Crunchy Asian Ramen Noodle Salad (a.k.a. Basically The Best Potluck Salad EVER)

June 25, 2014 by Ali

I made a few modern updates to this Crunchy Asian Ramen Noodle Salad. It's still the same easy and crunchy salad that everyone loves, but made with natural sweetener and some tasty fresh ingredients!

Crunchy Asian Ramen Noodle Salad -- made with fresher ingredients, and ready to go in 10 minutes! |

Alright, show of hands.

Who else grew up eating ramen noodle salads?!?

I don’t know about you, but this salad was a Very Big Deal in my house back in the day. My mom made it regularly and took it along to every potluck, picnic, and church function imaginable. And we always came home with an empty bowl. The whole world — or at least the Midwest — apparently loves a good ramen noodle salad.

Although when I texted her last week to ask for her recipe, she was the first to remind me that I did not come anywhere near this salad when I was younger. Me and salads (and veggies and basically anything except for egg drop soup) did not mix when I was a kid. But somehow I miraculously grew beyond my picky ways, and now enjoy a good ramen noodle salad as much as the rest of ‘em. (And hey, ramen’s even so retro that it’s back and oh-so-hip right now. Who would’ve guessed?)

Still, I thought the old recipe could use just a touch of updating. So I gave it a few healthier tweaks and added in some more fresh and colorful ingredients. And after taking it to a gathering with some friends last weekend, I’m happy to report that it was still a raging potluck success.

Crunchy Asian Ramen Noodle Salad -- made with fresher ingredients, and ready to go in 10 minutes! |

Actually, when I was texting back and forth with my mom about the recipe, it turned out that she was planning to make a batch for an event later that day. (Surprise, surprise!)

Crunchy Asian Ramen Salad 12

She always likes to send me photos of “real food” versus my food-styled pics. ;)

Although I have to say that hers looked pretty darn good!

Crunchy Asian Ramen Noodle Salad -- made with fresher ingredients, and ready to go in 10 minutes! |

She also approved of my idea of adding fresh mango, avocado and edamame to the salad, and added some to hers as well. We both agreed that the extra ingredients definitely added a nice, sweet touch to the base recipe.

Crunchy Asian Ramen Salad 11

As Mom mentioned in her text, our family’s little secret touch is to toast the ramen and sliced almonds before you begin. But if you’re in a hurry, you can skip that step and make this a 10-minute meal.

Crunchy Asian Ramen Noodle Salad -- made with fresher ingredients, and ready to go in 10 minutes! |

And as I said in the text, I did decide to nix using the ramen seasoning packets in the dressing, since they’re full of MSG and who knows what. I added a little soy sauce and sesame oil to the dressing, and think it ended plenty flavorful without the packets.

Crunchy Asian Ramen Noodle Salad -- made with fresher ingredients, and ready to go in 10 minutes! |

I also tweaked the dressing recipe a bit and swapped rice wine vinegar for white vinegar, honey for sugar, and a little less sweetener all together. Because trust me, this salad is already plenty sweet.

Crunchy Asian Ramen Noodle Salad -- made with fresher ingredients, and ready to go in 10 minutes! |

But other than that, this is pretty much the retro salad we all love! And it is SUPER easy to make.

Crunchy Asian Ramen Noodle Salad -- made with fresher ingredients, and ready to go in 10 minutes! |

Just toss all of your salad ingredients together in a big bowl.

Crunchy Asian Ramen Noodle Salad -- made with fresher ingredients, and ready to go in 10 minutes! |

Then pour in your dressing, and give it all a good toss until it’s combined.

