This Asian ramen cabbage salad is filled with napa and purple cabbage, shredded carrots, scallions, shelled edamame, crunchy ramen noodles, slivered almonds and a peanut sesame dressing.
A few weeks ago we hosted some family over for a barbecue and my mother-in-law brought an Asian cabbage salad that we all went nuts for. It was just so good! And I immediately asked her for the recipe.
The recipe came from this blog and I decided that I just had to create my own version and share it with you. I took what was already an amazing cabbage salad and tried to kick it up a notch with more veggies, more color, and even more appeal. This fresh and flavorful Asian ramen cabbage salad is a perfect side dish for parties or potlucks, it’s great for meal-prepping lunches, and you can even add a protein like chicken or salmon to make it a complete main dish for dinner.
There are so many ways to love this salad!
What’s in this Asian ramen cabbage salad?
There’s 3 parts to this salad— cabbage and lots of other fresh veggies, crunchy ramen noodles, and a homemade peanut sesame dressing.
I used a combination of napa cabbage and purple cabbage as a base for the salad. I like napa cabbage more than standard green cabbage as its leaves are more tender like lettuce, the extra texture holds onto the dressing better, and it’s prettier! It’s a little more expensive than green cabbage, but still really affordable, and you should be able to find it in most stores too. If you’d like you can use a head of green cabbage instead.
In addition to the cabbage there’s also shredded carrots, chopped scallions, shelled edamame (also known as mukimame) and fresh cilantro. Just look at all those pretty colors! This is one beautiful “taste the rainbow” salad.
Crunchy Ramen Noodles
For added crunch and flavor, I toasted crushed ramen noodles (yes, the noodles that come in the cheap instant ramen packs), slivered almonds, and sesame seeds in a little butter in a skillet over the stove. This crunchy mixture is such a great boost to this salad— don’t skip it!
Homemade peanut sesame dressing
The dressing for this salad couldn’t be easier! Just add the below ingredients to a jar with a lid and shake vigorously until combined.
- Vegetable oil
- Sesame oil
- Creamy peanut butter
- Rice vinegar
- Soy sauce
If the peanut butter won’t incorporate, microwave dressing for 20-30 seconds to help it melt together with the other ingredients.
Want to add a protein?
Sure, go right ahead! This salad is great as a side dish, but you can also had a protein to turn it into a complete meal. Here are a few suggestions, but of course you can add whatever you’d like:
- Grilled or shredded chicken
- Roasted salmon
- Flank steak
- Fried tofu
Serve it with whatever you like, and I promise you’re going to love it!
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Asian Ramen Cabbage Salad
Crunchy ramen noodles:
- 2 packages ramen noodles (flavoring packet discarded)
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds
- 1/4 cup butter
Peanut sesame dressing:
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 lb napa cabbage (1 small head), shredded
- 1/2 lb purple cabbage (1/2 small head), shredded
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 bunch green onions, chopped
- 1 cup mukimame/shelled edamame
- Large handful cilantro
To make crunchy ramen noodles:
- Crush ramen noodles into small pieces.
- Add ramen, almonds, sesame seeds and butter to skillet over medium heat.
- Cook until noodles, almonds and sesame seeds are toasted and golden brown, about 5 minutes, stirring often.
- Set aside to cool.
To make dressing:
- Combine all ingredients in a jar with lid.
- Shake vigorously until combined.
- If peanut butter won't incorporate, microwave for 20-30 seconds until it melts into the other ingredients.
To assemble salad:
- Add cabbage, carrots, green onions, mukimame, and cilantro to a large bowl.
- Toss with dressing and add ramen noodles.
- Serve immediately.