A homemade sesame dressing with healthy chopped kale and Serrano pepper make this updated Asian Ramen Noodle Salad the best one yet.
The first time I had Asian Ramen Noodle Salad I was already in my twenties. My boyfriend’s mom (Hi, Mrs. Quartucci!) made it all the time, for almost every occasion. I immediately fell in love and asked her for the recipe.
Everyone loves the classic Asian ramen noodle salad – which is pretty much perfect on its own – but I wanted to make a version that’s slightly healthier and tastes even better. I have to say, this easy recipe achieves that beautifully!
This updated version has chopped kale which can handle days in the refrigerator without wilting. This isn’t one of those recipes that changes everything so much that it tastes healthy, so don’t worry that it’s going to be all kale flavor and nothing else. You almost won’t even notice it’s there. REALLY. I like to chop my kale fairly small to make it easy to eat and really blend in with the other ingredients.
A homemade sesame dressing is also key to maximum flavor. It has just 7 ingredients and is really quick to throw together. But it’s the addition of thinly sliced serrano peppers that really make this ramen noodle salad stand out. The contrast of the sweet dressing with the spicy peppers is irresistible!
How do you make Ramen Noodle Salad?
Making Asian ramen noodle salad is so easy! You’ll first mix up the dressing ingredients and let it sit while you work on the salad itself. It’s important to toast the noodles first which really maximizes their flavor. Crush the noodles with your hands, a jar, or even the flat side of a meat mallet while they’re still in the package. Place them on a sheet pan along with some sliced almonds and sesame seeds then gently toss it all with your hands. Toast it all in the oven until it’s lightly browned, about 10 minutes or so.
Toss some chopped kale, shredded green cabbage, chopped green onions, thinly sliced serrano pepper, and a cup of chopped cilantro in a big bowl. Add the toasted noodle mixture, pour over the dressing, and toss it so the dressing coats everything.
Pop it in the refrigerator for at least an hour to allow the flavors to meld. It will keep well for a few days, making it a great make-ahead dish to keep on hand for easy lunches or dinners all week or to take to a potluck.
Are Ramen Noodles bad for you?
They’re not the healthiest choice, that’s for sure. This recipe doesn’t use the seasoning packets that come with the noodles, which is the unhealthiest part of a package of ramen noodles. So although they’re not great, with the combination of kale and other ingredients, this is a recipe you don’t have to feel guilty about.
Can Asian Ramen Noodle Salad be served as a main dish?
Yes, absolutely! Try adding some shredded rotisserie chicken to instantly turn it into a main dish. Cooked shrimp is also a delicious choice. It’s a great recipe to add any leftover protein that you have on hand, such as leftover pork tenderloin or even steak.
You’d be surprised how many things can be made with ramen noodles! Here’s a list of 21 recipes that use ramen noodles – there are main dishes, soups, and even instructions for how to make your own ramen noodles. There’s even a dessert recipe that looks incredible. They’re so inexpensive and last forever, so stock up and give one of these recipes a try!
For the salad:
- 2 cups chopped kale
- 3 cups finely shredded green cabbage
- 1 cup chopped cilantro
- 2 packages ramen noodles, seasoning discarded or saved for another use
- 1 1/2 cup sliced almonds, I use a 6-ounce bag which is about the same
- 1 handful sesame seeds, about a tablespoon or two
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1 serrano pepper, very thinly sliced (optional)
For the dressing:
- 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Truvia Baking Blend, or a tablespoon and a half of sugar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger, or to taste
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- Preheat oven to 300F.
- Mix together all dressing ingredients. Set aside.
- While still in package, crush noodles into small pieces. Place crushed noodles on baking sheet along with almonds and sesame seeds; gently toss with your hands. Toast in oven until lightly browned, about 10 minutes or so. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
- Place remaining salad ingredients into a large serving bowl and gently toss. Add ramen noodle mixture and toss again. Pour dressing over and thoroughly toss. Allow to sit for about an hour for flavors to blend, then serve.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 588Total Fat: 47gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 38gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 920mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 9gSugar: 5gProtein: 13g
This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix.