Are you searching for a unique and delicious dish to impress your guests at your next gathering? Look no further than this flavorful Ramen Noodle Salad.
Combining the nostalgic taste of ramen noodles with a refreshing Asian twist, this salad will surely be a hit.
The crunchy texture of toasted noodles, the vibrant colors of fresh vegetables, and the tangy sweetness of the dressing create a harmonious blend of flavors that will leave you craving more.
Whether you’re hosting a picnic or barbecue or simply looking for an easy weeknight dinner, this salad is the perfect choice.
Table of Contents
Why This Asian Ramen Noodle Salad Works
- Wholesome: This modern version of the classic Ramen Noodle Salad takes the best elements of the traditional recipe and enhances them for a healthier and more delicious result.
- No Seasoning Packets: We can control the flavors and avoid unnecessary additives in this Asian ramen salad recipe by omitting the high-sodium seasoning packets and replacing them with homemade dressing.
- Natural Sweetness: Using mandarin oranges adds a burst of natural sweetness to the crunchy ramen noodle cabbage salad.
- Fresh Ingredients: We also opt for adding a slaw mix, which contains red and green cabbage, carrots, snap peas, and red and yellow peppers, adding a vibrant and crisp texture to this crunchy ramen noodles dish.
These adjustments make the salad not only tasty but also a nutritious option for any occasion.
What You’ll Need
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Before diving into the recipe, make sure you have the following equipment on hand:
Below, I discuss the ingredients and possible substitutions if you don’t have a specific ingredient. However, if you are looking for the specific measurements of each ingredient, scroll down to the bottom of this article, just above the comments, for the printable recipe card, which includes all the ingredients and the specific amounts of each one.
Below is a list of ingredients that you will need. Scroll down to the bottom of this article, just above the comments, for the printable recipe card, for more detail.
Ramen Noodle Salad Ingredients
- Oil – This oil is used to heat the noodles. I recommend using an oil that can handle heat, such as vegetable oil, avocado, or coconut oil.
- Ramen noodles – You’ll need three packages of ramen noodles, but you can discard the seasoning mix packets.
- Sliced Almonds
- Cole slaw (tri-color) – You can slice green and red cabbage and shred carrots, or you can buy two packages of cole slaw mix with those ingredients.
- Fresh snow peas
- Red bell pepper, sliced
- Yellow bell pepper, sliced
- Mandarin oranges – You can use fresh or canned.
- Water Chestnuts, diced
- Fresh Green Onions – You’ll be using the green parts only.
- Fresh Cilantro, chopped.
- Sesame Seeds – (for garnish, optional)
- Vegetable Oil
- Granulated Sugar
- Lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- Sesame Oil
- Black Pepper
- Garlic powder
- Tri-Color Slaw – Instead of using a slaw mix with green cabbage, carrots, and red cabbage, you could substitute broccoli slaw as I did with my other recipe, Ramen Salad with Broccoli Slaw.
- Sesame Seeds – Instead of sesame seeds, you could use crunchy sunflower seeds instead.
- Lemon Juice – Instead of lemon juice, add flavored vinegar instead, like apple cider vinegar, to the salad dressing.
How To Make Ramen Noodle Salad
- In a large skillet over medium-low heat, add the oil once hot. Add the crushed noodles and almonds. Cook, often stirring, until toasted and lightly golden brown, about 8-10 minutes.
- Place on a plate to stop cooking and set aside.
- Make the dressing. Next, in a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, lemon juice, sesame oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
In a large bowl, add the slaw, snow peas, bell peppers, mandarin oranges, water chestnuts, green onions, cilantro, and the noodle almond mixture.
Add the dressing and toss to combine. Serve immediately with a sesame seed garnish if using.
- More Crunch – To maintain the crunchiness of the noodles, it’s best to add them just before serving. However, even when they become slightly soggy, the salad remains delicious. For an extra crunch, double the amount of noodles and add an additional tablespoon of oil when toasting.
- Adjust Size – Feel free to adjust the size of the crushed noodles according to your preference. Larger or smaller pieces can provide a variety of textures in each bite.
- Double – This recipe yields a large batch, but it can easily be halved or doubled to accommodate your needs.
- Do The Twist – The dressing in this recipe strikes a perfect balance between sweet and tangy. However, you can experiment with different citrus juices to add your twist.
- Add More – If you’re feeling adventurous, add edamame, jalapeños, Napa cabbage, daikon radish, or fresh bean sprouts to the salad for additional flavors and textures.
- Leftovers – Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to five days. If you know you won’t consume it all at once, keep the noodles and almonds separate from the salad and add them to each portion as needed. The toasted noodles can be kept at room temperature in a sealed container.
- Freezing – This recipe is not suitable for freezing.
If you’re looking to explore different variations of Ramen Noodle Salad, consider the following ideas:
- Spicy Kick: Add a tablespoon of Sriracha or crushed red pepper flakes to the dressing for a spicy twist.
- Broccoli Slaw: Use broccoli slaw instead of regular cabbage slaw for a nutritional boost and additional crunch. Try this Ramen Salad with Broccoli Slaw.
- Protein Boost: Enhance the salad’s nutritional value by adding grilled chicken, rotisserie chicken, shrimp, or tofu.
