The BEST Ramen Noodle Salad

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Sweet, tangy, crunchy Asian Ramen Noodle Salad is a great side dish for summer potlucks, barbecues, or to serve with your dinner any day of the week.

I served this salad with Balsamic Dijon Glazed Ham, Rosemary Potatoes, and Glazed Carrots for Easter dinner this year and it was a huge hit.

Ramen Noodle Salad is a side dish that everyone cheers for! get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

If you’ve been hanging out here with me for long, you’ve probably noticed that there aren’t very many recipes that I claim might be the best you’ll ever taste. I tend to save the word “best” for the things that are beyond any shadow of a doubt the best I’ve ever had or hope to have again.

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This Ramen Noodle Salad? It IS the best – and I will tell you why!

Ramen Noodle Salad

My Aunt Judy served this salad last time we visited and I could not stop eating it. (I think I had three servings!)

I’ve had Ramen Noodle Salad plenty of times in the past. But let me stop and tell you now that those salads are nothing like this one.

Ramen Noodle Salad with a sweet and tangy Asian dressing! get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

First, there’s no seasoning packet of spices used in this recipe. The dressing is made quite simply with oil, vinegar, sugar, and soy sauce. It is perfect that way.

Second, the noodles are not broken raw directly into the salad. They’re browned in butter along with slivered almonds and sesame seeds.

Those hot buttery moments in the skillet make all the difference!

This Ramen Noodle Salad is nothing like you've ever tasted before!

Third, well, there’s just nothing like a recipe from my Aunt Judy. Without fail, her recipes are instant favorites with everyone. (If you haven’t yet tried her Almond Bars, you are missing out!)

Asian Ramen Salad

We weren’t even up from the dinner table when I asked her for the recipe for this Napa Cabbage Salad. I couldn’t even believe how fantastic it was.

The recipe was given to her by a friend who got it from a friend – you know how it goes – and I’m thrilled to be the next in line to pass this recipe on to all of you. As you know, there aren’t many things I like more than trying and sharing a great recipe.

This is a sweet and tangy Asian dressing over fresh cabbage and green onions, with all the crunch you could want from buttery crisp almonds, noodles, and sesame seeds.

I am willing to bet that you will love this salad every single bit as much as I do.

The BEST Ramen Noodle Salad isn't like anything you've ever tasted before! get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

Asian Salad Recipes

This Asian Pasta Salad has TEN different vegetables in it and it’s one of those dishes that I eat multiple times a day until it’s gone whenever we have it in the house. Lunch and dinner, this salad is all mine.

Remember the Oriental Chicken Salad from Applebees? This copycat Asian Chicken Salad is every bit as good and the fact you can make it at home makes it even better.

This Asian Marinated Cucumber Salad by The Food Charlatan and this Asian Tuna Salad by Foolproof Living are both on my need-to-try-it-soon list.

The BEST Ramen Noodle Salad is unforgettable! get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

How To Make Ramen Noodle Salad

The original directions for this salad involved boiling the dressing to melt the sugar.

I’ve found that simply shaking the dressing ingredients in a jar accomplishes the same thing in less time and with no waiting time to allow the dressing to cool later.

I will happily eat any leftovers, but the noodles will be softer and for what it’s worth, it isn’t quite as lovely as when freshly made.

This isn't the Ramen Noodle Salad you've tried in the past! get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

Ramen Noodle Salad Recipe

  1. To make the dressing: Combine the oil, vinegar, sugar, and soy sauce in a jar and shake until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. While the butter is melting, crush the ramen noodles while still inside the package.
  3. Remove the seasoning packet and throw away (or set aside for later use). Add the noodles, almonds, and sesame seeds to the melted butter in the skillet.
  4. Saute while stirring frequently, until the noodle mixture is golden brown. Remove to a plate and let cool.
  5. Shred the cabbage and combine the cabbage and onions in a large mixing bowl. Add the noodle mixture. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well to combine. Serve immediately.

