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I mentioned to a friend that I mistakenly bought two large bunches of green onions at the farmers market and needed to come up with a few different dishes to use them up. Immediately she said, “Bok choy salad.” She’s mentioned this salad before, but apparently I never paid much attention since I’ve never eaten raw bok choy. I paid attention this time.

“It’s simple,” she said. “It’s bok choy and green onions. Period. But it’s the salad dressing and the crunchy topping that makes it so good.” The dressing combines soy sauce, vinegar, oil and sugar. The sugar is the secret ingredient. The crunch comes from ramen noodles, almonds and sesame seeds.

She promised to email the recipe to me, but I couldn’t wait. I don’t have ramen in the house, but figured I’d try dangymen (sweet potato) noodles (also known as glass noodles). How different could it be?

In THE recipe, you sauté crushed ramen with almonds and sesame seeds. I have no idea of what happens to the ramen, but I can tell you about what happens in my recipe with dangymen.

My kitchen quickly became a science lab. I added the crouton ingredients to a heated sauté pan. After about a minute, the noodles began to puff and become crispy, a la chow mein noodles. I was mesmerized as I stirred the ingredients to prevent burning. I failed. The noodles took longer to fully puff than the sesame seeds did to brown. The first batch ended up in the garbage.

Attempt #2: first sauté the noodles and nuts, then sauté the sesame seeds. I used cashews instead of almonds and apparently they take a little longer to toast than the sesame seeds but less then the noodles; or maybe it was the oil in the pan that burned the nuts. Second batch in the garbage.

Attempt #3: perfection. Sautéd noodles. Wiped pan and dry toasted cashews and sesame seeds.

For the dressing I used Devo Olive Oil’s Japanese Sesame Oil, their Lemongrass Mint White Balsamic along with Bragg’s Liquid Amino Acid.

Chopped Bok Choy Salad

chopped bok choy saladWhat you need:

Salad:

  • 2 bunches of bok choy (or 1 good-sized bunch), rinsed and chopped to bite size
  • 1 bunch, rinsed and chopped

Croutons:

  • 1 pkg dangymen noodles, uncooked and chopped into 1/2″ pieces
  • 2-3 tbs c vegan spread (or butter)
  • 1 c cashews, chopped
  • 1/4 c black sesame seeds

Dressing:

What you do:

  • sauteing dangymen noodlesHeat spread/butter in sauté pan over med heat.
  • Add noodles, stir constantly and cook until puffed.
  • Transfer to paper towel-lined bowl and discard any noodles that didn’t puff.
  • Wipe sauté pan to remove excess spread/butter.
  • Return pan to heat and add cashews.
  • Stir and cook until browning begins.
  • toasting cashews and black sesame seedsAdd sesame seeds and continue to cook 1-2 minutes
  • Add sesame mixture to noodles and mix well.
  • In large bowl, mix bok choy and green onion.
  • Mix dressing ingredients.
  • Just before serving, add noodle mixture to greens and toss.
  • Plate individually and top with dressing.
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