Crunchy Asian Ramen Noodle Salad -- made with fresher ingredients, and ready to go in 10 minutes! |

And there you have it! I’m pretty positive that decades of ramen noodle salad-o-rama has proven that this recipe is here to stay. It’s crunchy, it’s sweet, it’s savory, it’s quick, it’s easy, and it will definitely be the hit of a potluck. ;)

Crunchy Asian Ramen Noodle Salad -- made with fresher ingredients, and ready to go in 10 minutes! |

Crunchy Asian Ramen Noodle Salad (Pretty Much The Best Potluck Salad EVER)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: About 8 servings


    Salad Ingredients:
  • 1 (16-ounce) bag coleslaw mix
  • 2 (3-ounce) packages of ramen noodles, crumbled (you will not use the seasoning packet)
  • 1 cup shelled and cooked edamame
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1 mango, peeled, pitted, and julienned (or diced)
  • 1/2 cup thinly-sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup thinly-sliced green onions (scallions)
  • Asian honey vinaigrette (see ingredients below)
  • Asian Honey Vinaigrette
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil (or any cooking oil)
  • 1/3 cup honey (or agave, to make this vegan)
  • 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
  • pinch of salt and black pepper


To Make The Salad:

(Optional first step: Heat oven to 425 degrees. Spread the crumbled ramen noodles and sliced almonds out on a baking sheet, and stir a bit to combine. Bake for about 5 minutes, or until the almonds and noodles are slightly toasted and golden. Remove baking sheet, and give the mixture a good stir to toss. Then return it to the oven and toast for an additional 3 minutes. Keep a very close eye on the mixture so that it does not burn. Remove and set aside.)

Add ingredients (including the vinaigrette) together in a large bowl, and toss until combined.

Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. (This salad is much better eaten the first day, as the noodles lose their "crunch" the longer it sits, and the avocado may brown a bit. Still, it's perfectly edible and enjoyable even after a few days!)

To Make The Vinaigrette:

Whisk all ingredients together until combined.

Crunchy Asian Ramen Noodle Salad |

About Ali

Ali Ebright is a freelance recipe developer and food writer/photographer, and blogs at Gimme Some Oven and Gimme Some Life. She also loves all things music, traveling near and far, actually making things from Pinterest, cozying up with a good book and her sweet pup, Henry, and spending time with a wonderful group of friends. Come say hello and follow Ali on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ & Instagram.

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88 thoughts on “Crunchy Asian Ramen Noodle Salad (a.k.a. Basically The Best Potluck Salad EVER)

  1. I love this salad! What do you suggest serving with as an entreee?

    - Loretta

    • You could serve it with a protein (like grilled chicken breasts) or some grilled/roasted vegetables, but honestly it works well as a main dish on its own too!

      - Ali

  2. I live in the Chicago area and have had a hard time tring to find rice wine vinegar! Anybody know where I can fine some? Thanks in advance

    - Jackee

    • It should be available in the Asian section of your grocery store. It can go under the name rice vinegar or rice wine vinegar. If you can’t find it, though, apple cider vinegar would also work for this recipe. Enjoy!

      - Ali

  3. Just made this and it was awful. Threw the whole thing out. Crunchie ramen is disgusting.

    - Carolyn

  4. My Midwest mama also made this quite a bit growing up, and just like you, I was picky as ever and not a fan. Sounds pretty appealing to the grown-up me, definitely giving this a shot tonight!

    - Becca

  5. Do you use the unseasoned rice wine vinegar? Can’t wait to make this for a potluck this weekend.

    - Jo

  6. This sounds awesome and will be making it for our family camp out this weekend, but silly question…no boiling the noodles at all? The dressing softens the noodles enough? Thanks! :)

    - Kerry

    • Actually, the dressing will soften the noodles just a tiny bit, but the goal is to have them crunchy. Trust me, they’re really good! :)

      - Ali

  7. Two different stores I shop at did not have edamame, so I substituted frozen and thawed peas. Worked great!

    - Joy

  8. Love Ramen Noodle Salads. My family is not fond of avocados. I omit them but add mandarin oranges. For a full meal version we add chicken (rotisserie chicken is very convenient). This is great served with popovers. I love the Asian Honey Vinaigrette but sometimes for change I use a bottled Asian Sesame Ginger Dressing or a Thai Peanut Dressing. Like others if I am not going to eat the same day I will hold the noodles and almonds out and put them in as we eat it just to keep that crunch. Great recipe.

    - Stephanie

  9. So good! I added fresh ginger and cilantro to the dressing!

    - ashley lyell

  10. Crunchy Asian Chicken Salad has been a recipe in my family for many years! We call it Marjorie’s Chicken salad since my grandma introduced us to it. This is basically the same recipe but with a few extras! The Edamame and Crunchy Ramen noodles are a great addition! The salad dressing is also phenomenal! We usually make it with sugar and vinegar in a pan but this makes it taste much better. I love the new take on this classic recipe! Yummy!

