Okay, so there was this one time (alright, many times) when my Mom would have the missionaries over for dinner. It was always a big deal, and she'd set the table hours and hours before they even arrived. She'd set up everything perfectly, and was always the perfect hostess, and made really yummy food for them to eat.
As a little girl, I wasn't always the most gracious eater, and I can remember a couple times when she made what I called "Top Ramen Salad" for them to eat. I hated the salad. I thought it stunk, was soaked in a nasty dressing that smelled like vinegar to high heaven, and I just couldn't believe she would even think of serving it to the missionaries. They were always super nice, and polished their plate. So polite of them, I thought. I was kind of a little brat, aight? Heck, I'm surprised my Mom didn't smack me up the side of the head more often. Anyways, it wasn't until recently when I discovered just why she was so in love with this salad.
It's actually the bomb.
I made it for my family after a long Sunday at crazy town, and it completely hit the spot. My husband and I both agreed that the toasted Ramen and toasted almonds really elevate this dish, and make it as addicting as it is.
I think I'm also really in love with how colorful it is. I mean, look at those bright vibrant purples and oranges from the cabbage and carrots! Another plus - the base of this dish, cabbage, is super-cheap. Really, they basically just hand them out at the supermarket.
I chose to go with matchsticks because after all the chopping of the cabbage, I knew the last thing I'd want to do was peel and chop some carrots. They're the perfect size, and add the best little sweet crunch to the salad.
To make my life easier, when I know I'll need some cooked chicken for dinner, and don't have any left over from a previous meal, I throw a couple whole frozen chicken breasts and about a cup of chicken broth/stock in our mini crock pot for a couple hours on high, or a few hours on low. It's cooked, done, and required zero effort to get to shredded perfection. And that's exactly what you need for a salad like this! Everything in this salad complements each other. I've heard it's one of the salad
So if you're looking for a light & colorful salad for dinner (or even to take for lunch for a few days at work) THIS, my friends. THIS. :)
Ramen Noodle Oriental Chicken Salad
makes 5 servings
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded/chopped
2 (3 oz) packages dry ramen, seasoning packets discarded
3/4 C sliced almonds
3 C shredded green cabbage
2 C shredded purple cabbage
3/4 C matchstick carrots
4 green onions, sliced
2 T toasted sesame seeds
1/2 C canola oil
1/4 C apple cider vinegar
1/2 C granulated sugar
1 1/2 T soy sauce
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
1/4 t garlic powder
1/4 t onion powder
1/4 t dried ginger
salt to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Smash ramen noodles (while still in the bag with a rolling pin or meat tenderizer) into small pieces, and place on a baking sheet with almonds. Spread into an even layer, and bake in oven for 8 minutes. Set aside while making dressing.
2. To make the dressing whisk together all the dressing ingredients until well blended (it will separate again, but make sure it's at least stirred together the best you can).
3. In a large bowl, add green & purple cabbage, carrots, green onions, chicken, toasted ramen and almonds, and sesame seeds. Drizzle dressing over the top and toss evenly to coat (you may not need all the dressing - we used about half. So dress according to your taste). Serve right away for the crunchiest version of the salad.
recipe adapted from: Cooking Classy