This is a good main course salad, a side dish, a picnic dish or buffet offering. Adding protein of any kind bumps up the nutrient quotient and makes a more substantial meal. You can serve it warm or at room temperature. In the Autumn, I like this with apples or pears. To toast sesame seeds put in a small skillet over low heat, stirring until just starting to turn a darker shade and becoming fragrant. Remove from heat.

1/4 c broth, stock, or water
2 T soy sauce
3 T vegetable oil
2 T hoisin sauce; or 2 T BBQ sauce with a teaspoon of molasses and a pinch of Chinese 5 Spice Powder
2 – 3 garlic cloves, minced
1 T peeled, minced fresh gingerroot
2 t dark (toasted) sesame oil
1 t sugar or agave, or other sweetener
1 t red pepper flakes, or to taste

8 oz (2 c or so) pasta; long noodles broken into pieces
1 T toasted sesame seeds
2 c shredded bok choi or napa cabbage
3 – 4 plums, pitted and sliced or coarsely chopped
4 green onions or a small bunch of chives, sliced
2 c or so protein, if using
fresh chopped herb–cilantro, basil, parsley
roasted, chopped peanuts, for garnish, optional

1. Make dressing. Combine all ingredients in a blender and whizz for at least a minute. Set aside.

2. Cook pasta as per instructions on box or your personal preference. Toast sesame seeds as per headnote.

3. Add choi, plums, green onions, and protein, if using, in a serving bowl. Add about half of the dressing and stir to combine.

4. Drain pasta. Add to bowl. Stir to combine with the dressing and other ingredients. Add more of the dressing if you like. Stir in chopped herbs. Garnish with peanuts, if using.