My Mom was always awesome at having people over for dinner (mostly the missionaries from our church). I remember her always making this salad for company, and being the little snot bag I was sometimes, I turned my nose right up at the salad. I thought it was super gross. I mean, I loved "Top Ramen" at the time, but anything with a slight scent of vinegar made me a little queazy, and I knew I didn't want anything to do with it. Sad to say, I hadn't tried the salad since. Even when I saw this salad on the table at a potluck dinner or barbecue, I skipped right over it. Little did I know until quite recently, that I was making a pretty grave mistake skipping over such a gem of a dish...
I saw this delicious salad in my Instagram feed from the oh-so-darling Gimme Some Oven, and I fell in love with her amazing photos. However, that salad looked all-too-familiar, and all the memories of my Mom's giant tupperware full of this salad shaking around in the kitchen came right back into mind (even the smell - strange how memories work sometimes). Instead of turning my nose at even the idea of making it, I decided to check through the ingredient list. The ingredients were all so beautifully simple. Some were sweet, some had a little crunch, and some even had a little toast in the oven to boost the flavor. Even though I spied a little vinegar in the ingredients for the vinaigrette, I knew we'd all survive. I mean, good heavens, it's just vinegar.
Did you know you can toast up ramen noodles? This recipe is genius! You toast up the noodles with the almonds, and it makes a topping you will want to put on any and every salad you make from here on out! I also made the switch from regular cole slaw veggie mix, to broccoli slaw. It adds more of a strong flavor where the light cabbage might have lacked, but I think it worked out beautifully. I also lessened the amount of vinegar in the dressing. We didn't use the whole dressing on the salad, I let everyone decide how much they wanted per serving, and I think that worked out great! There are so many differences in texture in this dish, there's guaranteed to be something in it for everyone!
So in closing, I'd like to say a huge Sorry Momma for being the extremely picky eater I used to be. This salad is the bomb. Unfortunately, my son is following right in my picky footsteps... :)
Crunchy Asian Ramen Noodle Salad
makes 8-10 servings
1 (16oz) bag of coleslaw mix (we used bacon slaw)
2 (3oz) packages of Ramen Noodles, crumbled.
1 C shelled edamame
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced
1 mango, peeled, pitted, and diced
1/2 C almonds, sliced
1/2 C green onions, thinly sliced
Asian honey vinaigrette (ingredients & recipe below)
Asian Honey Vinaigrette:
2/3 C vegetable oil
1/3 C honey
1/2 C rice wine vinegar
2 1/2 t soy sauce
1/4 t sesame oil
pinch of salt and black pepper
1. To make the salad: Heat oven to 425 degrees. On a cookie sheet, spread a layer of crumbled ramen noodles and sliced almonds in one layer. Bake for 5 minutes, stir carefully, then bake for another minute or two until they're all toasty. Remove from baking sheet and dump into a bowl to cool.
2. In a large bowl, add all salad ingredients, and toss to combine (including toasted ingredients).
3. To make the vinaigrette: In a salad dressing container (or tupperware), add all ingredients and then shake to combine. Drizzle over prepared salad. Serve immediately!
Recipe adapted from: Gimme Some Oven