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 SeriousEats.com, 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 most people (though it does present itself in many different forms), a staple of culture in Japan, the savior of many a starving college student … Ramen.

And while Chef Chang is totally right about that quote above, he still totally recognizes the merits of uncooked instant ramen noodles (he used to chow down on the block right out of the package when he was a kid).  And although I never ate raw instant noodles as I was a kid (I loved the soup too much), I have seen people use them in interesting ways raw, like what I tried for the first time tonight – making a “raw” ramen noodle salad.

Nick found this recipe online for me for a “Ramen Cabbage Salad” on AllRecipes.com, 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 add a nice flavor and texture, but you can really mix up what kind you use (we used sliced almonds), and I omitted the sugar completely.

I sliced up the cabbage (I realized later that I needed to chop it a bit more so I went back and did that later – oops),

I got my ramen ready – after watching the “Mind of a Chef” show on ramen, Nick and I had such a craving for it we bought a box at Costco the other day even though it’s not that good for us (eh, it’s just a little treat; we’ll spread out the stash)!  But that meant we only had beef and chicken.  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 actually used some rice wine vinegar and white wine vinegar instead – the rice wine vinegar is a bit sweeter, and I thought the white wine vinegar would add a bit more complexity to the flavor than just plain white vinegar.  I also only put 1/2 a cup of oil for the whole batch – 3/4 of that (6 Tbsp) olive oil, 1/4 of it (2 Tbsp) sesame, for more flavor – I didn’t double that part of the recipe since I had read a few reviews stating that there was too much oil in it.  But the true awesomeness of flavor was gonna come from the magical seasoning packets.

I whisked it all together, and then onto the cabbage it went (I wanted to mix the dressing with the cabbage before adding the noodles – I was afraid the noodles would get soggy, and I wanted the cabbage to wilt a bit before putting even more stuff in the bowl).

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.

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 AllRecipes.com
Top Ramen Variety Pack 48ct (24-3oz Beef-24-3oz Chicken)

Comments
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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