Growing up in the Midwest, we often had summer gatherings with a picnic table overflowing with salad bowls featuring variations of “salads” that now seem like unusual combinations. Back then, they were standard at barbecues and community events. Salads in the Midwest – at least when I was growing up in the 1980s and early 1990s – often were based in whipped topping, flavored gelatin packets or some random combination of convenience foods with a fresh fruit or vegetable folded into the mix.
This Crunchy Ramen Noodle Salad is my take on a cole slaw-like salad I recall being among those bowls of side dish options. The main source of crunch comes from two of those inexpensive noodle packets often associated with college student survival food.
Unlike some of the other salads I recall in those Tupperware containers, this one is based in a lot of shredded veggies. The colorful combination just looks healthy, and it works well to achieve my goal to eat a rainbow of foods.
- 4 cups shredded green cabbage
- 2 cups shredded red cabbage
- 3 cups shredded carrots
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 bunch green onions, diced (green parts only)
- 1 cup dry roasted almonds, rough chopped
- 2 packets ramen noodles
- ¼ cup lime juice (about 2 limes)
- ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
- ½ cup light olive oil
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
Add the first ingredients to a large bowl and stir to combine. Open the ramen noodle packets and break up noodles into the bowl. Save flavor packets for another use, or discard.
For the dressing: Juice two limes into a small bowl. Add in ¼ cup soy sauce. Whisk in light olive oil.
Stir in toasted sesame oil, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning, as needed.
Pour dressing over salad ingredients, stir well to combine and ensure everything is coated.
Serve immediately or store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours or overnight. Leftovers store well in an air-tight container for 3 to 5 days.