APRIL 29, 2014
The tang of vinegar and zing of ginger add a nice bite to the dressing for this Asian-inspired slaw made with toasted ramen noodles. For the longest time, says Margie Yamamoto of Lincoln, who has made it for years, she thought it was an old family recipe. Her sister, Shirley Park, made her promise never to share it. Yamamoto dutifully obeyed, until “one day I found the recipe on the back of a package of roasted ramen noodles.” She toasts noodles from a package of ordinary packaged ramen and discards the packet of soup base. The noodles are mixed with red and green cabbage, carrots, scallions, and a generous sprinkle of cilantro, which gives a herby depth to the colorful salad, and dressed with rice vinegar, soy sauce, fresh ginger, and dark sesame oil. “This is a great recipe for feeding a crowd,” says Yamamoto, who gives the recipe out to everyone who asks.
¼ cup unseasoned rice vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 piece (2 inches) fresh ginger
2 teaspoons dark Asian sesame oil
⅓ cup canola oil
1. In a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar, lemon juice, and soy sauce.
2. Over a small bowl, using a fine grater, grate the ginger. Squeeze the ginger shreds in your hand to make about 1 tablespoon juice. Add to the vinegar mixture. Whisk in the sesame and canola oils until well combined; set aside.
½ head red cabbage, shredded
½ head green cabbage, shredded
Salt and pepper to taste
2 packages dried ramen noodles,broken into small pieces
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
½ cup sliced almonds
1 large carrot, shredded
1 bunch scallions, finely chopped
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Have on hand a rimmed baking sheet.
2. Set a colander over a large bowl. Add the red and green cabbages to the colander, sprinkling the layers lightly with salt. Let it sit for 30 minutes.
3. Remove the dried noodles from the ramen package. Working over the baking sheet, break the ramen nests into ¼-inch and ½-inch pieces. Distribute the noodles evenly on the sheet. Bake the noodles for about 8 minutes or until they brown, tossing halfway through baking.
4. Heat a small skillet over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the sesame seeds, and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes or until they turn brown and begin to pop. Transfer to a bowl.
5. In the same skillet, cook the almonds, stirring often, for 2 minutes or until they turn pale golden. Add to the sesame seeds.
6. Lift the colander with cabbages off the bowl. Discard the liquid in the bowl and wipe it out. Add the cabbages, carrot, scallions, cilantro, sesame seeds, almonds, and ramen.
7. Whisk the dressing again and sprinkle it over the cabbage mixture. Toss well. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like. Debra Samuels. Adapted from Margie Yamamoto.