Blanched Salad with Bok Choy, Scallion and Sunflower Seeds


4 Cups of water

1 head bok choy, washed and sliced on the diagonal in 1/2- inch cuts

3 large scallions, rinsed and sliced on the diagonal in 1/4- inch cuts

1/4 cup of raw sunflower seeds, rinsed 

ume vinegar

a tiny pinch of sea salt


Bring the water to a boil and add the salt.

Systematically blanch each of the vegetables separately for about 1 minute, scooping them out onto a new clean plate to cool down most quickly.

It’s important to keep bringing the water back to a boil before adding the next vegetable variety but making sure not to actually let the water boil while the vegetables are in the pot.

Start with the least-strong flavor, being the bok choy and then the scallions.

Finally, add the sunflower seeds to newly boiling water, and these can actually boil for a minute.

Allow all to cool before mixing gently in a beautiful salad bowl. Scoop out about 4 to 5 tablespoons of the blanching water into a cup, add a few drops of ume vinegar, cool and then sprinkle over the salad.

I will sometimes use the blanching water as a base for making sweet vegetable soup or for cooking pasta or noodles.

This is a very useful and important water- and fuel-saving method/tip that I have adopted in times of need. Other times, the water can be cooled and used to water plants or vegetables in the house and garden.

* Use a variety of different vegetables each time…. eg; Baby bok choy/carrot/scallion, Napa cabbage/watercress/cauliflower florets, Watercress/red onion/sunflower seeds