This ramen noodle crunch salad is def my new favorite salad.
It’s only May so I can assure you that I will say that approximately nine more times before the warm season is over. But still.
Here we go! First summer salad of the year!
This salad is SO easy. Throw everything together, let it chill for 30 minutes and serve. It’s simple but everyone loves it. And I’m guessing you’ve maaaaybe had a version of it before? We used to eat this all the time when I was a kid and especially when I was in high school. Pretty sure it was a graduation party staple!
This version is loaded with tons of fresh chopped veggies.
I cannot get enough of it.
And while it tastes like lovely 90s nostalgia, it is updated quite a bit!
First, a mix of shredded kale and cabbage. Both wilt down when covered in dressing but they manage to hold some crunch too, which is the whole point of this thing.
I also like to add in some thinly sliced red pepper and shaved carrot for more texture. And flavor! And color too? Yes sure.
The dressing is an incredible mix of toasted sesame oil, honey, rice wine vinegar, ginger and even a little lime. I remember making this from a recipe book my mom had back when I was in high school and it used lots of vegetable oil and sugar. So I swapped them!
For even more crunch: toasted sunflower seeds and almonds. I’m pretty sure these are somewhat standard in the salad.
And for the final, extra, expected but wonderful crunch: the ramen noodles! I usually use the classic in the pouch, but since I’ve been making my own version of ramen at home, I often have these noodles on hand. They are thinner than the most known brand but they work great. They are so crunchy and then as the salad sits, they get fantastically CHEWY.
Oh my gosh. I could eat this forever!
I’m in love with this salad as a weeknight side dish. Or even as the main dish, served with a side of eggs or something! I mean, I’d do that. You could also of course add in shredded rotisserie chicken or even shrimp if you’d like.
But the main reason I’m sharing it now is because Memorial Day is coming up and this is the IDEAL side dish to serve with burgers or hot dogs.
It’s refreshing, it’s crisp, it’s light, but at the same time it’s loaded with tons of flavor and texture. Even the veggie haters love it!
You can make the salad ahead of time. Truthfully, it gets better as it sits. Even if we can’t have our usual huge Memorial Day parties, you can relieve a bit of cooking in the moment by making this ahead.
And finally, it makes for such a good picnic or poolside lunch!
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m just going to go eat it for lunch.
Ramen Noodle Crunch Salad
Yield: 4 to 6 people, is easily doubled!
This ramen noodle crunch salad is the perfect make ahead party salad! It’s full of sesame flavor and super crunchy. It’s a huge hit!
- ½ head green cabbage, shredded (about 3 cups
- 1 bunch kale, stems removed and shredded (about 2 cups)
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 large carrot, thinly sliced or shaved
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced
- ½ cup sunflower seeds
- ½ cup almonds
- 6 ounces dry ramen noodles, e.g. from 2 (3oz ramen packs)
- ⅓ cup toasted sesame oil
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ⅓ rice wine vinegar, or apple cider, or white wine
- ⅓ cup honey
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juiced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
- pinch of salt and pepper
In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, kale, peppers, carrots, green onions, almonds and sunflower seeds. Break apart the ramen noodles and add them into the bowl. Toss everything together.
Whisk together the oils, vinegar, honey, lime juice, garlic, ginger and a pinch of salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss well to coat. Toss continuously until everything is combined. Place the salad in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed. Serve cold!
You can make this ahead of time – even the night before! Just store it in the fridge. Toss well before serving.