One of the staples in my mom’s summer recipe repertoire is her Bok Choy Salad. She made it all of the time when I was in high school and just one bite immediately takes me back to sitting on the back deck of my childhood home. It’s a really simple salad—cabbage, green onions, and ramen noodles—but the taste is unique. I’ve made this a few times this summer. Irving declared that if I wanted to make it every day for the rest of the summer that would be fine with him. And my boys ask for seconds. Of cabbage salad. Yep. It’s a keeper.
The funny thing is that we almost never make it with Bok Choy. We both prefer to use Savoy Cabbage (pictured), or Napa. Both are Asian varieties of cabbage, with much more delicate leaves than regular green cabbage. If you can’t find either of those it is also tasty with bok choy, thinly sliced.
^^^ This time I made it with Bok Choy. Shown here with Din Tai Fung Tofu and fresh corn off the cob!
I was lucky to find an inexpensive package of organic ramen noodles at my local co op, PCC. I think they were around $1.20 each. If you can’t find them you could order them, or go with traditional ramen noodles. If you make this a lot, and I think you will, it might be worth tracking down the noodles with more quality ingredients!
The original recipe calls for almonds in the sesame and ramen noodle mix—about 1/4 cup. We omit them because of Jonathan’s allergies, but you could definitely add them in! It also calls for about 3/4 c of sugar for the whole recipe—in the noodle mix and the dressing. I’ve lowered that considerably, and switched it to maple syrup instead, yet the taste remains identical to the original!
^^^ These little clusters of noodles are crunchy and addicting!
This salad pairs wonderfully with my Din Tai Fung Tofu. Have you made it yet? It’s another keeper of a recipe!
My mom’s original recipe says that this salad is best served right away, to keep the ramen noodles crunchy. And I suppose that is true. But I secretly (no so secretly?) love having leftovers the next day. The flavors develop a little more and the noodles are soft and it’s just good. I can’t explain it, it’s just the way I like it!
This would make a great no-cook dinner during our next round of the heat wave! Try it out this weekend. And when you do, I’d love for you to follow me on Instagram, post some photos, and tag photos with #frieddandelions so that I can see! I love to see what you’re cooking!
Bok Choy Salad, serves 4-8 people, depending on how much cabbage you use
1 T oil
2 T maple syrup
3 T soy sauce
2 packages of ramen noodles with flavor packets
1/4 c sesame seeds
1 large head of savoy cabbage, maybe 2 pounds (or sub napa cabbage or 3 bunches of baby bok choy), sliced thinly
5 green onions, sliced thinly
1/4 c maple syrup
1/4 c seasoned rice wine vinegar
1 T sesame oil
2 T soy sauce
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. With the packages closed, crunch the ramen noodles by hand, or with a potato masher to crunch them into small pieces. Set aside.
Heat the oil over medium heat in a skillet. Add the maple syrup, soy sauce, crunched ramen noodles and seasoning packet contents, and sesame seeds. Stir quickly for a few minutes, allowing the sauce to caramelize and coat the noodles. The noodles will still be very crunchy. Remove from heat and spread the noodle mixture out onto the parchment paper and allow to cool.
Slice the cabbage and green onions thinly and place in a large bowl. In a separate small dish, mix the dressing ingredients together. Pour over the cabbage. Add the noodle mixture and toss everything well. Allow to stand for 30 minutes before serving for best flavor! Enjoy!