Saturday, May 14, 2016

Firefly Crunch Salad


Today I am sharing a salad that was our assigned recipe to bring to a recent gourmet group gathering hosted by friends.  It's a unique and delicious salad which has a 'slaw' style base made with Napa Cabbage and Bok Choy.  


It is a featured salad at a local restaurant in the suburb where our host and hostess live. They had enjoyed it at the restaurant and were able to obtain the recipe. Instead of making it a salad course, they decided it would be a tasty side dish to the grilled fish they would be serving. It is a keeper!

 
There is so much going on in this salad with homemade buttermilk onion rings, wasabi peas, crumbled onion and poppy seed crackers, unsalted roasted soy nuts and sunflower seeds. Dressed with a luscious buttermilk ranch dressing and drizzled with a soy sauce reduction it has so much flavor in every bite. You can see why it is named 'Crunch' salad! 


As I mentioned, our hostess served it as a accompaniment to grilled fish but it could also be served as a main course topped with grilled shrimp, Ahi tuna or grilled chicken, for a delicious light meal on a spring evening.


Speaking of spring, even though there is a lot happening in the garden right now, we are under a frost advisory for early tomorrow morning! We've had more than our share of cool, windy and rainy days it seems. Is it unseasonably cool where you live? 


Firefly Crunch Salad

Printable Recipe

Makes 4 entree servings or 8-10 side servings

Notes:  The buttermilk ranch dressing and thickened soy sauce can be made a day ahead and the onion rings can be made in the morning, which is what I did. The cabbage, boy choy and carrot can also be prepared in the morning and kept in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Just before tossing the salad, the onion rings can be reheated in a hot oven for 5 minutes and tossed with the rest of the onion mix ingredients after reheating.  Warning - it is hard to resist eating these onion rings when you are making them - they are so good! If you're short on time, the canned onion rings can be substituted. 

Fried onion mix (see recipe below)
Soy reduction (see recipe below)
Chili Buttermilk Ranch Dressing (see recipe below)

1 large head Napa cabbage, cleaned and cut into fine shreds as for Cole slaw
2 heads bok choy, cleaned and cut into fine shreds as for Cole slaw (your may also use several heads of baby bok choy, instead)
2 carrots, peeled and shredded on a box grater

Fried onion mix:

1 large onion, sliced 1/8 inch thick
1 cup buttermilk
½ cup flour
Olive oil for frying

1/4 cup wasabi peas
1/4 cup onion and poppy seed crackers, crumbled (I used flatbread style crackers)
1/4 cup unsalted roasted soy nuts
1/8 cup unsalted roasted sunflower seeds

Soak onion in buttermilk for 2 hours. Remove from buttermilk and toss with flour in a large bowl.

Heat 1-2 inches of oil in a medium sauce pan. Add onions in small batches and fry until dark brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a large, slotted spoon, remove from oil and place on a paper-towel lined baking sheet. When finished frying, toss the onion rings with the wasabi peas, onion and poppy seed crackers, soy nuts and sunflower seeds in a very large bowl. When mixed together, transfer back to a paper towel-lined baking sheet until ready to use. May be reheated briefly in a hot oven before serving if made earlier in the day.  (Remove paper toweling before placing in oven.)

Thickened Soy Reduction

1 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon cornstarch

In heavy, medium-size saucepan bring soy sauce and sugar to a boil. In a small bowl combine water and cornstarch and whisk until smooth. Gradually add the cornstarch mixture to the boiling liquid. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook 5 minutes until thickened and soupy. Cool completely. Mixture will become slightly gelatinous as it cools. Whisk before using. Store unused soy reduction in refrigerator. Return to room temperature before serving.

Chili Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

1 cup sour cream
¼ cup buttermilk
¼ cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon ranch dressing mix
1 tablespoon sugar
1 dash Sriracha or to taste (available at most grocery stores and Asian food stores)

Combine all ingredients and whisk until blended. Store in refrigerator.

When ready to serve salad, in a large bowl, combine sliced cabbage, bok choy and shredded carrot.  Toss with chili buttermilk ranch dressing.  Add onion mix to salad and toss. Arrange on serving plates and drizzle with the soy reduction and serve.

Adapted from Firefly Bar and Grill

74 comments:

  1. From start to finish, your salad is gorgeous, Susan. Love the presentation, the ingredients, the vinaigrette AND the crisp onion crunch on top. I'd love it for lunch!

