Today I’m going to share my Asian Greens Salad recipe with you. In the winter I make this salad five nights a week, and we eat it for several months straight. We never tire of it. In fact, when autumn rolls around and the air gets crisp and cool, we start to hunger for it. When the greens fade from the market in the spring we miss it. All winter we happily enjoy it. Most everyone who has tried it loves it. Even my mother loves it, and she doesn’t care much for salad (sorry Mom for using you as The Example). I think you get the point: it is good stuff!
I started making a version of it years and years ago and back then I called it “Bok Choy Salad with Crunchies”. You can google that term and find the recipe all over the place. What you’ll find is a salad dressing composed of white vinegar, oil, granulated sugar and soy sauce, mixed with the “crunchies” (which I still prefer just as the original recipe specifies), poured over chopped bok choy and scallions. My dressing recipe has matured along with me. I’ve added depth and more flavor, replaced the sugar with smooth agave, and I discovered how well cilantro pairs with the greens.
I encourage you to try this recipe. I am well aware that the idea of eating raw pac choi or bok choy in a salad is unusual. Most people like to cook their choi. As a matter of fact, when I sell these greens every week at Kilpatrick Family Farm’s table at the farmers market, we call them “Asian Stir Fry Mix”, implying that they are intended for cooking. I can’t tell you how many times each Saturday I reply to the common question, “How do you cook these greens?” with, “I actually don’t cook them, I make them into salad. Let me tell you how…”
And now, let me tell you how!
RECIPE: Asian Greens Salad
Serves 4-6. Or two, if you are talking and me and my husband.
1 head of bok choy or for the Saratoga Farmer’s Market customers, one bag of Kilpatrick Family Farm pac choi or Asian Stir Fry Mix (a mix of pac choi and Tokyo Bekana, a mild, leafy green)
Green additions such as cilantro (Kilpatrick Family Farm makes a fabulous micro cilantro), scallions, or any flavorful greens
Prepare the Greens:
Cut the very end of the stem off all the bok choy/pac choi and Tokyo Bekana leaves. Coarsely chop the remaining leaves and stems into ½ inch pieces. If you are using scallions, cilantro or another vegetable, chop it up and add it to the choi. Wash the greens and get ready to toss them with the dressing.
Sesame dressing ingredients
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
½ teaspoon sesame oil
2 Tablespoons canola oil
1 ½ teaspoons agave syrup (or honey in a pinch)
Add all dressing ingredients to a bottle and shake, shake, shake.
1 teaspoon canola or mild-tasting oil
1 bag of ramen noodles (organic or otherwise – use only the noodles, not the flavor packet)
1/3 cup slivered almonds
Prepare the Crunchies:
Lay an unopened bag of ramen noodles on the counter or floor and whack them with a meat tenderizer until they are fully crushed. Careful, the bag might pop if you get too excited while you do this! Heat a skillet over medium-low heat and add the oil. When it is warm, pour in the crushed noodles, discarding the flavor packet. Add the almonds. Stir occasionally and cook until the noodles are just golden brown.
Combine everything in a salad bowl, toss and enjoy!