    - Allie

  11. I love this ….you say it gets soggy after a couple days…I just add the crunchy noodles and nuts when I eat the salad therefore they don’t get soggy :)

    - Sheri

  12. this looks amazing! i cant wait to try it :) is the edamame raw? and also, do you think it would be good with some mandarin oranges added in?

    - rachael

    • Hi Rachael! Sorry, I should have specified in the recipe that I used frozen cooked edamame. And mandarin oranges would be delicious!!

      - Ali

  13. Where can I find nutritional stats (weight watcher points) for this recipe? Thanks!

    - Kara

  14. Crunchy ramen noodles are the best! I’m so glad to see this recipe as I have been for ways to eat them differently. This looks delicious Ali, great idea!

    - Caroline @ Pickled Plum

  15. I have to admit I was too lazy to make the dressing because I have a huge bottle of Asian Sesame Ginger dressing in my fridge so I just used that. But I LOVED the salad. It is so light and fresh and healthy and I think I have eaten it at least 10 days in the last 2 weeks for lunch! I love new twists on old favorites. Thanks for another great recipe!

    - Jamie

  16. Ali, I’ve been making this salad for eons, but I LOVE the additions you’ve made… so colorful! I add 1/4 c toasted sesame seeds with the almonds and ramen just before serving. In other words, I let most of the salad marinate in the dressing for about an hour or however long I need to leave it sit {like say if I was in church for 3 hours and then served it at a pot luck lunch}. I toss in the crunchies just before serving.
    If mangoes aren’t in season or not available, I’ve found that craisins are a lovely addition too. Adds a nice little zing.
    I also toast up a package of slivered almonds and use what I need and keep the rest on hand in a tupperware container. I love adding almonds to my salads, but don’t always have time to toast. Toasted almonds are the best!

    - Kimber

  17. My hubby, who does NOT love salads, absolutely LOVED this salad. I used pecans instead of almonds and it was yummy, yummy!!

    - Cindy

  18. I loved this Asian Ramen Noddle Salad w Mango when I first tasted @ my son’s party on 7-13-14. ( mango is so sweet!)

    - Pu Fung

  19. I made this for my scrapbook group lunch and it was a big hit! Unfortunately, my mango was not ripe enough so I had to leave it out. I am going to use the mango and try making the Thai Chicken Salad recipe.

    I love your food photos! They are so beautiful that it makes me want to try your recipes.

    - Pat

  20. This was so delicious! We added chicken to make it a meal, and it was just perfect for summer. I didn’t have many almonds so I used a combo of almonds, cashews and macadamia nuts, and it was tasty. Thanks so much for sharing.

    - Laurel

  21. Your mom must have shared her recipe with someone i know (lol)…the day i moved to TX my friend made this for me (i’m the anti leaf person btw)…i shocked myself when i devoured it and continue to make batches weekly to live on! i love the edamame and mango suggestions and will try them for sure!
    I just wanted to throw it out there the version i got and have now tweaked… we use red wine vinegar and i found at our grocery a combination oil of Canola & Coconut oils…i love your honey idea and will try it, but what i’ve been doing is using organic raw sugar at half what the recipe calls for and i don’t taste a bit of difference :)
    the kicker in our recipe, which probably isn’t the “most healthy”, we sauté our nuts/seeds/noodles on the stove with butter (i use real butter)…this adds an amazing dimension of taste. that’s for the girls who like to live dangerously ;)
    we also use organic canned chicken breast on top, just to make it a more rounded meal all of its own instead of a side salad.
    i store the sauce, shredded chicken, sautéd crunch mixture and bagged coleslaw separately in the fridge. this is because i always make a double batch and eat it for days on end. (single person’s thrill)
    yes, the sauce separates and congeals but i simply take it out of the fridge about 30 minutes before a meal to thaw, when mostly thawed i whisk it and voila! the crunch is even better cold when the salad is made up.
    can’t wait to try the mango & edamame! putting in on my list as we speak! i’m thrilled you’ve shared such a wonderful salad with the world… hug your momma!! :)

    - DesignChick

  22. For the ones of you wanting to add the mango, may I suggest using the frozen mango from TRADER JOES. I thaw it for 1 minute in the microwave. This leaves it still nice and cold and a little icy in the middle but perfect for this salad. Totally thawed buy the time you serve it. MUCH quicker than peeling a mango. I love the “revision” recipe. Thanks.

