Sneak Preview: This special recipe for Crunchy Coleslaw starts with a coleslaw mix. Add toasted almonds and sesame seeds (toast in your microwave) along with crunchy Ramen noodles. Cover with a light sweet-and-sour vinaigrette.
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How do you like your coleslaw? The subject can be polarizing. Some like it tart, others sweet. Some prefer it with onions, while others do not. Some want mayonnaise in the dressing, while others prefer a vinaigrette.
This Crunchy Coleslaw, or Ramen Noodle Salad as some call it, was given to me by my daughter-in-law. It’s a variation of the traditional recipe—no mayonnaise in sight. It is a side dish that shows up at our family celebrations more often than not.
Use a grocery store coleslaw mix for convenience. Add toasted almonds and crushed Ramen noodles for an Asian touch. At the last minute, pour a simple sweet-and-sour vinaigrette over the salad. Enjoy the CRUNCH.
Ingredients and substitutions:
- Cabbage and carrots: A coleslaw mix can be a mixed bag. Nearly all will include shredded cabbage and carrots. The one shown below includes purple cabbage. Some mixes include shredded broccoli. Any of these will work.
If you prefer the texture of preparing your own cabbage and carrots, go right ahead. I’m sure your salad will be even more delicious.
- Ramen noodles: The recipe calls for chicken flavor. The spice envelope in the package is included in the recipe, so the flavor matters. Buy the spicy chicken flavor for an interesting variation.
- Sliced almonds: Toasted sliced almonds are the secret to this recipe. You could also use slivered almonds (matchstick-shaped almonds).
I like to toast the almonds and sesame seeds in the microwave. It takes less than 90 seconds.
Try chopped peanuts or sunflower seeds if you don’t have almonds in the pantry and need a quick substitute. Both are crunchy and have a similar taste profile.
- Sesame seeds: They add a lot of flavor to this recipe. Be sure your seeds are fresh. They can go rancid quickly. Always smell them first. Sesame seeds that smell bad will ruin your salad.
- Oil: Avocado oil is my first choice. Any light vegetable oil, such as canola, will work.
- Vinegar: Try apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar instead of white vinegar.
Can I make this salad ahead of time?
This cabbage salad is best when you mix it together shortly before serving. Eat it before the noodles absorb moisture from the dressing and lose their crunch.
Because the crunchy parts get soft, this coleslaw doesn’t keep well. Fortunately, that’s not a big deal because I doubt you’ll have much left over. (My daughter-in-law loves the leftovers, so don’t go by me.)
If you want to make this salad, mix the dressing in a shakeable jar (up to three days ahead of time). Keep all ingredients separate until you are ready to serve.
How to make “Crunchy Coleslaw:”
Parting Thoughts: This coleslaw is a tradition at many of our family celebrations. It goes especially well with barbecue or hamburgers. Fill out the menu with these Best Baked Beans with Ground Beef and Sausage, Old-Fashioned Potato Salad, or this Torn Angel Food Cake with Strawberries.
Help at Your Fingertips: For questions or suggestions, email Paula at saladinajar.com. If you need help, I’m happy to troubleshoot via email (faster than leaving a comment). Attach pictures and as many details as possible for the best advice.
Crunchy Coleslaw Recipe with Ramen
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ cup (109 g) vegetable oil – I use avocado oil
- 3 tablespoons (43 g) white vinegar
- 1 packet seasoning from the noodle package
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- ½ cup (46 g) almonds, sliced or slivered
- 1 3-ounce package (85 g) chicken-flavored Ramen noodles
- 1 14 to 16-ounce (425 g) bag of coleslaw mix
- Mix 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, ½ cup (109 g) vegetable oil, 3 tablespoons (43 g) white vinegar, 1 packet seasoning from the noodle package, and ½ teaspoon black pepper together to make the dressing. Use a small container you can shake to mix to make it easier to transport later.
- Toast 2 tablespoons sesame seeds and ½ cup (46 g) almonds, sliced or slivered. (I do this in my microwave for 1-1/2 minutes on a paper plate. Stir once.) When cooled, put into a zippered plastic bag if not eating immediately.
- Put 1 3-ounce package (85 g) chicken-flavored Ramen noodles into a quart-size zippered plastic bag. Use a rolling pin to crush. Store in a bag until ready to assemble the salad.
- Place 1 14 to 16-ounce (425 g) bag of coleslaw mix into a salad bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Bring salad dressing container, nuts, and crushed Ramen noodles with you to wherever salad will be eaten.
- Immediately before it’s time to eat, add nuts, Ramen noodles, and dressing to the bowl of coleslaw. This recipe is best fresh and crunchy.