Thai cobb salad

This was such a good pun, I couldn’t resist*. No offense intended, Tyrus and Robert! It was not until after I concocted the treatment below in 1989 that I ran across a concoction by the same name on the menu of a Thai restaurant in the San Gabriel Valley.

I didn’t order it then, or even see one that someone else had ordered, so I can’t imagine what theirs was like. Afterwards, the Los Angeles Times also produced a recipe by the same name. Neither acknowledged the pun.

But this recipe is my own, which I devised for a light Sunday supper in summer after a matinee at the Pasadena Playhouse. I have forgotten now what play we had seen, but my thoughts during the preparation drifted backward to pleasant experiences at the Brown Derby Restaurants (I had eaten at all three of them).

They are all now closed. Mr. Cobb is no longer around. However, had he employed a Siamese salad chef at the time, I asked myself, what would his namesake salad have tasted like then? The following is my estimate of what he might have served had he owned the Bangkok Brown Beret.

  • 1 head baby bok choy, leaves only, rolled and sliced chiffonade style
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped smoked turkey (or duck)
  • 2 large eggs, hard boiled, chopped
  • 2 ounces tofu, firm, chopped
  • ¼ cup blue cheese, crumbled
  • ¼ cup red onion, grated
  • 1 medium tomato, halved and then wedged
  • 1 tbsp coconut, shredded
  • 1 cup bean sprouts, blanched and then refrigerated
  • ¼ cup baby corn-on-the-cob, cut in ½” slices
  • ¼ cup straw mushrooms
  • ½ cup rice vinegar
  • 1 ounce dark soy sauce
  • ½ tsp ginger root, fresh, grated
  • 3 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 ounce lime juice, fresh
  • 1 tsp fish sauce (salty, so use sparingly)
  • ¼ tsp red Thai chile paste
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • ½ tsp <salt>
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper, fresh ground

Mix all of the ingredients in the first list above and put them into the refrigerator to chill. Mix the second set of ingredients for the dressing, and chill it for half an hour before serving.

Serves 2.