Baby Bok Choy Salad with Sesame Dressing

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Turn a beloved pantry staple, ramen, into Baby Bok Choy Salad for a crunchy, healthy appetizer. Loaded with vegetables, almonds, toasted noodles, and a nutty homemade sesame soy dressing, this makes for a great light lunch or dinner starter.

Baby bok choy salad with sesame dressing in a wooden bowl.

If you haven’t eaten or cooked with bok choy yet, don’t be intimidated. Also known as pak choi, pot choi, or Chinese cabbage, bok choy is a cruciferous vegetable in the mustard family; just like broccoli, turnips, kale, and cabbage. It tastes like a mash-up of cabbage and lettuce, and the baby version is so mild that it’s great raw (as it’s used in this baby boy choy salad). In my opinion, full-size bok choy is best enjoyed cooked in some way. Grilled bok choy and stir-fried bok choy are such a treat.

Ideal room temperature or chilled, this easy salad recipe is a hit at potlucks, as a dinner side dish, or a make-ahead lunch idea. The crunchy texture yet subtle flavor of the bok choy really allows the accessories, including a bold, Asian-style Sesame Dressing, to shine.

And in case you find yourself overstocked on grocery store ramen noodles, this 30-minute salad recipe is the perfect vehicle for the affordable pantry staple.

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for baby bok choy dressing.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Baby bok choy: Usually found sold in big bags at Asian markets. Use mature bok choy (Chinese cabbage) or Napa cabbage instead. Cut and clean bok choy just like you would celery: Trim off and discard the end of the bulb and separate the stalks. Rinse the stalks in cool water, carefully brushing away any sand or dirt on the leaves. Use the bok choy, both the leaves and the stems, right away, or wrap in paper towels and store for up to 1 week in your refrigerator’s crisper drawer.
  • Ramen noodles: Curly, raw ramen noodles, right out of the package. And no, you don’t need the seasoning packet for this recipe. (See optional ideas for how to put those spices to terrific use below in the “Recipe FAQs” section.)
  • Sliced almonds: I like the blanched, skinless sliced kind, but skin-on almonds or slivered almonds are fine, too.
  • Sesame seeds: Raw or toasted; take your pick. To toast sesame seeds, in a medium skillet over medium heat, heat the sesame seeds until golden brown and fragrant, stirring occasionally, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately transfer to a plate to cool completely. Store in an airtight container in the pantry for 6 months or freezer storage bag in the freezer for up to 1 year.

Step by step instructions

  1. To make the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, olive oil, vinegar, sesame seeds, and soy sauce. Allow flavors to blend at room temperature while preparing the rest of the salad.
Sesame dressing in a clear dish.
  1. In a large sauce pan over medium heat, heat olive oil until shimmering. Reduce heat to low. Add ramen noodles and almonds; sauté until toasted, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid scorching.
Ramen noodle pieces being cooked in a frying pan.
  1. In a large bowl, combine baby bok choy, scallions, and crunchy mix. Drizzle salad dressing over the top and toss until uniformly combined. Serve at room temperature.
Baby bok choy salad with sesame dressing in a wooden bowl.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes about 12 cups salad (or more depending on the size of your baby bok choy).
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator. While the salad is still safe to eat for up to 4 days, the noodles will soften over time.
  • Make ahead: Make the salad dressing up to 7 days in advance. The toasted, cooled noodles and nuts can be stored in an airtight container for up to 6 months, or frozen for up to 1 year. Chop the bok choy and scallions the night before and refrigerate separately until serving time.
  • More Asian flavors: Start off your next Asian meal with Crab Rangoon or Chinese Chicken Wings. Try a side dish of quick Brown Fried Rice or a hearty Chinese Chicken Salad with Asian Salad Dressing. For a delicious main dish, try Thai Peanut Chicken and Noodles or a hot bowl of Chicken Ramen.

Recipe FAQs

How can I make this Baby Bok Choy Salad an entree salad?

Just add protein! Top each serving with leftover or rotisserie chicken, grilled shrimp, or drained and rinsed white beans.

