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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 vinaigrette, 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.

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step by step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Recipe FAQs
  6. Baby Bok Choy Salad with Sesame Dressing Recipe

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.

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.

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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.
4.97 from 59 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

    1. Hi Barb, I love this salad the way it is, but you can always adjust the amounts to your preference! – Meggan

  2. We liked this a lot! I used palm sugar about 1 T since it’s paleo friendly. It had the perfect level of sweetness. I used coconut amines instead of soy. I will make this salad again! Thank you for the recipe.5 stars

  3. I forgot I didn’t have any sliced almonds, so I just used the toasted ramen. I also substituted rice wine vinegar for the red wine vinegar in the dressing because that’s what I had in the cupboard. I used red onion instead of scallions because that’s what I had on hand. Super delicious salad! Thank you so much for posting this. It was a great way to enjoy fresh bok choy.5 stars

  4. I was looking for something to do with three heads of petite baby bok choi, and came upon this recipe. I used half a package of noodles, three scallions, and adjusted the dressing for a smaller portion.

    What a super great easy recipe!

    I’m having it again tonite, and I’m using what leftover dressing I had (it won’t be enough – it IS drinkable!). This salad is definitely a keeper, and one I’ll look forward to bringing to ANY potluck I attend. I used to make a similar salad, with the sauteed ramen noodles, and when I take to a picnic or other event, I’ll definitely prepare the noodles & almonds in advance, and add that with the dressing just before serving. I like that it’s different than the usual salad, and with no mayo, will be safe to leave out for awhile.

    YUM!5 stars

  5. I did it exactly the first time– great, and then went to the store on Monday and there was no bokchoy.

    So I used Napa cabbage, much bigger and cheaper!
    I have used both pistachios and toasted almonds.
    This is a great way to get kids to eat veggies. I can put anything in the ‘bok choy” part– grated carrots, broccoli– and they’ll eat it because the vinaigrette is so good. I really increased the sesame oil because I loved the taste, went with rice vinegar as that’s all I had, and used light brown sugar (and not much). It was so good. The fried ramen noodles are just wonderful texture.5 stars

  6. The recipe is lovely. I added rice wine vinegar instead of red, added a smidge of sesame oil to the dressing recipe. Added pears to the salad with cilantro and mint, and did veggie dumplings on the side5 stars

    1. I added just a bit of sesame oil too! A little bit adds a whole lot of flavor, and really enhances the dressing.5 stars

  7. This was delicious! I didn’t have any sesame seeds on hand, so I added just under 1 tsp of sesame oil into the dressing and turned out well and tasted great.5 stars

  8. I really was interested in your recipe. However, I was not able to get to the recipe. All the ads that continued to come up on the site, plus your video, kept interfering with me getting to the recipe at the end of this segment. I would scroll down and something would pop up. That would put me right back at the beginning of this recipe. I must have repeated that procedure for at least 3 min. Trying to get down to the recipe or even reading what you had to say about it. So it is hard to rate something when you can not get to it. I looked for a place where I could email your Institute to let you know. I am giving you a four with out making your salad. Hoping that it deserves it.

    1. Hi Karen, are you using the Firefox browser by any chance? There is some kind of glitch that happens with that, it has nothing to do with the ads or the videos, just that browser is conflicting with the social sharing buttons on my site. You scroll down and it pops you back up to the top. I might have to disable those buttons so that doesn’t keep happening. I’m really sorry about that. Thanks for letting me know! -Meggan

  9. I don’t want your readers to make the mistake I did. The ramen noodles required are the ones which are instant- they’re actually par-boiled. Once when we ran out, my husband ran to the store & brought back regular, RAW ramen. It was like using uncooked spaghetti- BIG difference!! I practically shredded my hands trying to break it, & chewing it was dangerous! The other thing I wanted to mention, is a variation I tried from another recipe: instead of the brown sugar, use the juice of 1 orange- the orange doesn’t dominate, & we actually prefer this variation.4 stars

    1. Raw noodles are uncooked and ready to eat as is. They are not what you want to use! You actually DO need to use the hard ones that come in a little block, which you would normally boil for a minute to soften,

      The key to using the hard ones without shredding your hands is to put the block into a plastic bag and use a mallet or hammer or the hard handle of some utensil to beat the heck out of them. It only takes a few minutes, but you end up with a whole bunch of crushed noodles which brown nicely with the almonds.