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    1. Thank you, Barbara! I think it would make a perfect luncheon salad too. The crunchies are so delicious :)

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  2. I am very sure that I will love this salad. Bok choy and fried onion make this salad really special and delicious.

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    1. I think you would like it very much, Angie. Thank you!

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  3. a stunning presentation for a delicious and temting salad , my mouth is watering !Have a nice weekend dear Susan, hugs, xo

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    1. You are very kind, Chiara :) Thank you so much! A lovely weekend to you as well and a big hug.

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  4. Well it's Pinned..because it looks and sounds fantastic..

    but your Irises are blowing me away♥I love those smaller treasures..None here anymore..and all my tulip heads were bitten off and abandoned..granted only 6 of the parrots came up..but still..so I gathered them and they are in water..but they were almost gestational:( Oh well..
    I'll admire yours.
    You are way ahead of me w/ a clematis..
    Beauty post.

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    1. :-) I love this time of year when the dwarf irises bloom - the first of all of them. And Blue Bird has just begun. Poor tulips! That has happened here also - the deer the rabbits love them. Thank you very much, Monique! Boys are keeping us busy :)

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  5. There is so much flavor going on in that salad…it sounds great and I bet disappeared quickly. The flowers in your garden are beautiful…I hope they survive the weather. We've had nice weather here in Florida but then again I can't grow your flowers because of the heat of summer.

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    1. Thank you, Karen! Fingers crossed the flowers are okay too, they're pretty hardy so fingers crossed :)

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  6. Your salad is absolutely beautiful and looks delicious. We are having a cool (not cold) snap this weekend. It is a nice respite for the heat and humidity we had last week. Thank for sharing. Hugs!

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    1. Thank you, Bonnie! I think much of the central U.S. is below average this weekend. Hope you're having a good one!

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  7. Love the idea of this salad. A range of colors and textures. This is what makes a salad perfect.

    Velva

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  8. This sounds like a different and very tasty salad! Yep, cold and wet here in Philly too... I feel like I'm still waiting for spring this year. Happy Sunday and enjoy your flowers:@)

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    1. Hope the last half of the month treats us better! Thanks, Lynn!

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  9. oooh, such a pretty salad and such a brilliant idea to add the crunchy onion rings too - a great way to jazz up a salad, which I really need to do of late. Lovely flowers too, I do love this time of year xx

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    1. A great salad and spring flowers and I'm happy too ;). Thank you, Dom!


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  10. Another great salad from you that I need to try. I need to let you know that your Bistro Salad is a regular on our table and guests always rave and ask for the recipe. Pinning this one.

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    1. Wow - thanks for letting me know, Lea Ann. I hope you enjoy this one too!

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    1. As I was saying, just before comment disappeared, I was so eager to pin this that I forgot to return. My apologies!

      This salad sounds like heaven to me. I am hoping for warmer days again so it may be properly enjoyed. Yes, crazy, rotten, spring weather. Up and down like the tide...

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    2. I hate when that happens :). Hope you like the salad as much as we do and fingers crossed for some better weather soon! Thank you, Vee

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    3. I tried it and we love it...definitely a keeper.

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    4. Thank you for letting me know, Vee! So glad you liked it :)

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  12. Susan, I've already printed this recipe out! Can't wait to try this salad. Looks seriously delicious and seriously perfect for a spring meal :) And the flowers in your garden are beautiful!

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    1. I hope you enjoy it, Marcelle! Thank you very much :)

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  13. I love, love, LOVE this post Susan! First you share an absolutely amazing salad that will certainly be prepared in my kitchen, very, very soon. And then you blow me away with the photos of your beautiful flowers in your garden. I love it all! And yes, it is very unseasonably cold here in the Carolina's for the rest of the entire week. But I won't complain, because when it's hot here . . . it's SUPER hot!

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    1. You are so kind, Roz! I wish spring would last longer because I love the first flowers of the season which are so long awaited here. Have a great week!

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  14. What a beautifully photographed post, Susan! The salad looks scrumptious & I thank you for sharing the recipe. Even more enticing though is the combination of your orange tulips beside your purple iris!! You've made me want to run out to the garden center to find some orange tulip bulbs to plant in the fall. GORGEOUS!!

