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

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! | gimmesomeoven.com

Alright, show of hands.

Who else grew up eating ramen noodle salad?!?

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! | gimmesomeoven.com

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! | gimmesomeoven.com

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! | gimmesomeoven.com

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! | gimmesomeoven.com

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! | gimmesomeoven.com

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! | gimmesomeoven.com

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! | gimmesomeoven.com

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! | gimmesomeoven.com

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! | gimmesomeoven.com

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

This updated Crunchy Asian Ramen Noodle Salad recipe takes just minutes to make, and is sweet, savory, and SO good!

Ingredients:

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

  • 1/2 cup avocado oil (or vegetable oil, or any cooking oil)
  • 1/4 cup honey (or agave, to make this vegan)
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
  • pinch of salt and black pepper

Directions:

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.

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!


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

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Comments

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  1. Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness — June 25, 2014 @ 5:25 am (#)

    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!

  2. Maryea {happy healthy mama} — June 25, 2014 @ 5:58 am (#)

    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!

  3. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — June 25, 2014 @ 6:01 am (#)

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

  4. Liz @ I Heart Vegetables — June 25, 2014 @ 6:22 am (#)

    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!

  5. Cookbook Queen — June 25, 2014 @ 7:13 am (#)

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

  6. Laura @ Raise Your Garden — June 25, 2014 @ 7:15 am (#)

    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 =)

  7. marla — June 25, 2014 @ 7:20 am (#)

    Loving this noodle salad Ali!!

  8. Jenny Flake — June 25, 2014 @ 7:41 am (#)

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

  9. Bri | Bites of Bri — June 25, 2014 @ 7:52 am (#)

    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!

  10. Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountain — June 25, 2014 @ 8:11 am (#)

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

  11. Ali's Mom — June 25, 2014 @ 8:12 am (#)

    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.

  12. Ali's Mom — June 25, 2014 @ 8:14 am (#)

    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.

  13. Maria — June 25, 2014 @ 9:17 am (#)

    Great salad for summer!

  14. Staci H — June 25, 2014 @ 9:25 am (#)

    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.

  15. danielle — June 25, 2014 @ 9:26 am (#)

    Im all over this! Making it very soon.

  16. Amanda — June 25, 2014 @ 9:30 am (#)

    This is amazing. Looks delicious and beautiful photos :)

  17. Liz @ The Lemon Bowl — June 25, 2014 @ 9:45 am (#)

    Cry laughing… tell your mom I love her photo!!! And I have a similar one http://thelemonbowl.com/2011/05/asian-broccoli-slaw.html ;-) 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!!!

  18. Marie @ Little Kitchie — June 25, 2014 @ 10:00 am (#)

    I want a giant bowl of this!!!

  19. Tieghan — June 25, 2014 @ 10:12 am (#)

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

  20. Linda — June 25, 2014 @ 10:41 am (#)

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

  21. Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl — June 25, 2014 @ 10:46 am (#)

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

  22. Nicole ~ Cooking for Keeps — June 25, 2014 @ 10:54 am (#)

    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!

  23. Meredith @ Unexpectedly Magnificent — June 25, 2014 @ 11:10 am (#)

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

  24. Candace @ The Wheatless Kitchen — June 25, 2014 @ 11:37 am (#)

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

  25. Sarah (@ People, Places & Plates) — June 25, 2014 @ 12:14 pm (#)

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

  26. naomi — June 25, 2014 @ 12:25 pm (#)

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

  27. Belinda — June 25, 2014 @ 12:31 pm (#)

    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!

  28. Courtney @ Neighborfood — June 25, 2014 @ 2:27 pm (#)

    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!

  29. Nathalie @ Devoted Foodie — June 25, 2014 @ 8:00 pm (#)

    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.

  30. Rachel Cooks — June 25, 2014 @ 8:12 pm (#)

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

  31. tina — June 25, 2014 @ 8:51 pm (#)

    Try it with broccoli slaw…awesome!

  32. tina — June 25, 2014 @ 8:56 pm (#)

    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.

  33. Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. — June 26, 2014 @ 12:19 am (#)

    This does look like the best salad ever!

  34. Meredith — June 26, 2014 @ 9:29 am (#)

    Looks crunchy and so delicious!

  35. Layla @ Brunch Time Baker — June 26, 2014 @ 9:43 am (#)

    I love this version! YUM!! :)

  36. Carol at Wild Goose Tea — June 26, 2014 @ 2:26 pm (#)

    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.

  37. Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles — June 27, 2014 @ 8:30 am (#)

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

  38. Lynn — June 27, 2014 @ 8:19 pm (#)

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

    • Ali — July 18th, 2014 @ 9:57 am

      Pineapple would be a great substitute!

  39. Marissa — June 28, 2014 @ 4:09 pm (#)

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

    • Ali — July 18th, 2014 @ 9:33 am

      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!

  40. Laura — June 29, 2014 @ 4:05 pm (#)

    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.

  41. Melissa B in IL — June 30, 2014 @ 9:08 am (#)

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

  42. taylor @ greens & chocolate — July 2, 2014 @ 8:26 pm (#)

    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 :)

  43. Michelle — July 2, 2014 @ 9:03 pm (#)

    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!

  44. Jean — July 3, 2014 @ 1:00 pm (#)

    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.

  45. Amy — July 3, 2014 @ 8:43 pm (#)

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

  46. Brook Grubs — July 4, 2014 @ 7:13 pm (#)

    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!!

    • Ali — July 5th, 2014 @ 12:32 am

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

  47. Emily — July 7, 2014 @ 5:10 pm (#)

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

  48. Kaaren — July 8, 2014 @ 5:27 pm (#)

    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.

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