      It sounds like your way worked out fine, but try the hard crunchy ones, and I think you’ll like this recipe even more!5 stars

  10. Oh, my goodness, this is delicious! The second time I made it, I roasted salmon with teriyaki sauce on it to top the salad; and I included raspberries along with little gem lettuce, the baby bok choy and matchstick carrots. SO GOOD! I don’t keep ramen noodles on hand (try to keep to paleo/keto as much as possible) but any kind of toasted nuts bring this salad to a new level.. Thank you so much for this excellent idea! I used to roast baby bok choy but it’s fabulous raw in this salad!5 stars

    1. We’ve topped ours with salmon as well, makes a great dinner. My husband can’t get by with no protein. When we’re able to get it, we also top with seared tuna, and that is such a treat!!

  11. I decided to add some fresh bok choi to my lettuce and tomato salad. I found this recipe and made the dressing–and everyone thought it was terrific. Thank you.5 stars

  12. We received baby bok choy in our local produce bag this week. I was determined not to saute it. This recipe was perfect. A wonderful update of the standard Asian cabbage salad I have been making for years. We had sugar snap peas in the bag so I blanched them and added them to the salad, as well as sliced tangerine pieces. We topped the salad with grilled chicken. Great dinner for a warm evening!5 stars

  13. Made this tonight. Served with grilled chicken breast. It was outstanding! Will definitely be making this again!

  14. Hi! I got this recipe (or a slightly different itteration of it years ago – around 1995 – from an old co-worker. She would make it for pot-luck luncheons and it was gone in seconds! The difference between hers and yours is that with hers you can eliminate the oil to fry the ramen noodles and almonds and also you don’t have to worry about toasting the sesame seeds – you do it all in one step. Simply place the crushed ramen noodles, almonds and sesame seeds on a rimmed cookie sheet and bake at 350 and stir every 5 to 10 minutes until everything is toasted. I’ve also substituted chinese cabbage for the bok choy and it’s still wonderful. Thanks for the recipe – I hadn’t thought about this for a long time until I found your website and started looking around!5 stars

    1. Hi Jane, I love this idea. The oil doesn’t really add anything to the flavor, of course, so may as well just try-toast it all in the oven. I’ll definitely make it that way so I feel like I can speak to it personally, and then update the post with all of this info (and probably the recipe too – people who are eating bok choy salad likely won’t miss the oil!). Thank you so much for the idea, and I love your story. Wonderful stuff. Take care! -Meggan

  15. loved the dressing! changed out the ramen noodles for crunchy chow mien noodles and added mandarins. great recipe!5 stars

  16. *perfect. Sorry for the typos.
     
    I also wanted to add that never in my life have I left a comment on a recipe except for this one. :)

  17. I have made this at least every other week since I ran across it several months ago. I do add a bit of toasted sesame oil to the dressing, but it definitely is prefect the way it’s written. Thank you so much for posting this recipe. It’s addixtive.5 stars

    1. You can tell I make this on a regular basis as this is my 3rd comment! I always use peanut oil in the dressing. You can’t taste the peanut flavor once the salad is complete, but it does add a more Asian edge, if you want an Asian salad. This recipe is so amazing; you can add and subtract whatever you want, and it always comes out amazing. Guests & potluck friends always ask for the recipe. I anticipate this and always have recipe cards to hand out.

    1. Hi Kathy! I would use another vinegar, perhaps apple cider vinegar. I think regular white vinegar would not be as flavorful, but you might be able to play around with the other ingredients to make it work if that’s what you have. I hope this is helpful! Sorry for the delay in my response.

    2. Hi Kathy! I would use another vinegar, perhaps apple cider vinegar. I think regular white vinegar would not be as flavorful, but you might be able to play around with the other ingredients to make it work if that’s what you have. I hope this is helpful! Sorry for the delay in my response.