What can I do with extra ramen seasoning packets?

Definitely don’t just toss it; there are countless ways to put this savory blend to work. Dust ramen seasoning over popcorn, toss with vegetables before roasting, add a dash (or more) to the bread crumb mixture for breaded chicken, or fold it into perk up a previously-plain rice side dish.

More stellar salads

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Baby bok choy salad in a wooden bowl.

Baby Bok Choy Salad with Sesame Dressing

Turn a beloved pantry staple, ramen, into Baby Bok Choy Salad for a crunchy, healthy appetizer. Loaded with vegetables, almonds, toasted noodles, and a nutty homemade sesame soy dressing, this makes for a great light lunch or dinner starter.
Author: Meggan Hill
4.97 from 65 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 12 servings (1 cup each)
Course Salad
Cuisine American, Asian
Calories 148

Ingredients 

For the sesame dressing:

  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (see note 1)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

For the salad:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 package ramen noodles crumbled, seasoning packet discarded (see note 2)
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds (see note 3)
  • 1 bunch baby bok choy sliced (5 – 6 bulbs, see note 4)
  • 5 scallions chopped

Instructions 

  • To make the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, olive oil, vinegar, sesame seeds, and soy sauce. Allow flavors to blend at room temperature while preparing the rest of the salad.
  • In a large sauce pan over medium heat, heat olive oil until shimmering. Reduce heat to low. Add ramen noodles and almonds; sauté until toasted, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid scorching.
  • In a large bowl, combine baby bok choy, scallions, and crunchy mix. Drizzle salad dressing over the top and toss until uniformly combined. Serve at room temperature.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Sesame seeds: Raw or toasted; take your pick. To toast sesame seeds, in a medium skillet over medium heat, heat the sesame seeds until golden brown and fragrant, stirring occasionally, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately transfer to a plate to cool completely. Store in an airtight container in the pantry for 6 months or freezer storage bag in the freezer for up to 1 year.
  2. Ramen noodles: Dry, raw ramen noodles, right out of the package. And no, you don’t need the seasoning packet for this recipe (but see FAQs for ideas on what to do with it).
  3. Sliced almonds: I like the blanched, skinless sliced kind, but skin-on almonds or slivered almonds are fine, too.
  4. Baby bok choy: Usually found sold in big bags at Asian markets. Use mature bok choy (Chinese cabbage) or Napa cabbage instead. Cut and clean bok choy just like you would celery: Trim off and discard the end of the bulb and separate the stalks. Rinse the stalks in cool water, carefully brushing away any sand or dirt on the leaves. Use the bok choy, both the leaves and the stems, right away, or wrap in paper towels and store for up to 1 week in your refrigerator’s crisper drawer.
  5. Yield: This recipe makes about 12 cups salad (or more depending on the size of your baby bok choy).
  6. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator. While the salad is still safe to eat for up to 4 days, the noodles will soften over time.
  7. Make ahead: Make the salad dressing up to 7 days in advance. The toasted, cooled noodles and nuts can be stored in an airtight container for up to 6 months, or frozen for up to 1 year. Chop the bok choy and scallions the night before and refrigerate separately until serving time.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 148kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 2gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0.001gSodium: 231mgPotassium: 79mgFiber: 1gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 55IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 36mgIron: 1mg
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Executive Chef and CEO at | Website | + posts

Meggan Hill is the Executive Chef and CEO of Culinary Hill, a popular digital publication in the food space. She loves to combine her Midwestern food memories with her culinary school education to create her own delicious take on modern family fare. Millions of readers visit Culinary Hill each month for meticulously-tested recipes as well as skills and tricks for ingredient prep, cooking ahead, menu planning, and entertaining. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the iCUE Culinary Arts program at College of the Canyons.

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Comments

  1. Wow, delicious! Didn’t know ramen could be sautéed to crispyness. Loved the sweetness and flavor, couldnt stop eating it. Added a splash of Shaoxing wine. I subbed Napa cabbage as you suggested and it was a winner.5 stars

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