This week for Oahu Fresh’s #quarantinecooking class we’re making another Summer-ready bok choy salad. This sturdy, wholesome veggie is sometimes call Shanghai Cabbage, Pak Choy, or Bok Choi. It’s a member of the large (and delicious) Brassica family of plants, which means it’s related to kale, cabbage, broccoli, collards, and arugula – in fact, sometimes bok choy has a slightly spicy flavor like arugula.
Bok choy a cool veggie because there are two different parts: the sturdy, crunch stalks, and the soft, leafy greens. Both are edible, and both parts are going to be used in this yummy salad that features the crunch of the bok choy in combination with sweet carrots, fluffy cabbage, and a creamy dressing that brings it all together.
This recipe is a refreshed (and refreshing) version of coleslaw, which is often a soggy, colorless pile of green cabbage loaded with mayonnaise but low in flavor and nutrition. This salad features multiple, colorful veggies for flavor and texture, and we’re going to swap out the mayo for a nutrient-dense, whole food dressing made with a peanut butter base.
You can eat this salad as is, or toss it with rice noodles, soba noodles, serve in lettuce cups, use to top some BBQ-type sammich, or roll into rice papers for a funky Summer roll.
Note that you can change the nut butter here depending on what’s in your pantry (and your budget): peanut is usually the most affordable, and you can also choose almond butter, tahini, sunflower butter, cashew butter, or a mix of these. I’ve chosen a ‘natural’ peanut butter, which means there is no added sugar, oil, or salt. If your nut butter has any of these ingredients, no worries – it’s still good to use, you might need to adjust the other sweet/salty ingredients accordingly.
Super Fresh Bok Choi Salad
3 cups thinly sliced Napa cabbage
3 cups thinly sliced bok choi, stalks and greens
1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
1 cup shredded carrots
½ cup very thinly sliced red onion or green onion, optional
½ cup chopped, roasted peanuts
Sesame Peanut Dressing
½ cup natural peanut butter
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 Tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 Tablespoons miso
1 Tablespoon fresh grated ginger ((or 1 teaspoon dried ginger)
1 Tablespoon fresh grated turmeric (or 1 teaspoon dried turmeric)
1 teaspoon honey, coconut sugar, agave, or maple syrup (more as needed)
Water, as needed for texture
- For the Salad: Toss all ingredients together in your biggest salad bowl. Set aside.
- For the Dressing: Whisk all ingredients together until smooth, adding 1 Tablespoon of water at a time as needed to smooth out texture.
- To serve: if eating immediately, pour dressing generously over salad and enjoy. If serving later, keep dressing separate, and the citrus will draw water from the veggies and make the salad watery.
Yield: 5-6 servings of salad