Made a Ramen Salad (346/366)

“If you cannot cook instant ramen, something is wrong with you.”
~ David Chang

A little while ago, I got into an awesome foodie site called, and just the other day Nick and I watched the first few episodes of a new PBS series called “The Mind of a Chef” – two really great finds on food, and something they both highlighted was a common dish to many people, a staple of culture in Japan, the savior of many a starving college student … Ramen.

And while Chef Chang is totally right in that quote above, he still recognizes the merits of uncooked instant ramen noodles – he actually used to chomp on the block straight from the package when he was a kid.  And although I never ate raw instant noodles when I was younger, I have seen people use them “raw” in interesting ways, like what I tried for the first time tonight – making a ramen noodle salad.

Nick found this recipe for a “Ramen Cabbage Salad” on, and it was a great, simple recipe.  All you really need besides a package of ramen is a head of cabbage and some oil – the nuts in the recipe add a nice flavor and texture, but you can just use whatever’s around (we used sliced almonds), and I omitted the sugar completely.

I sliced and chopped up the cabbage,

After watching the “Mind of a Chef” show on ramen, Nick and I had such a craving for it we bought a mixed box at Costco the other day (a guilty pleasure)!  But that meant we only had Beef and Chicken flavors.  Since the recipe I was following only calls for half a head of cabbage to a ramen package, I decided to do a whole head of cabbage (it’s Tuesday night!  The girls are over!) and use two packages.  That meant I got to mix the beef and chicken flavors (which come on, is basically the same as the “oriental” seasoning packet).  I crushed up the noodles, leaving them in somewhat medium-sized chunks.

Then I mixed the oil and vinegar.  The recipe called for plain white vinegar, but I used some rice wine vinegar and white wine vinegar instead – I thought these two mixed might give it a nicer flavor.  I also only put 1/2 a cup of oil for the whole batch – 3/4 of that olive oil, 1/4 of it sesame – I read a few reviews stating that there was too much oil in the dressing, so I didn’t double that part of the recipe.  But the true awesomeness of flavor was gonna come from those magical seasoning packets.

I whisked it all together, and then onto the cabbage it went.

After mixing the dressing and the cabbage, on went the noodles.  I realized I probably didn’t need to keep them in as big a chunks as I had before, so I crushed them a bit more before adding them.

A bit of a toss, and it was looking pretty good.

I added the sliced almonds, and yum!  My first ramen salad.

This was so easy, and I really liked the flavors and textures.  I think I might make this for the next pot luck I’m invited to.  It’s a little different than just a “plain” garden salad and I really like the crunch of the ramen and sweet and savory blend of the rice wine vinegar and ramen packets, and the tang of the white wine vinegar.  Great stuff!

*Update* A few of the reviewers from the recipe I based this on said the salad is better after sitting overnight in the fridge.  I was worried the noodles would get waterlogged so I had made it right before we ate.  I had the leftovers the next day and this salad really is even better after it gets to marinate for a night.  The noodles were also surprisingly not soggy – they may have been if I had used too much liquid in the dressing and/or left it for a lot longer since the cabbage does release water over time.

Related Links:
Ramen Cabbage Salad on
Top Ramen Variety Pack 48ct (24-3oz Beef-24-3oz Chicken)

One Response to “Made a Ramen Salad (346/366)”
  1. Ying says:

    I must admit that I used to crunch down on the raw noodles right out of the package when I was younger too! (Wonder how this would taste with kim chee???)

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