Friday, September 12, 2014

Modernized Ramen Noodle Salad

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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