Ramen noodle salad (or “Asian slaw,” if you prefer) is a perfect crowd-pleaser, provided your crowd isn’t full of “foodies.” (How I loathe that term.) Actually, the foodies will enjoy this dish too, they’ll just never admit it.
I last made this for a Mother’s Day barbecue at my place. Mom loved it, grandpa loved it, brother loved it, boyfriend (who has good taste) pretty close to loved it. In short, you can’t go wrong with this in a casual setting. I think ramen salad was really big in the ’90s—make of that what you will. I seem to remember eating a lot of ramen then, anyway.
-1 pkg. cole slaw mix (or 1 sm. head of chopped cabbage + 1 shredded carrot)
-4 green onions, chopped
-1 c. fresh bean sprouts, optional
-4 oz. slivered almonds
-4 Tbsp. sugar OR 2 Tbsp. honey
-2/3 c. neutral-tasting oil + 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
-1/4 c. sesame seeds
-2 pkgs. uncooked ramen noodles, seasoning packet reserved (“Oriental” flavor is good, if a misnomer)
-1/2 tsp. pepper
-6 Tbsp. rice vinegar (or a lesser amount of white vinegar)
1. Toast almonds and sesame seeds in a dry pan.
2. Toss together cole slaw mix, bean sprouts (if using), onions, sesame seeds, and almonds.
3. Crumble dry ramen noodles on top.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together sugar/honey, oil, pepper, rice vinegar, and seasoning packet.
5. Toss dressing with salad just before serving.
A squirt of Sriracha garlic pepper sauce gives the dressing a nice kick, if you like. But depending on who you ask, that might up the “gourmet” factor too much. Then your salad’s just “uppity.”