- Asian-Inspired Dressing: Swap the lemon juice for rice vinegar and add a tablespoon of soy sauce and a teaspoon of grated ginger to the dressing for an authentic Asian flavor.
- Sesame Lovers: Drizzle a bit of extra toasted sesame oil over the finished salad for an intensified sesame flavor.
- Crunchy Toppings: Experiment with different toppings, such as chopped peanuts or crispy wonton strips, to add an extra layer of crunchiness
What To Serve With Ramen Noodle Salad
Ramen Noodle Salad pairs wonderfully with various dishes, complementing their flavors and adding a refreshing element to the meal. Here are a few suggestions for what to serve alongside this delicious salad:
- Grilled Mahi Mahi: The savory flavors of grilled Mahi Mahi perfectly balance the sweetness and crunchiness of the salad.
- Teriyaki Glazed Chicken: The umami and savory flavors of teriyaki sauce, garlic, and ginger in this chicken dish make it an ideal companion to the Ramen Noodle Salad.
- Asian BBQ Burger: A hamburger made with an Asian BBQ sauce with hoisin sauce and sriracha mayonnaise pairs perfectly with the crunchy Ramen Noodle Salad.
While it’s best to serve the Ramen Noodle Salad immediately after mixing in the dressing, you can prepare the individual components in advance. Keep the toasted noodle and almond mixture separate from the vegetables and dressing until you’re ready to serve. This way, you can ensure the noodles remain crunchy.
Absolutely! Feel free to experiment with different varieties of cabbage, such as Napa cabbage or purple cabbage, to add a unique twist to the salad. The vibrant colors and distinct flavors can enhance your culinary experience.
Yes, this recipe is suited well for vegetarian or vegan diets. Since there are no meat-based protein additions, such as chicken or shrimp, in this recipe, and all the ingredients, including in the dressing, should be free from animal products. However, I highly recommend that you read the ingredients of all labels, including the ramen noodles, to ensure they are free from animal products.
If you’re a fan of ramen noodles and want to explore more delicious recipes, check out these tasty options:
- Tonkatsu Ramen: Homemade Tonkotsu Pork Ramen has a rich pork bone broth, ramen noodles, tahini, soy sauce, togarashi, miso paste, salt, fried garlic, and spicy chili oil, that when combined, makes a delicious meal.
- Slow Cooker Beef Ramen Noodles: Slow cooker beef ramen is a Japanese-inspired dish with ground beef, carrots, red peppers, and green onions in a sweet and savory sauce.
- Instant Pot Ramen Stir Fry with Chicken: A “faux” stir fry, made in an Instant Pot, with chicken and broccoli and a homemade spicy teriyaki sauce for a sweet and spicy taste.
- Thai Noodle Salad: Full of flavor and vegetables, this Thai Noodle Salad can be served hot or cold, at any BBQ, potluck, or picnic.
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Asian Ramen Noodle Salad with Mandarin Oranges
For The Salad
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 3-ounce packages ramen noodles crushed
- 1.5 cups sliced almonds
- 2 pounds cole slaw (tri-color)
- 8 ounces fresh snow peas sliced
- 1 red bell pepper sliced
- 1 yellow bell pepper sliced
- 15 ounces mandarin oranges drained well
- 8 ounces diced water chestnuts drained well
- 4 green onions sliced, green parts only
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- sesame seeds for garnish optional
- In a large skillet over medium-low heat, add the oil once hot. Add the crushed noodles and almonds. Cook, often stirring, until toasted and lightly golden brown, about 8-10 minutes. Place on a plate to stop cooking and set aside.1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 2 3-ounce packages ramen noodles, 1.5 cups sliced almonds
- Make the dressing in a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, lemon juice, sesame oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.1/2 cup vegetable oil, 6 tablespoons granulated sugar, 6 tablespoons lemon juice, 1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- In a large bowl, add the slaw, snow peas, bell peppers, mandarin oranges, water chestnuts, green onions, cilantro, and the noodle almond mixture.2 pounds cole slaw, 8 ounces fresh snow peas, 1 red bell pepper, 1 yellow bell pepper, 15 ounces mandarin oranges, 8 ounces diced water chestnuts, 4 green onions, 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Add the dressing and toss to combine. Serve immediately with a sesame seed garnish if using.sesame seeds for garnish
- If you are making this for a party, I suggest waiting to add the noodles and almonds right before serving. If not, they will become soggy from soaking up the dressing. However, I think it is still delicious when the noodles get soggy!
- I like to crush the noodles so there are larger and smaller pieces and a variety of textures. But you can leave the pieces as big or small as you like.
- This makes a large batch, but it is easy to make half a batch or even double it if needed.
- The dressing is sweet and tangy and goes perfectly with all the ingredients. Overall the salad is a perfect balance of salty and sweet.
- Use your favorite citrus juice in place of lemon juice in the dressing. However, it may not have the same tangy flavor.
- If you want even more crunch, double the noodles and add one more tablespoon of oil when toasting.
- Other additions include edamame, jalapenos, peas, napa cabbage, daikon radish, or fresh bean sprouts.
- Keep leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- If you know you aren’t going to eat it all at once, I suggest keeping the noodles and almonds separate from the salad and adding them to each portion. The toasted noodles can be kept at room temperature in a sealed container.
- I do not suggest freezing.