BOK CHOY SALAD: Delicious Warm Or Cold!

My friend, Lynne, was telling me about the food served at a recent gathering. Somewhere in the middle of her list she mentioned ‘warm bok choy salad’. I, actually, didn’t hear anything else after that – my mind became focused on this intriguing-sounding dish. Warm salad? Bok choy? Hmmm.

Like a detective interrogating a prime suspect, I grilled her for details. What was in it? Anything else? How did she make it? My friend was becoming increasingly nervous – possibly fearing I would soon be reading her Miranda Rights. So, I let it go… and googled it.

As one would expect, there were multiple Warm Bok Choy Salad recipes. I read several, and came up with my own version. Feel free to change my recipe to suit yourself.

WARM BOK CHOY SALAD – serves 2

  • 12 oz / 340g bok choy
  • 3 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 3/4 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup carrots, shredded
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1.5 oz / 43g Feta cheese, crumbled
  • 3 oz / 85g Mandarin oranges
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds

Slice off and discard bottom of bok choy. Wash stems and chop into bite-sized pieces.

Heat together the vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and honey. (You can use the serving bowl, if it’s microwave-proof.)

Place bok choy in a steamer basket but don’t put basket in the pan yet. Add about 1/2″ (2 cm) to the pan and bring to boil. Then place the steamer basket in pan, cover with a lid, and steam for about 1-2 minutes. (If you place the basket in before the water is boiling, you run the risk of over-steaming.)

Immediately remove basket from pan and empty bok choy into bowl with dressing. Stir in remaining ingredients and serve.

TOFU NOODLE SATAY: Fast & Easy!

Tofu Noodle Satay is one of those fast and easy meals that even picky kids like. Use this recipe as a base, but go ahead and substitute as you prefer. Add a red pepper or asparagus, make it chunky peanut butter – the sky’s the limit. You can even sneak in some finely chopped spinach! (The kids will never know.)

Queen of Freeze Note: The satay sauce freezes well so, if you like it, next time double or more the recipe. Then, go ahead and freeze the extra in portion sized containers for future use.

TOFU NOODLE SATAY – makes about 2 large servings

  • 1/2 cup (82 grams / 3 oz) creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup (75 ml / 2.5 oz) water
  • 1/3 cup (75 ml / 2.5 oz) soy sauce
  • 3 T lime juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1 T ginger, fresh, grated
  • 1 T sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 21-28 oz (593-794 grams) extra-firm tofu block
  • 1.25 cups (85 grams / 3 oz) bite-sized broccoli pieces
  • Vegetable oil for frying tofu
  • 6 oz (174 g) uncooked spaghetti noodles
  • 1/3 cup (40 g) roasted peanuts (I prefer spicy lime flavored)

Sandwich the tofu between between two plates to squeeze out excess water. To speed up the process, set something weighty (such as a can) on top to add pressure. Pour off drained water from time to time.

Into a blender, combine the peanut butter, water, soy sauce, lime juice, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes. Whirl on low until blended. Pour into a small saucepan and heat over medium/low, just to boil. Turn off heat, and let sauce set while preparing the rest of the recipe.

Turn on oven to 200° F (93° C) – so the cooked tofu will be able to stay warm until ready to use.

Steam the broccoli pieces for 3 minutes only. They will go from a dark green to a bright green. Immediately remove the steamer basket from the pot to stop the cooking. (You don’t want mushy broccoli.)

Bring about 2 quarts of water to cook the pasta to a full boil in a Dutch oven while you prepare the tofu.

Slice the drained tofu into 5/8″ (1.5 cm) slabs. Cut these into smaller pieces – I prefer 1.5″ x 1.5″ (3.5 cm x 3.5cm).

Heat vegetable oil in a nonstick skillet over medium/high heat. When oil is shimmering, add as many tofu pieces as will fit. If you have a splatter guard, use it! As soon as the bottoms are browned, flip and cook the other side. Don’t overcook or the tofu will become rubbery.

Place the cooked tofu pieces on a paper towel lined baking sheet and put in the 200° F (93° C) oven to keep warm.

When the water in the Dutch oven is at a full boil, add in the spaghetti noodles and cook until done. Drain in a sieve, but don’t rinse or shake.

Into to now empty Dutch oven, pour in the satay sauce and heat over low. When warmed, add in the broccoli, peanuts, and pasta. Stir to mix. Then add in the tofu and gently combine (the tofu will break apart if you’re over-zealous. Serve.