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This isn't the Ramen Noodle Salad you've tried in the past! get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

Ramen Noodle Salad

4.83 from 160 votes
Sweet, tangy, crunchy ramen noodle and cabbage salad is a great side dish for potlucks or a weeknight dinner any day of the week.
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients 

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 ounce package ramen noodles, seasoning packet removed
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 1/2 lbs Napa cabbage, about 8-10 cups shredded
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced thin, about ½ cup

Dressing Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup light flavored olive oil
  • 1/4 cup plain white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

Instructions

  • To make the dressing: Combine the oil, vinegar, sugar, and soy sauce in a jar and shake until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. While the butter is melting, crush the ramen noodles while still inside the package. Remove the seasoning packet and throw away (or set aside for later use).  Add the noodles, almonds, and sesame seeds to the melted butter in the skillet.
  • Saute while stirring frequently, until the noodle mixture is golden brown. Remove to a plate and let cool.
  • Shred the cabbage and combine the cabbage and onions in a large mixing bowl. Add the noodle mixture. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well to combine. Serve immediately.

Notes

This is not a make-ahead salad. I like to make the dressing in advance and then add the noodles and dressing to the cabbage right before serving. I will happily eat any leftovers, but the noodles will be softer and for what it’s worth, it isn’t quite as lovely as when freshly made.
The original directions for the dressing were as follows: Combine the oil, vinegar, sugar, and soy sauce in a medium saucepan. Stir and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat after boiling. Let the dressing cool completely before pouring it over the salad.

Nutrition

Calories: 312kcal · Carbohydrates: 24g · Protein: 4g · Fat: 23g · Saturated Fat: 4g · Cholesterol: 7mg · Sodium: 383mg · Potassium: 290mg · Fiber: 2g · Sugar: 14g · Vitamin A: 375IU · Vitamin C: 23.3mg · Calcium: 116mg · Iron: 1.5mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @barefeetkitchen or tag #barefeetkitchen!

{originally published 4/22/19 – recipe notes and photos updated 6/24/21}

The BEST Ramen Noodle Salad you've ever tasted! get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Amanda says

    I feel like the salad to dressing ratio is waaay off, nearly a cup of dressing for 8 cups salad? Yikes! Mine was a soggy mess. Also thought the dressing lacked flavor 🤷‍♀️3 stars

    • Martha Platz says

      Add flavor packet from noodles, to dressing. Make sure noodles are browned . Almonds, sesmine seeds, and Sun flower seeds also. Can add chicken, all improve the flavor.

  2. Judy Miller says

    I have tried so many of the Asian salad recipes and you are so right. It is truly the best. I will never try another. I’m so glad I gave it a try. Wow!!!!!5 stars

  3. Alyce (Mimi) Heidt says

    Mary!!
    I’ve been looking for this Original Recipe forever!!
    I had it first at a Bible Study Group Luncheon!!
    We All brought the Different ingredients & it All came together so perfectly!! Love! Love! Love! This Salad!!
    Thank you for posting it!! God Bless!!🙌🙌💗🙏🙏🥰💔

  4. Donna pownell says

    To make this even easier, I purchase a bag of coleslaw mix. Have made this b4, also add a bit of sugar to the noodles, also use the flavor packet, (I use beef) when I saute (low heat) them. Have to watch carefully, burns easily. Love love this stuff.

  5. Msippigrl says

    First time to ever make a ramen salad and we loved it!! I reduced the oil in Dressing but otherwise followed the recipe. It’s a keeper!!5 stars

  6. MS says

    This recipe is missing toasted sesame oil. It’s very bland without it. I also added shiitake mushrooms, mandarin oranges, and crispy chow mein noodles as topping.3 stars

    • Mary Younkin says

      oooh! I bet this salad is awesome with those additions. However, as much as I enjoy sesame oil in numerous recipes, I’ve never found this recipe bland at all without it. Isn’t it great that we can all make recipes our own way though? This is a classic recipe that is much loved exactly as written for many people.

  7. Kdak says

    It’s a really good base. I personally think it’s way too much of a sweet taste. I would recommend cutting down the sugar and adding if needed. We add bean sprouts and water chestnuts too.3 stars

    • Mary Younkin says

      I’m glad you were able to modify the recipe to fit your tastes! I hope you continue to enjoy the recipe. Sorry it was too sweet for you; everyone’s taste differs a bit. That said, I think adding water chestnuts sounds like a delicious idea. Happy cooking!