    - Kaaren

  23. I had to comment as I am eating this salad for dinner, it is incredible!! Thank you for your amazing recipes.

    - Emily

  24. Question – your notes said that you didn’t use the rice wine vinegar – you used white vinegar instead…. but the recipe doesn’t have this change. What is the correct recipe for the salad dressing? Thanks!!

    - Brook Grubs

    • Ah, maybe the wording didn’t make sense in the post. I used rice wine vinegar instead of white vinegar. Hope that helps!

      - Ali

  25. Hands down best salad!! Thanks for all of your yummy recipes : )

    - Amy

  26. Just made a double batch to take to a large 4th of July party, and wow, is this an amazing improvement over the original recipe(which I thought was delish and showy, too)! The mango really added another taste and color dimension. Variation: For the coleslaw mix I combined reg. coleslaw mix, red cabbage, and a Dole Asian cabbage mix (that included brocoli slaw and kale) for even more color and texture. Question: I used frozen edamame beans and cooked them first before adding. Was that your intent? Comment: Admittedly, I doubled the recipe, but it still took way more than 10 minutes preparation. (Just slicing the mango alone takes that long–at least for me!) Thanks for the great, reformed recipe and the beautiful photos.

    - Jean

  27. I can’t wait to try this updated version! My grandmother made the original salad too, and toasted the ramen as well. Though in her case “toasting” meant browning it in a pan with some butter. Gram was wonderful, but not a health food cook.

    The addition of the edamame and mango is exciting too. I’ll be making this this week!

    - Michelle

  28. Made this today for a work potluck…it was a huge hit!! I personally LOVED the addition of edamame, avocado, and mango to it! This is definitely a keeper :)

    - taylor @ greens & chocolate

  29. Been looking for a recipe that didn’t use seasoning packet! Hubby is very allergic to msg and I’ve been wanting this salad!

    - Melissa B in IL

  30. I discovered this type of salad a few years ago when i got a ton of cabbage in my CSA and now i make it every year. Love the additions of mango and edamame! I’ll have to try this next time.

    - Laura

  31. Does this keep well, like if I mixed the dressing with it, would it get soggy after awhile?

    - Marissa

    • It will eventually get soggy, so I recommend mixing the dressing as close to serving time as possible. But that said, this salad stays crunchy significantly longer than most salads, so you should be good for a potluck or such!

      - Ali

  32. Is there a different fruit you would suggest than mango, don’t care for mango.

    - Lynn

  33. One of my favorite salads EVER! Love your updates. I have similar text threads with my mom – love the back and forth + sharing!

    - Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles

  34. You are right. This is a champanion potluck salad—and one of my favorites. What a great version of the salad. I really appreciate the dressing part.

    - Carol at Wild Goose Tea

  35. I love this version! YUM!! :)

    - Layla @ Brunch Time Baker

  36. Looks crunchy and so delicious!

    - Meredith

  37. This does look like the best salad ever!

    - Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love.

  38. One other comment…if you didn’t know, most ramen noodles are fried, but there are non-fried versions out there. I buy mine at the local asian market.

    - tina

  39. Try it with broccoli slaw…awesome!

    - tina

  40. Love this salad and love that you nixed the seasoning package. Gorgeous too, as always!

    - Rachel Cooks

  41. I think this is going to be a new favorite. Beautiful picture! And, perfect salad for those college students on a budget…wish I had known about this.

    - Nathalie @ Devoted Foodie

  42. Sad to say but I have never eaten this kind of crunchy gorgeous salad!!

    - Ami@naivecookcooks

  43. I wasn’t introduced to this salad until I was an adult. At my last job, my boss would bring it to any potluck parties we had and it was always a HUGE hit. I’m so glad to see this lightened up version too. It looks awesome!

