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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Crunchy Ramen Salad - 3 ways

Crunchy Ramen Salad - 3 Ways
"Variation 1 - Collin Kronke's recipe"
If you dropped by for #SundaySupper this past weekend, you'll have noticed that we are teaming up with American Family Insurance this week for their Back to Table Campaign.  I'm so happy to be sharing another post in this effort!  And actually, it's a pretty fun post.  Why, you ask?  Well, because to go along with the Back to the Table Campaign, AmFam employees have been gracious enough to share some of their own family's favorite recipes - and then setting some of the Sunday Supper members loose with them!

I couldn't wait to get my hands on a recipe, and after much consideration, this is the one I chose.  This "Crunchy Asian Salad" that was submitted by Collin Kromke ("...we love the sweetness and crunchiness") grabbed my attention right away, because my grandma used to make a similar version.  I grabbed the recipe from her as soon as we were done eating it for the first time.  It definitely called for a throw-down type of situation.  So, that's what I made it.

And then I took it one step further and made my very own hybrid.  And I came up with a Crunchy Ramen Salad.  Which variation do you think that you'd gravitate towards?

Crunchy Ramen Salad - 3 Ways
"Variation 2 - my grandma's recipe"
Things looking hectic?  Try using Sunday (or one of your days off) as a day to cook, dice, chop, and package up any legumes, grains, fruits, and veggies you will need for the week.  Use jars, containers, and zippered baggies to store them - adding a label with the day you'll be using it and the amount that's in it.  Then, when you get home from work or school, it'll be easy to grab what you need to make dinner that night.

This isn't a main dish, but if you pick up a rotisserie chicken on the way home from work (and maybe you'll even have a cooked grain ready for re-heating packaged up in the fridge) - you've got a delicious meal in no time!

Crunchy Ramen Salad
by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 10-15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Keywords: salad side vegetarian cabbage nuts seeds

Ingredients (serves 10-12)
    for the dressing:
    • 1/4 cup "light" oil (vegetable, sunflower, grapeseed, light olive)
    • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
    • 1/4 cup agave nectar
    • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
    • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
    • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • few grates of black pepper
    for the crunch:
    • 3 ounces unsalted butter
    • 2/3 cup sunflower seeds
    • 2/3 cup slivered almonds
    • 2 (3 ounce) packages ramen noodles w/ seasoning packets - the dried type of noodles (chicken or oriental flavor)
    the rest:
    • 1 head (~16 ounces) Napa Cabbage, shredded
    • 1 (16 ounce) pkg. Coleslaw Mix (shredded green cabbage, red cabbage, carrots)
    • 5 green onions, thinly sliced
    • large handful of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped (heaping 1/4 cup)
    Place all of the dressing ingredients into a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake hard until combined. Set aside.

    Heat the butter in a medium pan, over medium heat, until it just bubbles. Add sunflower seeds, almonds, ramen noodles, and 1-1/2 packets of the ramen seasoning (discard the rest). Saute until everything has begun to turn golden, stirring often. Set aside and allow to cool a bit.

    Combine all of the veggies in a large bowl. Just before you're ready to serve, shake the dressing again and add it and the "crunchy stuff" to the bowl and toss. This salad is best eaten immediately after tossed.

    Switch it up:
    • add in a red bell pepper than has been very finely julienned.
    • substitute a bit of the oil in the dressing for sesame oil
    • add sesame seeds to the crunchy mixture, or sprinkle them over the top before serving

    These are the two salads that inspired my Crunchy Asian Salad:
      Variation 1 ("Crunchy Asian Salad" - this recipe is slightly adapted from Collin Kromke of American Family Insurance)
      • 1 (16 ounce) bag coleslaw mix (shredded green cabbage, red cabbage, carrots)
      • 2 ounces (1/4 cup / 1/2 stick) butter
      • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
      • 1/3 cup slivered almonds
      • 1 package Ramen noodles (chicken flavored)
      • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
      • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
      • 1/2 cup sugar
      • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
      Empty the coleslaw mix into a large bowl; set aside. Heat butter until bubbling in a medium skillet. Add sunflower seeds, almonds, crumbled ramen noodles, and the seasoning packet. Saute until golden in spots. Set aside to cool. Combine the vegetable oil, vinegar, sugar, and soy sauce in a small jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake until well combined. Just before you're ready to serve, toss everything together (add about half the dressing, and use the rest as needed).

      Variation 2 ("Chinese Salad" - this recipe came from my grandma)
      • 1 head Napa Cabbage, shredded
      • 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
      • 1/4 cup butter
      • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
      • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
      • 1 package ramen noodles, crumbled + 1/2 of seasoning packet (any flavor)
      • 1/2 cup oil
      • 1/2 cup sugar
      • 1/4 cup vinegar
      • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
      • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
      Place the cabbage and green onions in a large bowl; set aside. Saute the sunflower seeds and slivered almonds in butter until they turn golden. Add to bowl. Whisk together the remaining ingredients, and then toss with everything in the bowl just before serving.
      Crunchy Ramen Salad - 3 Ways