Sunday, July 27, 2008

Chinese Napa Cabbage Salad




I don't see my friend "G" very often but when I do, I try to give her something home made. Cooking is a foreign word to "G" but she does love to eat (funny how that happens). I don't even think she's 100 lbs soaking wet, so either she's got incredible genes (that I could die for) or she just doesn't eat well. The other day "G", who knows about and giggles at my food obsession, sent me a recipe and said "you have to try this". I probed and asked how she came to try this recipe. Her answer was "me, are you nuts - my mother made it and it's so good".

The inspiration for this salad came from All Recipes. I gave it a read through and I rarely buy anything in a package but if "G" went to all this trouble, I'll try it. After reading the sodium count on the spicing package of the ramen noodles (over 1500 mg) I knew I wouldn't be using it. But, that didn't mean that I couldn't improvise. What's the worst that could happen - I'll feed my green box?

Ingredients

1 - 3 oz package chicken flavoured ramen noodles
1 Tbsp and 1 tsp butter
2 Tbsp and 2 tsp sesame seeds, toasted
2 Tbsp and 2 tsp blanched slivered almonds (I used pumpkin seeds)
1/3 large head napa cabbage, shredded fine (I used about 1/2)
2 green onions, chopped (I used a handful of chives from the garden)
1 Tbsp and 1 tsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp and 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp soy sauce (I used Tamari)
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp white sugar

Directions

1. Crush noodles, place them in a medium skillet and brown in butter over medium heat.



2. Add almonds and sesame seeds. Stir often to prevent burning.
3. Add seasoning mix from noodles and cool (I omitted this part)



4. Toss in a large bowl with cabbage and onions.

Dressing

1. Prepare dressing by whisking together the vegetable oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and sugar.
2. Pour over salad, toss and serve




Looking at the salad, I thought ..hmmm...kinda bland looking. I tasted and thought .. it's okay, don't know what all the fuss was about. I had another fork full and thought ... this is pretty good. Okay I'm hooked. It's fabulous and now I know why "G" was so enamoured with it. It has crunch and lots of flavour. Napa cabbage is so light it allows the other flavours to take front row while it acts more as a filler.

I am most definitely making this again and would serve it for company in a heartbeat StumbleUpon

33 comments:

OhioMom said...

Now this I would eat, but like you sans the flavor packet from the noodles. I am the only one in this household that likes fresh cabbage salads, but I think I could break this down just for me :)

noble pig said...

This is lovely and one of my fav salads of all times! Thanks for posting this.

Lori Lynn said...

I thought I read it was a chicken salad and keep thinking where's the chicken? But now I see. It sounds really good, as is, and maybe could be a good main course alfresco lunch, topped with a grilled chicken breast? Thanks for sharing. I like your tablecloth too.

kitchenetta said...

Looks delicious. Love your photos, too (as always!) I'll be trying this one, for sure.

giz said...

OM - They won't even know it's cabbage - napa cabbage doesn't even taste like cabbage. This quantity was enough for me over 2 days. I don't think the salad suffered at all without the flavour packet.

Kathy - I was amazed at how wonderful this salad really is.

LL - with chicken on top it would be fantastic as a main course. I'm going to do that next time.

Kitchenetta - you won't be sorry - it's such a refreshing difference from regular salads.

glamah16 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
glamah16 said...

I read it wrong. I see you added the seasoning mix. Thats how you get the flavor. I almost bought some Nappa cabbage yesterday.

That Girl said...

I keep seeing recipes with Napa cabbage - I'm going to have to try some soon.

Adam said...

Great use of the noodles with the cabbage. I like how you skipped the sodium-fest packet too. I wish I made Ramen that nutritious back in my super poor days :)

I'm glad you liked the nutrition post :)

Ricki said...

This sounds very much like my favorite napa cabbage recipe as well (I leave out the ramen and add edamame and grated carrot). I could eat the entire bowlful myself! (But that would be a bad idea, of course). ;)

Lori said...

I like Nappa cabbage. Its very light and cooks up quickly. I make dumplings with nappa.
Man those flavor packets, wicked sodium.

I will keep checking back for cake Giz.

Bellini Valli said...

I love this version of Asian salad:D

Jude said...

Pretty good use of instant ramen. Looks like there's a lot of interesting textures going on here.

bunny said...

this is so different, i really like this recipe. i've never used napa cabbage either. i'm putting it on the grocery list.

Proud Italian Cook said...

I have had this salad before, and I absolutely love it! I didn't realize how much sodium was in that packet though, I'm sure it tasted just as good with out, it looks great!

Krysta said...

i love this type of salad... i hate the seasoning packs too.

daphne said...

Woah! That's alot of sodium. Well, I think you improvised well. The colours + noodles- great texture.

dessertobsessed said...

i am so craving that right now!! i can't find fresh salad anywhere in asia!

Darius T. Williams said...

I've had this before at a book club meeting. But you know, the one I tasted had craisins in it. Can we just should horaay for the craisins - lol. Yours looked awesome!

-DTW
www.everydaycookin.blogspot.com

Grace said...

ah, ramen noodles. so versatile. excellent call skipping the flavor packet--those things are potent. :)

NĂºria said...

I never get tired of salads! The more I know, the better :D. However, finding asian food in my village is hard... no, not hard, impossible! I'll have to pick it in Barcelona :D

shambo said...

Giz, I've seen similar recipes and thought they sounded good. But the addition of the flavor packet is what stopped me from trying them. Thanks for posting the recipe and your comments about the salad without that sodium laden little packet. You've convinced me. I'm another who really likes napa cabbage. This will make a perfect summer meal.

Kristen said...

What a great looking salad!
Hey - by the way... got your comment about the carrot cake while I was on vacation...sorry I didn't respond.
Secret is to use the thicker grated carrots, not the finely grated carrots AND when you are editing the photo, increase the saturation :) Gotta love photoshop!

Dee said...

I make a version of this (with Soba) that the boys love. It's easy, tastes amazing and I usually throw in whatever's about to die in the fridge :)

canarygirl said...

Oooooh! I *love* this salad! I make a similar one---the *only* salad my dear hubs eats. lmfao

RecipeGirl said...

I love this salad. Haven't made it in years. I'll have to whip it up again with your inspiration!

Deborah said...

I grew up on this - we called it Chinese Cole Slaw. Now I'm craving some!! We would just use half of the flavor packet - the whole thing is just too much!

Neen said...

Well done. I like Lori lynn's idea to add grilled chicken on top. It's a really need, out-of-the-ordinary salad... but no one can accuse you of being pretentious when you start with a package of ramen! Perfect for getting vegetables into University students....? :)

Kevin said...

This sounds like an interesting way to use ramen noodles. I will have to try it.

Katie's blog said...

I have made a version of this salad. I really like it. I might have to try your version soon! The picture looks yummy.

Michelle said...

I've had this salad and it is very good! I was surprised I liked it with the soup mix but I loved the crunchy bits!

giz said...

I was able to find a reasonable facsimile for the ramen noodles - they're a little larger but don't come with the seasoning pack and will let you all know how they work.

Francesca said...

Thanks for posting this recipe. My housemate in university used to make it, and I never got the recipe from her. Now I have it! Delicious!

Share/Bookmark