thai baby bok choy salad with salmon recipe from cooking with cocktail rings

Thai Baby Bok Choy Salad with Salmon

Most people think of bok choy as something added to a stir fry or sautéed as a side. I only recently tried baby bok choy as a salad base, and I loved the texture that it added - similar to celery but less tough. I had a similar salad from Night + Market at an event recently and was disappointed to find that it wasn't on their regular menu so I knew I would have to recreate it on my own! Sliced pieces of crunchy bok choy are tossed in the spicy and savory Thai dressing and topped with sweet candied peanuts for a refreshing salad. The delicate flavors of the crisp and flakey seared salmon are complemented by the sweet and spicy Thai vinaigrette and enhanced by the funky flavor of the fish sauce. 



Thai dressing: 

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 small Thai chilies, chopped 

1 teaspoon grated ginger 

¼ cup grapeseed oil

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil 

1 teaspoon soy sauce 


For the candied peanuts: 

¼ cup cane sugar

½ cup roasted peanuts, unsalted

¼ teaspoon cayenne 

¼ teaspoon kosher salt 


For the salmon: 

1 pound salmon, cut into 4 filets 

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt, to taste 

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste 


For the salad: 

8 large heads baby bok choy, sliced 

2 cups thinly sliced purple cabbage

¼ cup thinly sliced red onion 

¼ cup thinly sliced green onion

3 tablespoons chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons chopped mint

2 tablespoons chopped Thai basil (or regular basil)

1 teaspoon white sesame seeds 



Thai dressing: 

In a small mixing bowl whisk together the garlic, Thai chilies, ginger, grapeseed oil, rice wine vinegar, fish sauce, sesame oil and soy sauce until it emulsifies. Set aside. The dressing can be made up to two days ahead of time and whisk again before using. 


For the candied peanuts:

Heat a medium non-stick skillet over medium heat, add the sugar and cook the sugar until it begins to melt, about 10 minutes. Stir constantly until the sugar has completely melted, about an additional 5 minutes. Add the peanuts and toss to coat them in the sugar then season with the cayenne and salt. Turn out on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and let cool completely. Once cool, chop the peanuts. They can be made up to a week ahead of time and kept in an airtight container.


For the salmon: 

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Season the salmon with salt and pepper then add the salmon fillets skin-side-down to the pan. Cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Flip the salmon so it is skin side up and continue to cook until just cooked through, about an additional 3 minutes. Remove the salmon filets from the pan and set aside.  


For the salad: 

Add the bok choy, cabbage, onion, green onion, cilantro, mint and basil to a large mixing bowl. Toss to combine then add the dressing and toss to combine. 


For serving: 

Divide the salad among serving bowls and top with a handful of the candied peanuts, sesame seeds, and a filet of salmon.


Serves 4. 



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