Hint of nuttiness

Egg Noodles
– Rich egg taste
– Slightly sweet, yellow color from kansui
– Soak up surrounding flavors

Udon Noodles
– Subtle wheat flavor
– Slightly salty from salt content
– Hearty, wheaty essence

Glass Noodles
– Extremely mild flavor
– Absorb and emulate flavors of other ingredients
– Complementary canvas for sauces

Zucchini or Sweet Potato Noodles
– Bright, vegetal flavor
– Sweet potato has hints of earthy sweetness
– Fresh flavor contrasts with Asian sauces

Customers can consider the inherent flavors of noodles along with texture and nutrition when constructing the perfect noodle bowl. Lighter rice or glass noodles allow other ingredients to shine, while heartier egg and wheat noodles hold their own with sauces.

How Bolay Sources Its Fresh Noodles and Ingredients

At Bolay, ingredients matter. All of Bolay’s restaurants pride themselves on serving up freshly made noodles from high-quality ingredients sourced right here in the United States.

For wheat-based noodles like udon, egg noodles, and glass noodles, Bolay sources organic wheat flour from mills in Montana and the Midwest. Organic wheat imparts more flavor while avoiding pesticides and GMOs.

Rice flour for rice noodles comes from family rice farms in Arkansas, Louisiana, and California that practice sustainable agriculture. Bolay chooses domestic rice with short transit times over imported varieties for freshness.

Eggs for egg noodles and zucchini for zoodles come from free-range chickens and organic farms in the Southeast. Using regional suppliers minimizes Bolay’s environmental footprint.

Bolay also makes its noodles, sauces, and soups from scratch daily in each restaurant’s kitchen. Customers can taste the freshness in every bite. While more labor intensive than using frozen pre-made noodles, Bolay’s commitment to house made noodles is a cornerstone of its dedication to quality ingredients and healthy, flavorful food.

Specialty Noodle Dishes on Bolay’s Menu

While noodles are the base for customers to build their own bowls at Bolay, the restaurant also offers some signature dishes featuring noodles as the star of the show:

– Pad Thai – Rice noodles stir-fried with eggs, green onions, beansprouts, and tangy tamarind sauce.

– Beef Udon – Thick udon noodles in umami broth with seared beef and mushrooms.

– Chicken Ramen – A ramen-style broth with hand-pulled egg noodles, chicken, soft-boiled egg, and noodles.

– Lo Mein – Chewy egg lo mein noodles tossed in a seasoned soy sauce with cabbage, carrots, and choice of protein.

– Spicy Peanut Noodles – Cool rice noodles blanketed in a spicy peanut sauce with sautéed veggies and tofu.

– Pesto Zucchini Noodles – Spiralized fresh zucchini “zoodles” tossed in a vibrant basil pesto sauce.

These noodle-centric dishes showcase how Bolay takes advantage of each noodle’s unique properties to create delicious featured menu items beyond just build-your-own bowls.

Noodle-Making Classes at Bolay

As part of its commitment to fresh, house-made food, some Bolay locations offer noodle-making classes where students can learn hands-on how to pull and cut noodles. Classes cover noodle types like:

– Hand-pulled Chinese egg noodles
– Knife-cut udon wheat noodles
– Rolling and slicing pasta noodles
– Shaping ramen noodles
– Rice noodle pulling techniques

The classes allow Bolay’s expert noodle makers to share their knowledge and skills with the public. Participants get to take home fresh noodles to enjoy. It’s a fun, educational way for noodle enthusiasts to immerse themselves in the art of noodle craft.


Bolay’s array of noodles sets it apart from other fast-casual chains by providing diverse flavors, textures, and nutrition to suit nearly any diner’s preferences. From mild rice noodles to chewy udon to spiralized veggie noodles, the options empower customers to customize their perfect noodle bowl.

Made in-house from fresh, quality ingredients, Bolay noodles become the foundation for creative and healthy meals. So the next time you visit Bolay, think carefully about which noodles you choose, as they impart unique characteristics that make each bowl or wrap distinct. With knowledge of the ingredients, manufacturing processes, nutrition, and flavors covered here, you can now make the optimal noodle choice to match your tastes and needs.

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