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.
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.
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.
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).
Sliced almonds: I like the blanched, skinless sliced kind, but skin-on almonds or slivered almonds are fine, too.
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.
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.