During my college years, ramen was an inexpensive staple, but my repertoire was very limited to just cooking in water and adding a veg or meat. Ramen was a soup dish.
However, after college and pretending to be an adult, I went a potluck where a Japanese couple brought a cabbage slaw with ramen noodles. Interesting... I've never seen that before. The salad was delicious.
Here's my attempt at a Cabbage Salad with Ramen.
Since I was experimenting around, I kept the portions small. Just in case it didn't work out. Also, I kept the dish vegetarian by using fried tofu.
1 C Cabbage, thinly sliced
1/2 C Nappa Cabbage, thinly sliced
1/2 Package of Ramen, crushed
1/2 C fried Tofu (marinaded in soy sauce, toasted sesame oil and garlic powder)
2 T Waterchestnut, julienned
2 T Carrot, julienned
Toasted sesame seed oil
Mix. I purposely kept the tofu topping lightly seasoned since I was adding a reduction on top.
-Soy Ginger Garlic Reduction
4T Soy sauce
2T Green onions, minced
1t Ginger, minced
1 clove Garlic, minced
Lime Juice (1 lime about 2T)
Lightly saute the garlic, green onion, ginger.
Add the lime juice and the soy sauce... mix and gently reduce the mixture.
Lime juice and Red wine vinegar... enough for 2T
1T Chive oil
1T Vegetable oil
1/4t Toasted Seasame Seed oil
couple pinches of sugar.
The Dressing - I like my dressing to be tart so I just used a couple pinches of sugar cut back on the tartness of the red wine vinegar.
The Dressing Mixed
The Cabbage forms the base.
Uncooked ramen act as the croutons.
Tofu Salad topped with the soy sauce reduction.
Salad dressing drizzled around the salad.
The salad reminded me of a Chinese style chicken salad with a tart dressing. I think I smashed the ramen too much. :-)
The reduction is very intense. Has a strong garlic and green onion flavor. The soy is very present and pleasant. The lime juice adds the acidity that cuts through the strong flavors.
Mix everything together before eating makes for just the right amount of salt from the reduction.
Overall, not bad, but needs some more work. Next time I may add just a touch more sesame seed oil.
Using uncooked ramen!
Ramen is actually cooked before packaging. When made in the factory, the fresh noodles roll off the assembly line into a deep fat fryer. The deep frying dries the noodles for packaging. That's why a whole package of ramen is 400 or 500 Calories.