Crunchy Ramen Noodle Salad
When we were young, a cheap and easy snack was a package of dried ramen noodles, crushed into little bite-sized pieces, tossed with a little of the seasoning packet. Later when we got to college, packaged ramen was the go-to cheap meal that could be zhushed up with some spam or kamaboko. Even now, we are still eating packaged ramen noodles but not necessarily in the way it was intended.
This is another recipe from our family cookbook. In fact, we have two similar versions. But as with so many recipes, it can be modified to your taste, your pantry, and your creativity.
Just like the crispy snack from our youth, crushed ramen noodles add an unexpected crunch to this cabbage salad. The crushed noodles along with slivered almonds make a fun topping and ties our small kid time snack with a healthy salad.
Serve this salad on its own or along side grilled chicken or ribs. It's also an easy dish for a potluck with the salad prepared in advance and a quick addition of the topping and garnishes right before serving.
If you want to meal prep your lunches for the week, this is the salad for you. The hearty vegetables stand up to the dressing but if you are worried that they'll get too soggy by the third or fourth day, just portion out each day's lunch and dress one portion each night before. Add cooked chicken to make the salad a complete meal. And to keep the ramen and almonds crunchy, wrap the mixture in a little piece of plastic wrap and place it in the container. Just like that, you have several days of lunches.
Feel free to modify the recipe for your taste. Sometimes I have cauliflower, broccoli, even kale that I chop up and throw into the salad - these are hearty vegetables that stand up to the dressing. You can also add an Asian flair to the dressing by adding a bit of toasted sesame oil and a few drops of sriracha. Make this salad your own and enjoy!