  18. This was absolutely delicious .  I did not have sesame seeds so I substituted sesame oil for the olive oil and cut the sugar in half.  We loved it.5 stars

    1. Thank you so much Caroline!! This makes my day. I’ve tried it with less sugar as well and it’s really so good either way. Thanks again and take care! Thank you!

  19. Hi
    Thanks for your post!  I appreciate the dressing recipe as I usually make this with premade Sesame dressing from Costco.  I usually add some breaded chicken ( cut up in cubes) to this recipe when I serve it, for those who desire some added protein;)5 stars

    1. Hi Clera, the breaded chicken sounds AWESOME. Protein yes, and also for anyone who wants some awesome in their salad. :) I will look for the Costco dressing. It’s nice to have something in the pantry once in a while! Thanks for your comment.

    1. Hi Bev, you could lemon juice. I haven’t tested it myself, but I think it would taste good (I use it in dressings a lot). The acid in it will be balanced out by the sweetness in the brown sugar (and there isn’t much vinegar/lemon juice required, anyway). It’s worth a shot if you want to try! Good luck.

  20. Could just be the formatting in my device but the recipes says:
    2 tablespoons cup red wine vinegative

    Does that mean 2 Tablespoons + cup? That would explain the sugar but it seems that ft?

    1. Hey Jill, that is just a typo. So sorry about that! It should be 2 Tablespoons of red wine vinegar. Basically, the original recipe had twice as much recipe (so it was 1/4 cup of the red wine vinegar) but that would leave the salad SWIMMING in dressing. It was entirely unnecessary. So, I halved the dressing. It is definitely 1/4 cup sugar and olive oil and then 2 T. red wine vinegar. Sorry about that and thanks for pointing it out. I should also say that you can make the dressing however you like! :)

  21. We love baby bok choy and the stores in our neighborhood have really fresh ones in this week. I know we’ll love this salad. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe.

  22. Thanks for mentioning gluten-free options for those out there who may be new at it. You solved my “What’s for dinner?” dilemma today. Going to make some Asian chicken with orange-sesame sauce served over rice to go with your yummy salad. You are simply amazing! XO5 stars

    1. I don’t normally talk about GF options, but I should really cater to my rabid fan base. :) JUST KIDDING! Your orange-sesame sauce sounds just divine. :) Happy Thursday Dave!

  23. I love salads so much. I like mixing with fruits (mango and strawberry) and always eat with a protein and a carb. I usually choose rice or potatoes and fish or chicken meat. 

    1. Sounds like I’d love to have dinner at your place, ha ha! :) Thanks for stopping by!

  24. I’ve never made bok choy  before but this looks incredible! And the dressing sounds fabulous! Now that I am working from home, I think I’ll have to make it for myself to “take” to lunch :)

  25. Meggan- this was SO GOOD!!!!
    I made it for dinner tonight (since I was home later and my boys ate earlier) ;) and it was so delcious! I’ll definitely be making it again!! Yum! Reminds me of something I could only get in a restaurant, and yet it’s so simple!5 stars

    1. Sara, THANK YOU! Your comments mean a lot, really. I am so happy you enjoyed it. I agree with you completely – easiest thing in the world to make, but tastes as good as something you’d get in a restaurant. :) Thank you for trying it and for letting me know you did!

  26. I love baby bok choy but don’t buy it enough. This recipe looks amazing and so easy! Adding it to my repertoire now!

    5 stars

  27. Hi, Meggan!

    Thank you for finding me on G+. This salad looks delicious and I’m looking forward to exploring your blog. All the best!5 stars

    1. Hi Susan! I found you in the FBLA G+ group which I just joined. I hope to meet you at a future event! In the meantime, I am looking forward to diving in to your blog. I see you visit your farmer’s market each week, I love doing that too! It’s one of the best parts about living in SoCal. The Baby Bok Choy featured in this salad is from Underwood Farms in Moorpark. How great is it that I can say what farm my vegetables are from, and that I’ve actually visited the farm itself? :) Thanks for stopping by!

  28. This salad looks SO healthy and delicious and I love the sesame dressing! Great recipe and can’t wait to try this myself :) Love your blog and so glad to be your newest follower!

  29. I am always looking for new ways to eat bok choy. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I’ll be trying it soon.