This past week, I had an occasion that required me to prepare a couple of dishes that could feed a large number of people. The first recipe that came to mind what this cabbage salad. I love this salad. My family loves this salad. Everyone who tries this salad loves this salad. But for some reason, I haven’t prepared it at home in years. Which means I’ve never shared it will you all! I’m still struggling to figure out that one. But now, I’m making up for lost time! By this Sunday, I will have made it three times in one week. The first was that occasion I just mentioned, the second was for my kids‘ school lunches this week and the third will be for a neighborhood get-together this weekend. It’s that good and fast and easy and fresh. The salad is a simple combination of shredded cabbage and green onions tossed with sauteed almonds and sesame seeds (sauteed in butter no less), uncooked ramen noodles and a slightly tangy, slightly sweet rice wine vinagrette.
Interestingly, there is no name for this family favorite. Sometimes we refer to it as Chinese cabbage salad or that Asian cabbage salad with sesame seeds. Other times it’s “that salad with the cabbage and the ramen noodles.” Because my earliest memories of this recipe date back to family reunions at Fontainbleau State Park in Mandeville, where my mom would always serve it in her gigantic green Tupperware bowl, I have officially and affectionately named this dish “Family Reunion Cabbage and Ramen Salad.” We’ll see if that name sticks!
Family Reunion Cabbage and Ramen Salad Recipe
1 large head green cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
8 green onions, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 cup canola or vegetable oil
2 3-ounce packages ramen noodles (any flavor), partially crushed (seasoning packets reserved for another use or discarded)
In a large bowl, combine the cabbage and green onions; set aside. In a small skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the almonds and sesame seeds and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 5 minutes; cool slightly. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper; gradually whisk in the oil. Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture. Add the sauteed almonds and sesame seeds and ramen noodles. Toss until thoroughly combined. Serve immediately. Makes 10-12 servings.