This salad dates back to the late 1980's in my recipe file. I loved it then and I still love it now. It makes a perfect luncheon salad, buffet salad or dinner salad paired with some grilled chicken or fish.
The base of the salad is Napa cabbage and green onions.
The dressing is a lovely blend of sweet and sour. I like to add some red pepper flakes for just a bit of 'heat'. A few violas from the garden and you have a delicious springtime salad.
Asian-Inspired Napa Salad
Depending on the serving sizes, this serves 8-12 or even more. I halve the recipe and have enough for two meals for me and my husband.
2 Packages Ramen noodles, any flavor, uncooked. Throw away the seasoning packets.
3-4 Tablespoons butter (the original recipe calls for using 1/2 stick of butter!)
3-4 Tablespoons light olive oil
1 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup sesame seeds (or 1/4 cup sesame seeds and 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds)
2 small heads of Napa cabbage (or 1 small head of Napa and 1 small head of Romaine), thinly sliced
1 bunch of green onions, thinly sliced, using some of the green
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced (optional)
Dressing (this will make more than enough to dress the salad and still have some to serve on the side)
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup canola oil
1 cup water
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon dried ginger or you can use freshly grated ginger to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon)
1/4 teaspoon dried garlic powder or 1 small clove freshly grated garlic
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Melt butter and oil over medium heat in very large frying pan. Saute the noodles and almonds until very brown, breaking up the noodles with a wooden spoon as they brown. Add the sesame seeds last as they brown quickly.
Whisk together the dressing ingredients.
In a very large bowl, combine all the salad ingredients. Toss with enough dressing to coat and then serve. If you wish, you can reserve some of the noodle/nut mixture to garnish.