  8. Annie P. says

    Is it alright to use green cabbage instead of Napa cabbage? I accidentally bought the wrong kind. I have not made it yet so can’t rate it.

    • Mary Younkin says

      Hi, Annie! You can use green cabbage instead, but keep in mind that Napa cabbage is more delicate, so you may want to stick to the greener outer parts of the cabbage to preserve that soft texture. I hope you love the salad!

  9. Brian says

    This is one of our favorite salads I changed it up a bit,along with the Won Bok cabbage,I add slivered red cabbage and some edamame about a cup and a half and with the toppings we add as needed to keep it fresh and crunchy and cut back on the sugar in the dressing.5 stars

    • Mary Younkin says

      I’m so glad you’re loving the salad, Brian. Red cabbage and edamame would add just the right flavor for a more savory salad, I think. Enjoy!

  10. Donna says

    I took this salad to a garden club meeting and everyone asked me for the recipe. I’m making it again today for a Memorial Day picnic. It’s soooo good. Thanks for this recipe!5 stars

  11. Kerri says

    Still a fave of mine but I do add the dressing and let it really absorb into the cabbage about an hour or 2 before serving and of course add the crunchy stuffs right before serving. I’ve also added grilled chicken and bocconcini to it for a nice lunch option.5 stars

  12. Kellie M Young says

    When you say that you can use the ramen seasoning packet for later comma when or at what point in the recipe do you use that or can you use that seasoning?4 stars

    • Mary Younkin says

      Hi, Kellie! I don’t use the seasoning packet in this recipe, but if you want to save it for something else, that’s always an option. The dressing provides most of the flavor, and it’s just oil, sugar, vinegar, and soy sauce.

  13. Deb Everett says

    OMG this is the best! Toasting the almonds, sesame seeds and noodles is the secret! I even cheated using coleslaw mix. Cannot wait to try it with the napa cabbage. I keeper for sure!5 stars

  14. Sandra Burgess says

    Mary can the dressing me made ahead and stored in refrigerator for later use? And the noodles and sesame seeds that are browned in butter, can these be browned, cooled and stored for later use. I would like to eat this as an individual salad using some fresh cabbage and having other ingredients ready to use.5 stars

  15. Becky Moosbrugger says

    What about using Rice Vinegar? Add Shredded carrots, Edamame, and Sunflower Seeds. Reduce Sugar to 1/3C

  16. Karin says

    Came out great! I used rice vinegar instead of white vinegar and a little less sugar in the dressing but it was very good. Thanks for sharing!!5 stars

  17. Olivia says

    I made this tonight and I was amazing! I added grilled teriyaki chicken and oh my goodness it was to die for. Thank you for sharing this! I will make this all the time.5 stars

    • Mary Younkin says

      You are welcome, Olivia! I’m so glad you enjoyed the salad. Teriyaki chicken sounds like a delicious addition to the recipe. I’ll have to try that combination the next time I make the dish.

    • Mary Younkin says

      Hi, Tracie! The ten vegetables sentence is linking to my Asian pasta salad, which contains ten vegetables (Napa cabbage, baby spinach, purple cabbage, English cucumber, red and yellow bell peppers, green onions, cilantro, snow pea pods, and bean sprouts/pea shoots).

  18. Nancy says

    Mary, I’ve been making this salad for years, and will be making it again for a family gathering this weekend. It’s always a hit! Question about roasting the Ramon, almonds and sesame seeds: can I roast these 2-3 days in advance and store in airtight container without compromising flavor? If you think that would work, would it be better to over roast so butter can be omitted (for sogginess sake.). Also, can I make the dressing 2-3 days in advance!
    Thank you!5 stars

    • Mary Younkin says

      Hi, Nancy! You should be able to make those ingredients in advance without any issues. While it probably wouldn’t hurt to roast the ramen/almonds/seeds for longer to reduce excess oil, I’d advise that you cook them cautiously; if those ingredients get burnt, it will not be good for the salad. The dressing can be prepped in advance without an issue. I hope everyone loves the salad this weekend!