Friday, October 12, 2012

Baby bok choy salad

Baby bok choy is common in Japan (but only the young leaves; we never see the sturdier ones in Japan) but they're usually eaten cooked. A nice green vegetable that I never paid much attention to - until I tried it raw in a salad at a dinner with friends - and since then, it's basically been my go-to salad green. 

Actually, a lot of greens eaten raw in many countries are cooked in Japan. Raw spinach is not so common there, and my parents were quite shocked when they heard that in Russia we eat napa cabbage raw. I think I still prefer napa cabbage cooked (especially the thick stems) but bok choy I now prefer raw. 

3 baby bok choy - choose tender ones, not the ones on the verge of turning into tough monsters
3 teaspoons sesame seed oil
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar (any kind)
1 teaspoon white vinegar (you can use any kind, as long as it's white. No Balsamic. God forbid.)
2 teaspoons sesame seeds 

First, cut them the bok choy half, starting from the stem. 

Again cutting from the stem, cut them into wedges, This should make it easier to cut into wedges without everything falling apart. If they do, it's no big deal - I cut them into wedges chiefly for the looks of it. 

You can't say this isn't pretty. 

In a small bowl, combine the dressing ingredients. If your sesame seeds aren't toasted, you can do that by putting them in a small frying pan and tossing them over high heat for half a minute or until you start to smell them. (Do not let them turn brown.)

Toss the bok choy with the dressing in a large bowl, and serve immediately. Do not toss the salad ahead of time - it will make the lovely green wilt and they will not taste as luscious. 

Serves two. 

You can also make loads of this dressing and keep it in the fridge in a jar. I also use it on normal salad, tomatoes, whatever I have lying around. 

You can also use a mix of white and black sesame seeds, or black. 

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