If you need a show-stopper to bring to the next potluck, this ramen noodle Asian salad is the dish to choose.
Like a tasty cabbage salad, it’s refreshing, colorful, and loaded with crunch.
Between the coleslaw, seeds, almonds, and ramen noodles, it’s pure, delicious madness – and I just know you’ll love it!
Tying the flavors together is a ridiculously delicious dressing with one secret ingredient. Trust me; your friends will not stop bugging you for the recipe.
But I won’t tell if you don’t!
This ramen noodle Asian salad is embarrassingly easy to make, full of fun flavor and terrific texture, and one you’ll turn to again and again.
Ready to get started? Let’s dig in!
Whoever came up with this ramen noodle salad is a genius.
It’s a combination of shredded cabbage, carrots, almond slivers, sunflower seeds, and… wait for it… crunchy ramen noodles.
Crazy, I know. But somehow, it works.
Besides the varying levels of crunch from the ingredients, another thing that makes this salad a cut above the rest is the dressing.
It’s so flavorful, yet it’s hard to pinpoint what it’s made of.
It’s a blend of olive oil, apple cider vinegar, sugar, and pepper. Sounds basic, right?
But wait until you hear the secret ingredient.
Are you ready?
It’s none other than the ramen seasoning packet. Bet you didn’t see that coming!
Yup, it’s the ingredient responsible for making this salad surprisingly addictive. Try it and see for yourself.
What is Asian Salad Made Of?
While you can definitely add more, these are the basic ingredients you’ll need for the salad:
- Ramen Noodles – the key ingredient that makes this salad a standout. I like to use chicken-flavored ramen for this recipe, but feel free to use whichever one you have. Also, don’t throw out the seasoning packets! You’ll need it for the dressing.
- Sunflower Seeds – together with the crushed ramen noodles, sunflower seeds give the salad that extra crunch.
- Slivered Almonds – don’t skip the toasting. It gives the almonds a deeper, nuttier flavor and an even crunchier texture.
- Coleslaw Mix – a mixed bag of shredded cabbage and carrots will save you so much prep time. You can also use other vegetable slaws such as Brussels sprouts or broccoli.
- Green Onions – I love the pungent onion flavor it adds to the salad. If you like it milder, stick to the green portion and discard the white parts.
- Olive Oil – if you like its pungent and fruity flavor, go for regular olive oil. If you want a more neutral flavor, use light olive oil.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – you can also use other kinds of mild vinegar if you don’t have this on hand. I like to use rice wine vinegar for a more authentic Asian flavor.
- Granulated Sugar – for sweetness. Feel free to add more or less according to your taste.
- Ground Black Pepper – for a bit of heat.
- Ramen Seasonings – some recipes don’t like to use the seasoning packets, but I think it really gives the salad that addictive, can’t-quit-it flavor.
How to Make Asian Salad
It couldn’t be easier.
Start by toasting ramen noodles, almonds, and sunflower seeds.
To do this, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and spread the crushed noodles, seeds, and almonds evenly on a baking sheet.
Toast the mixture in the preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until your kitchen starts to smell like sweet heaven.
Everything should look golden brown, though you might need to give everything a toss so it cooks evenly.
Meanwhile, prepare the rest of the salad ingredients by tossing together the coleslaw mix and green onions in a large bowl.
Then top it with the cooled ramen mixture.
Next, make the dressing.
In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, ramen seasoning packets, apple cider vinegar, sugar, and black pepper until well-combined.
Finally, pour the dressing over and toss! That’s it. Easy-peasy.
Tips for Making The Best Salad
- Make it mess-free. Crush the ramen noodles with your hands while they’re still inside the packet.
- Add more Asian flavors to the dressing with a tablespoon of nutty and aromatic sesame oil. Don’t overdo it, though! Too much sesame oil will be overwhelming.
- Add garlic and ginger to the dressing for a more Asian flavor. Be sure to mice them so they blend well.
- Instead of regular slaw, try other mixes:
- Brussels sprouts slaw
- Broccoli slaw
- Carrot slaw
- Use store-bought slaw for an effortless salad, or shred your choice of slaw veggies yourself. If you have a food processor, this should be quite quick.
- Don’t skip the toasting. This will give not just the nuts, but the ramen noodles, as well, a nice toasty flavor.
- Or, instead of tossing the noodles and nuts, you can also brown them in butter. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the crushed ramen noodles, almonds, and sunflower seeds until golden brown.
- No apple cider vinegar? Other mild vinegar such as rice wine vinegar or white wine vinegar will work, too.
- Add more colors, textures, and flavors to the salad with any (or all) of these mix-ins:
- Shredded rotisserie chicken
- Bell Peppers
- Mandarin Oranges
- Sesame Seeds
- Instead of instant ramen noodles, try chow mein noodles. You can find these in any Asian market.
- While this salad can sit on the counter for hours without spoiling, the ramen will get soggy after a while. If you want to maintain the noodles’ crunchiness, don’t add them until right before you serve the salad.
- If you’ll be too busy on the day you plan on serving this salad, prepare the dressing and the salad one day in advance. Toss them together when ready to serve.
More Salad Recipes You’ll Love
- Rotisserie Chicken Salad
- Ambrosia Salad
- Amish Broccoli Salad
- Grandma’s Macaroni Salad
- Chicken Waldorf Salad
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