Saturday, September 6, 2014

Crunchy Asian Ramen Noodle Salad

Okay guys, listen up.  This is arguably one of the best recipes I have made.  There are plenty of times I gush about a recipe, but then I never ever make it again.  Maybe it's because it wasn't that great, or because it was pretty good but I find repeating recipes boring sometimes.  But this salad? ( And it's a salad!  I hate salads!)  It is not only delicious and wildly popular with everyone who has tried it, but I love it so much that I have made it four times.  That never happens, trust me.  The Four Time Recipe Repeat Club is limited to fluffernutter cookies, spinach and ricotta stuffed shells,  apple cider caramels, bagels, baked Alaska, chocolate crinkle cookies, and roasted vegetable chickpea salad.  It's a very elite club; the recipe just has to be fabulous.  And right now I have all the ingredients to make this salad in my fridge.  Enough to make it twice.  So: let's get to this salad.

Caitlin had a party for Josh's birthday back in June and one of her friends brought a salad with Ramen noodles crumbled into it.  I ate so much of it, it was embarrassing.  Then I immediately hit up Google when I got home to try to find a recipe to recreate it.  I found this one, which was slightly different than Caitlin's friend's salad, but had the addition of chopped avocado and toasted sliced almonds, so I knew it had to be good.

One of the great parts of the salad is how easy it is to put it together.  You briefly toast Ramen noodles and the sliced almonds in the oven while you whip up the most delicious dressing of oil, honey, rice wine vinegar soy sauce, and sesame oil.  Then throw into a bowl a bag of cole slaw mix, the avocado, and some edamame and scallions, and you're done.  The recipe calls for a sliced mango, but I thought that might be taking things to a place that is too weird for my family, and I'm glad I left it out.  This salad is absolutely perfect without it.

PS my countertops are beautiful!
The dressing is sweet and salty, and the textures of the salad are awesome: the soft avocado, the crunch bites of noodle and almond... oh man.  The first time I made this, I happened to have a lot of people over, and everyone was skeptical of my Ramen noodle salad.  But, one by one they all tried it, and one whole bowl (8 servings) disappeared immediately.  I had made it two more times by the end of the week, and it has now become my go-to salad to bring to parties.  Just trust me and make this thing.  One note - it really is best the day you make it; the noodles get a little soft and lose the awesome crunch that makes this salad so fabulous.  Just make it ASAP and you won't regret it.


crunchy Asian Ramen noodle salad
from Gimme Some Oven
serves 8


1 16-ounce bag coleslaw mix
2 3-ounce packages of Ramen noodles, crumbled (you will not use the seasoning packet)
1 cup shelled and cooked (or frozen and thawed) edamame
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
1 mango, peeled, pitted and diced (optional)
1/2 cup thinly-sliced almonds
1/2 cup thinly-sliced scallions
for Asian honey vinaigrette:
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
pinch of salt and black pepper


1) Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Spread the crumbles Ramen noodles and sliced almonds out on a baking sheet and stir a bit to combine.  Bake for about 5 minutes, or until the almonds and noodles are slightly toasted and golden.  Remove baking sheet, and give the mixture a good stir to toss.  Then return it to the oven and toast for an additional 3 minutes.  Keep a very close eye on the mixture so that it doesn't burn.  Remove and set aside.

2)  Make the vinaigrette: whisk together all ingredients until combined.

3) Add ingredients (including the vinaigrette) together in a large bowl and toss until combined.  Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

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