    - Courtney @ Neighborfood

  44. Thanks so much for the makeover of one of my favorite recipes! I’ve been making this salad for over 20 years. I always feel guilty using the seasoning packet! I can’t wait to try this tonight!

    - Belinda

  45. This is always a go – to potluck salad for me. So easy and so good — love your recipe for it.

    - naomi

  46. Never heard of ramen noodle salad before….but definitely going to have to give it a try!

    - Sarah (@ People, Places & Plates)

  47. The colors of this salad are amazing! Your pictures are always beautiful, but I agree, your mom’s looked pretty good too ;)

    - Candace @ The Wheatless Kitchen

  48. Mango + avocado + asian noodle salad = YES PLEASE! This looks yummy! :)

    - Meredith @ Unexpectedly Magnificent

  49. I loved this salad growing up, still do actually. I like that you tweaked it just a touch, and roasted the almonds and noodles?? Never would of thought of that, but I love it!

    - Nicole ~ Cooking for Keeps

  50. I LOVE that this can be made vegan! I’m excited to try it :)

    - Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl

  51. I added some deli chicken sautéed in a little bit of the dressing YUMMO

    - Linda

  52. This is too awesome, Ali!!! Such a great summer salad and I love the retro re-do!

    - Tieghan

  53. I want a giant bowl of this!!!

    - Marie @ Little Kitchie

  54. Cry laughing… tell your mom I love her photo!!! And I have a similar one ;-) I LOVE that you toast the ramen first!! I will be doing that from now on. And you know I love all the add-ons you threw in!!!

    - Liz @ The Lemon Bowl

  55. This is amazing. Looks delicious and beautiful photos :)

    - Amanda

  56. Im all over this! Making it very soon.

    - danielle

  57. This is one of my, if not my VERY, favorite salads. I use Bragg’s Liquid Aminos instead of soy sauce, lower sodium, healthier version, but same taste.

    - Staci H

  58. Great salad for summer!

    - Maria

  59. another tip from Mom…toast the broken up ramen noodles for extra flavor. Just watch so they don’t burn. You can also toast the almonds and add some toasted sesame seeds for garnish.

    - Ali's Mom

  60. Can’t wait to try your dressing tweaks – these sound better than original – and of course, healthier. The edamame are a great additiona amongst my friends – the older ladies – always get a few comments and questions.

    - Ali's Mom

  61. I’m in love with salad! Gorgeous and delicious!

    - Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountain

  62. Whoa my gosh. YUM! My aunt always made a mean version of this. I get so excited when someone brings it to a potluck :) Now I can make it too!

    - Bri | Bites of Bri

  63. Lovely Ali!!! So colorful and vibrant! I grew up on on similar salads..the best :) xo

    - Jenny Flake

  64. Loving this noodle salad Ali!!

    - marla

  65. Well, I’m from the Niagara Falls area, no where near the Midwest so I have never heard of such a thing as Ramen Noodle salad, this is a big news flash to me! Can’t wait to try. Like your healthy spin on it.

    And I love how you got this from your mom, those are the best recipes,….aren’t they?….the ones that get handed down, brought to the church potluck gathering, the family reunion, Uncle Jimmy’s 80th B-day party, you cherish them and the people you get to munch on them with =)

    - Laura @ Raise Your Garden

  66. I shouldn’t love Ramen noodles as much as I do but good grief, this looks so good!

    - Cookbook Queen

  67. My mom loves this type of salad but I’ve always been weary about the ramen mixes (and I think most of them have meat “parts” in them!) so I LOVE that you made your own seasoning mix! I’m definitely trying this one!

    - Liz @ I Heart Vegetables

  68. I can definitely see why this is one of your favs!! LOVE!

    - Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

  69. I’m from the Midwest, and yes, I’m sure I’ve seen a version of this salad at every potluck I’ve ever attended. Funny, I’ve never made it myself. I like your updates!

    - Maryea {happy healthy mama}

  70. Don’t judge me..but I have NEVER had a ramen noodle salad! Cray cray right?! You can judge me for using cray cray though.
    I LOVE ramen though, so this salad sounds amazing! Pinned!

    - Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness