One of my very favorite salads that my mom used to make was this cabbage salad with toasted ramen. The problem is….I can’t find that recipe card. I looked through her recipe box and both of her worn church cookbooks and all I found was the recipe for the dressing. So, today is an experiment in memory….my memory…. so, I’ll apologize in advance. Luckily, this is a simple and delicious and decidedly crunchy salad and how could I ever forget that….I think.
Knife. My thoughtful and kind brother and sister-in-law felt pity on me and gifted me the most glorious of knives for my birthday. Never before, in all the time that was and all the time that will be, have I ever cut a head of cabbage without having to stand on top of the knife and wrestle it through the vegetable with all of my might. I didn’t even know that any other world existed. Cutting through that cabbage was like BUTTAH, people. Holy cow. I hear that you are less likely to cut yourself if you use a sharp knife. Would you believe it that I cut open my hand while unwrapping the knife? Figures.
Instead of using your super-fabulous-amazing-knife to shred the cabbage, let your food processor do the heavy lifting. Chop up the cabbage in wedges and feed it to the processor. Don’t worry; that’s its job.
Now grab the green onions.
Let me take a moment.
Cutting up the green onions was life altering. You all don’t understand. It’s like I’ve been drinking mud my whole life and someone just handed me a glass of pure, clean, cold water. Now I understand how all those chefs on those cooking shows can chop up everything lickety-split. I am enlightened. I am transformed.
I wonder if this knife can cut a tin can in half…..and then a tomato?
Take the chopped up onions and mix them with the chopped cabbage in a huge bowl. Now it looks like this: Doesn’t that look crisp and delicious?
Time to make the dressing. This is the part where I did not have to reach back into the recesses of my brain. To make the Sesame Garlic Vinaigrette, whisk together the sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce and garlic. Now, this mixture is VERY bold and VERY vinegary. Even if you use a kitty measuring cup, it doesn’t soften the blow one bit. I recommend that you add a tablespoon or two of sugar and whisk away. It balances out the dressing, leaving just enough smack on your lips. Lip-smack! Set the dressing aside.
In a frying pan, place 1-2 tablespoons of butter. I say 1-2 because you might want to make a double batch of this crunchy ramen mixture. Cabbages can be very deceptive and have a lot more volume than you planned. Come armed with plenty of dressing and toasted ramen and you’ll win every. single. time.
Break up the ramen really, really well BEFORE you open the package. Remove the seasoning packet and dump the ramen into the melted butter in a medium heated pan. Stir it frequently for about a minute. Now put in 1/3-1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds. Stir and brown for another minute. Finally, put in 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds. Keep an eye on this mixture! It will brown up and burn super easily. Once you get a nice toasty color on the nuts, pour out onto a paper towel. Let the ramen mixture cool before placing in salad.
Now that you have all of your components, put them together in a big bowl and toss. Do not use all the dressing, or use all the dressing….it’s up to you. Make sure you eat it up quick, before the ramen gets soggy. Trust me, you won’t have to tell yourself twice.
Ramen Cabbage Salad
- 1 green cabbage
- 1 bunch of green onions
- 1/2 c. sliced almonds
- 2 tbsp. sesame seeds
- 1 ramen noodle soup w/o seasonings
- 1-2 tbsp. butter
- 4 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1/4 c. rice vinegar
- 1/4 c. soy sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Chop up cabbage and onion and place in bowl.
- Whisk sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce and minced garlic in separate bowl. Set aside.
- Melt butter in frying pan. Add and stir in ramen, almonds, sesame seeds until golden brown and toasted.
- Remove toasted ramen mixture to paper towel. Cool.
- Mix ramen mixture into bowl with cabbage.
- Add dressing to taste.
- Eat up!