Recipe: The Best Asian Salad

Aug 9, 2014 by     No Comments    Posted under: Recipes, Salad Recipes
Perfect Asian Salad

Perfect Asian Salad

My wife loves a good Asian salad, the kind made with crunchy ramen noodles.  She always has and always will.  But now in her adult years, she craves a version with more color, flare, health, and deliciousness than the pale drab versions she grew up with that were always served in well-worn Tupperware bowls at church functions.  So needless to say, I’ve tried a few versions since we’ve been married.  Her search for perfection took her on a journey through blogs, cookbooks, and hours of Pinterest.  The recipes she found and tried were pretty good, and some were better than most.  But they still all lacked the color and flavor burst she was seeking.  Using these “winners” as a baseline, she made several experimental versions until she came up with the perfect balance of color, sweetness, crunch, and flavor that she was seeking.  A perfect Asian salad that we’re simply calling, “The Best Asian Salad”.

Crunchy Ramen Asian Salad Ingredients

  • 12 ounces broccoli slaw
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1 red or green jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 handful cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 packages chicken flavored ramen noodles
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds

For the Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup agave syrup or honey
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes

How to Make a Perfect Asian Salad

The secret to success here is to use a mix of cabbage and broccoli slaw.   Both provide crunch, but with slightly varying textures.  The amount of each isn’t overly important, and you can substitute broccoli florets for some of the slaw if you want, but you should still have more slaw than cabbage.  Green cabbage can be used, but red makes for a much more colorful presentation.

For best results, prepare the dressing a few hours prior to making the salad.  This allows all the dressing ingredient flavors to marry into a wonderful state of tasty.  Prepare the dressing by adding all dressing ingredients to a pint-sized mason jar.  Screw on lid and shake vigorously.  Allow to sit at room temperature for at least an hour, then shake again prior to applying to salad.

Perfect Asian Salad Dressing

Perfect Asian Salad Dressing

When ready to make the salad, add the slaw, cabbage, carrots, scallions, jalapeno, and cilantro to a large serving bowl.  Pour dressing over the salad, toss to coat, and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes while you’re making the toasted ramen crunch.  This allows the flavors of the dressing to be absorbed by the slaw, and prevents the ramen crunch from getting soggy.  Set aside.

Toss Better Asian Salad Veggies

Toss Better Asian Salad Veggies

Heat a skillet over medium heat until hot.  Add coconut oil and heat until melted and coating bottom of pan.  Crush the ramen noodles by leaving in packaging and crushing with a rolling pin or other hard device until broken into small pieces.  Pieces shouldn’t be any bigger than a large marble.

Perfect Asian Salad Toast Ramen

Perfect Asian Salad Toast Ramen

Open packages, remove flavoring packs, and add ramen pieces to the coconut oil in the pan.  Toss with a spoon and toast for a couple of minutes.  Add the slivered almonds, sunflower seeds, and contents of the flavoring packs, and continue to toss with a spoon until almonds are starting to brown and the smaller pieces of ramen are a deep golden brown.

Perfect Asian Salad Toast Seeds and Almonds with Ramen

Perfect Asian Salad Toast Seeds and Almonds with Ramen

Toast Ramen, Nuts, and Seeds Together Until Golden Brown

Toast Ramen, Nuts, and Seeds Together Until Golden Brown

Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes before adding to the dressed salad.  Toss to combine.

Add Ramen to Perfect Asian Salad

Add Ramen to Perfect Asian Salad

Serve immediately with some grilled chicken, fish, BBQ Asian pork, or on its own as a vegetarian delight.

You’ll be surprised by the subtle flavor of coconut, the faint sweet spices from the ramen flavorings, and the perfect crunch of everything!  Adults and kids alike all seem to love this colorful creation.  My wife did a good good thing here.  Happy eating my friends!

Serves 8 as a side, or 4 as a main course.

Recipe by Sadie Yeager, July 2014

 

The Bald Gourmet shares The Best Asian Salad recipe.

 

Recipe: The Best Asian Salad
 
You’ll be surprised by the subtle flavor of coconut, the faint sweet spices from the ramen flavorings, and the perfect crunch of everything in this salad! Adults and kids alike all seem to love this colorful creation. My wife did a good good thing creating this dish. Happy eating my friends!
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Asian
Servings: Serves 8 as a side, or 4 as a main course

Ingredients
  • 12 ounces broccoli slaw
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1 red or green jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 handful cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 packages chicken flavored ramen noodles
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • For the Dressing:
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup agave syrup or honey
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes

Instructions
  1. For best results, prepare the dressing a few hours prior to making the salad. This allows all the dressing ingredient flavors to marry into a wonderful state of tasty. Prepare the dressing by adding all dressing ingredients to a pint-sized mason jar. Screw on lid and shake vigorously. Allow to sit at room temperature for at least an hour, then shake again prior to applying to salad.
  2. When ready to make the salad, add the slaw, cabbage, carrots, scallions, jalapeno, and cilantro to a large serving bowl. Pour dressing over the salad, toss to coat, and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes while you’re making the toasted ramen crunch. This allows the flavors of the dressing to be absorbed by the slaw, and prevents the ramen crunch from getting soggy. Set aside.
  3. Heat a skillet over medium heat until hot. Add coconut oil and heat until melted and coating bottom of pan. Crush the ramen noodles by leaving in packaging and crushing with a rolling pin or other hard device until broken into small pieces. Pieces shouldn’t be any bigger than a large marble.
  4. Open ramen packages, remove flavoring packs, and add ramen pieces to the coconut oil in the pan. Toss with a spoon and toast for a couple of minutes.
  5. Add the slivered almonds, sunflower seeds, and contents of the flavoring packs, and continue to toss with a spoon until almonds are starting to brown and the smaller pieces of ramen are a deep golden brown.
  6. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes before adding to the dressed salad. Toss to combine.
  7. Serve immediately with some grilled chicken, fish, BBQ Asian pork, or on its own as a vegetarian delight.

Notes
The secret to success here is to use a mix of cabbage and broccoli slaw. Both provide crunch, but with slightly varying textures. The amount of each isn’t overly important, and you can substitute broccoli florets for some of the slaw if you want, but you should still have more slaw than cabbage. Green cabbage can be used, but red makes for a much more colorful presentation.

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The Bald Gourmet Mug

I'm Jothan Yeager and I am The Bald Gourmet. After years of experimenting in my kitchen, creating delicious food and eating at amazing places around the world, I wanted a place to share my experiences with everyone. Thus the Bald Gourmet was born. I hope to open the doors of great food and great cooking to you, to inspire you to reach beyond prepared boxed meals, and to teach you of a world of deliciousness that has brought joy to me and those around me. Please enjoy the adventure which is The Bald Gourmet and share it with those you love.