When I was younger (let's just say back in the 80s) it seemed like someone always brought a Ramen Noodle Salad to parties. I tried it a few times but was never really wowed by it. I mean, it's raw, cheap, crunchy ramen noodles mixed with some veggies and a sweet dressing. I wonder who first created this recipe and thought it was a good idea to mix these noodles with salad? Hmm, I wonder if it was an accident and the noodles fell in to the bowl. Now I'm really interested in tracing this recipe back to its origins! Does anyone know?
I made the original Ramen Noodle Salad once about 10 years ago and failed miserably... I can't believe I'm even admitting that. I mixed the dressing the night before I planned on taking it to a party which made everything wilt horribly. I didn't even discover my mistake until 25 minutes before we were leaving for the party so I ended up having to pick up a dessert at the last minute so I wouldn't show up empty handed. At least I can blame it on the fact that I had no interest in cooking at all 10 years ago and luckily I now know better.
Fast forward to 10 years later when I'm talking to Jon about what to make for dinner and he said "how about that Ramen noodle salad?" I guess he forgot that we never actually ate it, but for some reason he was craving it.
I didn't feel like running back to the supermarket so decided to wing it using ingredients I already had on hand. I think the traditional recipe calls for Napa cabbage. I already had romaine lettuce so used that. I also added some veggies not in the traditional recipe, and I pulled together a dressing based on some things I have made in the past.
The end result - a light, fresh salad with great texture from the crunchy veggies and noodles. I'll definitely make this modernized version again! I served it with grilled chicken that had been marinated in a soy/sesame/garlic/sriracha mixture.
Modernized Ramen Noodle Salad
- 1.5 heads romaine, chopped
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1/2 red pepper
- 1/2 green pepper
- 1/4 cucumber
- 1/2 c soybeans, cooked and chilled
- 1 package crunchy ramen noodles, crumbled (not cooked)
For the dressing
- 2/3 c vegetable oil
- 2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 2 tsp granulated sugar
- Mix all ingredients for the dressing and chill. Shake well before serving.
- Mix all of the veggies for the salad and chill.
- Before serving mix in the noodles and toss with the dressing.
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