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    1. Thank you, Rett! I love that combination too and the orange tulips always flower at the same time as the dwarf irises. My favorite time of year :)

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  15. Your garden is beautiful, Susan. We are having strange weather this year, warmer than usual but erratic. Friday was 85 degrees, Saturday 57 and raining. The danger of frost is gone so I've planted my tomatoes already. I love the crunchy textures in your salad and am looking forward to trying it.

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    1. Thank you, Cathy! I am envious of you having your tomatoes in the ground :) Probably not at least next week or so here. Hope you enjoy the salad!

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  16. I like the sound of a salad with lots going on, especially when much of it can be prepared ahead of time. I'm always on the lookout for a salad that will work for a Bridge lunch, and this one certainly would!

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    1. This would be great for a brunch lunch - especially if you had a little chicken breast to it. Thank you, H. xo

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  17. A new salad to try, with some interesting ingredients! Looks delicious, Susan...your presentation is beautiful, along with your photography.
    Your flowers are gorgeous, my iris and peonies are on their last blooming legs...the season is so short...but I did get to bring some in before the rains came, this year!
    Have a great week.

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    1. I love finding a new salad too, Marigene, so was excited to share this one :) My peonies should be blooming by Memorial Day, hopefully. I love them too, even though they don't last very long. Thanks so much!

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  18. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! It sounds and looks wonderful. I can't wait to try it!

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    1. Thank you, Tricia! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

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  19. This is prettier than a firefly! Love the flavors in this! But yourr garden? Took my breath away!

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  20. This salad is exquisite! Now you have me crave some fried onion rings! I love them dearly!

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    1. The fried onion rings are the best! Thank you, Katerina!

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  21. Wow, this salad sure is a winner, I love everything about it, from that great name to all the fabulous crunch!

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    1. I think it's a winner too, Sue! The crunch is the best ;)

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  22. Susan this salad look really amazing !!
    xoxo

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  23. wow. what a fun and unique salad! So many lovely elements and textures! Thanks!

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  24. I came over from Vee's after reading about the salad. Looks delicious. Pinned it already.

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    1. Thank you for the visit, Lorrie! Hope you enjoy the salad :)

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  25. Hi Susan, this looks like a salad fit for a king or queen, love the way each ingredient is treated.

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    1. I has a lot going for it, that's for certain. Thank you, Cheri!

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  26. It looks delicious, Susan, the perfect salad! And it's pretty too. Here's to warmer weather!

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    1. Thank you, Pam. It has been a beautiful weekend here!

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  27. Yum! This sounds delicious, Susan. I am now part of a monthly dinner party group and this will be a wonderful salad to share with friends

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    1. How nice that you have a dinner group now, Pat! I hope the group enjoys it. Let me know!

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  28. PS: Your garden is gorgeous! Ours is just beginning to bloom here. We've had a cool, snaowy spring and now it seems to be jumping ahead to summer

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    1. Thank you, Pat :) Our spring was very cool and rainy but thankfully no snow storms like you had!

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  29. This is such a great salad, I especially love the crunch and the flavor that the wasabi peas give it!

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    1. This was the first time I ever had wasabi peas and they were such a great addition! Thank you, Pam :)

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  30. My mouth is WATERING just looking at this DELICIOUS salad! I am such a fan of texture and crunch and this salad appears to have oodles of both - YUM!!! I just pinned it to my "Healthy Recipes" Pinterest board and will be making it very soon - thanks so much for sharing xo

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    1. Thank you, Stephanie! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did :)

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  31. Such a colorful and exciting dish! It really looks delicious!

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  32. Susan, I think we are having this over the weekend. We're participating in the Great Adirondack Garage Sale (several lakes and many miles) so we can nibble on this salad in between transactions. LOL

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    1. Let me know if you liked it, Debbie! Thank you :)

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  33. The crunchy salad sounds delish! I love starting to make salads again for our main dishes. It is still cold here, so we haven't started that yet, but the flowers seem to be loving the cool. Yours look beautiful too!

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    1. We haven't tried it as a main dish yet, but I think it would taste wonderful with grilled chicken breast. Thank you, Jacqueline!

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  34. I know what I want for lunch today :-)
    Amalia
    xo

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    1. It would make a wonderful lunch, Amalia! Thank you!

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  35. what a fun salad and lovely flavors and textures, love the name too

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  36. This salad looks great Susan...I am so intrigued with the dressing...I would love to give this a try...

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