Ramen Noodle Salad – A fresh and flavorful salad with such a satisfying crunch! Made with two types of cabbage, thin cut almonds, crisp, toasted ramen noodles and a sweet and tangy dressing.
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Asian Ramen Cabbage Salad
The perfect salad for cookouts, lunch parties and picnics. A fresh cabbage salad with a tasty oriental twist.
It’s that famous potluck ramen noodle salad that has been around for decades, the one people just can’t get enough of. It must be that crave-able crunch.
Ramen Salad Video
I’ve loved this salad since I was a kid. When ramen is involved who can resist? We all love to snag a taste of the dry ramen crumbs before preparing it but here we can enjoy an abundance of them.
I love to serve this with grilled chicken or even rotisserie chicken for a shortcut dinner. You can even go ahead and toss the chicken right into the salad.
Tips for Making It the Best
My key changes to the classic recipe that set it apart are to:
- Toast not only the almonds but also the ramen. It add nice notes of toasted flavor to an otherwise very bland ramen.
- Add extra seasonings. Some recipes will use the seasoning packet but I think it’s full of bad ingredients (and of course lots of sodium) so I make my own seasoning blend using garlic, ginger and sesame oil.
- Replace the classic sugar with honey. It has great flavor that goes really well here, and it’s a bit of a healthier option. Same with replacing vegetable oil with olive oil.
Ramen Noodle Cabbage Salad Ingredients
- Dry ramen: Remember you won’t need the seasoning packet. You can reserve for another use or discard. Keep in mind not all dry ramen is the same. I’ve tried some organic brands that are a bit too thin, dry and hard (they make great soup but not quite the right texture here).
- Fisher sliced almonds: Slivered almonds work fine too. Be careful when toasting not to burn, just watch for a very light golden brown color or a slight color change from before.
- Green and red cabbage: I prefer the texture of it shredded (sliced thin) but it can also just be chopped as shown in the video.
- Matchstick carrots: You can make these yourself instead of buying them pre-cut. Just peel and cut a large carrot into into thin slices then cut into short sticks from there.
- Green onions: If you want a milder flavor use just the green portion, for a slightly stronger flavor include white and light portion.
- Light olive oil: Regular olive oil will work great too, it will just add a slightly more noticeable flavor.
- Rice vinegar: This can be found in the Oriental food sections of most grocery stores, or sometimes it is found by the other vinegars (down the condiment isle).
- Honey: You can adjust this to taste. I’ve found 1/4 cup to be what I prefer. Not too sweet and not too subtle.
- Ginger: I like to use fresh but in a pinch dry could work as well. I’d start with about 1/2 tsp.
- Garlic: 1 clove is not overpowering but if you want a bit of a stronger garlic flavor bump it to 2.
- Sesame oil: Another ingredient you’ll find in the Oriental section of most grocery stores. It is the toasted type that is a darker color but it won’t always be labeled “toasted.”
- Salt and pepper: Black or white pepper works fine.
Scroll down for full recipe with measurements.
A Must Have Ingredient
This recipe is made using my go-to choice – Fisher Sliced Almonds. They are an ingredient I always keep stocked since they are nutritious and perfectly versatile.
Fisher nuts are available for purchase online for your convenience through Amazon so you can have them delivered to your door.
They are a delicious upgrade to oatmeal, smoothies, and salad. In this Asian Ramen Noodle Salad they really are a must! Without that toasted nutty flavor, and delicate flakey crunch it just wouldn’t be the same.
Don’t skip them!
How to Make Ramen Noodle Salad
- Prepare the dressing: In a mixing bowl whisk together light olive oil, rice vinegar, honey, ginger, garlic, sesame oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate while preparing salad ingredients.
- For the salad: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread almonds and ramen onto a rimmed 18 by 13-inch baking sheet.
- Toast in preheated oven 3 minutes, remove from oven and toss mixture and then spread out even. Return to oven and toast until golden brown about 3 – 4 minutes longer. Let cool.
- To a large salad bowl add green cabbage, red cabbage, carrots, green onions, and ramen almond mixture.
- Stir dressing then pour over salad. Toss well and serve.
Can it be made in advance?
- Ingredients and dressing can be prepped 1 day in advance (produce and dressing should be stored in the fridge separately) just wait to toss dressing and salad ingredients together until ready to serve.
- Once the dressing is added it starts to break down the salad, which is why you don’t want to assemble too far in advance.
Is there a substitute for rice vinegar?
Yes. In a pinch you could use another more mild vinegar like apple cider vinegar or white white wine vinegar.
Can I use Napa cabbage?
Yes, I have also made this salad using Napa cabbage which is a good option if you don’t want bold crunch. Use 8 cups shredded Napa cabbage (about 1 lb) if going that route.
More Tasty Cabbage Recipes to Try
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A fresh and flavorful salad with such a satisfying crunch! Made with two types of cabbage, thin cut almonds, crisp ramen noodles and a sweet and tangy dressing.
- 2 (3 oz) pkgs. dry ramen, broken into small pieces,* seasoning packet discarded
- 1 cup Fisher Sliced Almonds
- 6 cups thinly sliced green cabbage** (13 oz)
- 2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage (5 oz)
- 2 cups matchstick carrots
- 2/3 cup chopped green onions
- 1/2 cup light olive oil
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup honey (can use more or less to taste)
- 1 Tbsp peeled and minced fresh ginger
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste***
For the dressing: In a mixing bowl whisk together light olive oil, rice vinegar, honey, ginger, garlic, sesame oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate while preparing salad ingredients.
For the salad: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread almonds and ramen onto a rimmed 18 by 13-inch baking sheet.
Toast in preheated oven 3 minutes, remove from oven and toss mixture and then spread out even. Return to oven and toast until golden brown about 3 - 4 minutes longer. Let cool.
To a large salad bowl add green cabbage, red cabbage, carrots, green onions, and ramen almond mixture.
Stir dressing then pour over salad. Toss well and serve.
- *The fastest way to break the ramen is to leave in the package (unopened) and crush with a rolling pin, just be careful not to crush into tiny little bits. For more uniform size you can break it up by hand.
- **8 cups (1 lb) napa cabbage works great too. If you want a less crunchy salad it's a great option.
- ***I use 3/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper (not included in nutrition estimate).