Dairy Free,  Recipe,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

Crunchy Ramen Noodle Salad with Thai Red Curry Sauce + Sesame Caramelized Cashews

I’ve been in Asian food mood for the past few weeks and then I was reminded of a salad that my sister’s been talking about forever and she’s been asking me to make it a lot recently. I originally thought it sounded kind of weird to put ramen on a salad but, wow!

I know that ramen noodles are not the healthiest thing ever, but hey they’re in a salad you guys, and plus you ditch msg packs in favor of much better flavors, so that’s good right? There are so many levels of yum going on. You’ve got all the fresh and vibrant veggies for the actual salad part, then there are the salty/sweet candied cashews that may not even make it to the salad if you start sampling them.


Okay, then the dressing is a perfect balance of spicy, sweet, and tangy, but feel free to add extra red curry paste to kick up the heat if that’s how you like it. Last, but definitely not least, we’ve got the crunchy ramen noodles that come and completely steal the show and take the whole thing over the top. You have to try it!!!!

It’s also a vegan salad (assuming you double check some of your ingredient labels to be sure) which means that it’s perfect for a summertime side at your next group picnic. Oh, and if you do what I did and make like fifty pounds of it, the leftovers make a great addition to stir-frys, egg roll filling, or potsticker filling. Sounds strange but it works.

Crunchy Ramen Noodle Salad with Thai Red Curry Sauce + Sesame Caramelized Cashews

Thought there was only one way to eat ramen? Think again. This salad is full of all the tastes and textures!

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients

Thai Red Curry Sauce:

  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons red curry paste *see note
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/3 cup sugar

Crunchy Ramen:

  • 2 3 ounce packs of ramen noodle (ditch the seasoning packs)
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • dash of white pepper

Caramelized Cashews:

  • 3/4 cup raw shelled cashews
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Salad:

  • 2 cups green cabbage shredded
  • 2 cups red cabbage shredded
  • 1 large carrot shredded
  • 2 medium cucumbers thinly sliced
  • 1 large red bell pepper seeds removed and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
  • lime wedges for serving optional

Instructions

Thai Red Curry Sauce:

  1. Whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl until well incorporated and smooth. Cover and place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld.

Crunchy Ramen:

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet or wok and add the broken up ramen. Sprinkle with white pepper and soy sauce and stir over heat for about 2 minutes until toasted. Remove pan from heat and pour noodles onto a separate plate.

Caramelized Cashews:

  1. Line a tray with wax or greased parchment paper and set nearby. Using the same pan from the ramen, add another tablespoon of oil and 1/2 teaspoon ginger to pan. Place back over medium heat and stir for about 2 minutes until ginger is browned and fragrant. Reduce heat to low and stir in sugar, honey, soy sauce, and sesame oil until combined then add sesame seeds and cashews to pan and stir for 1 to 2 minutes more until nuts start to brown slightly. Remove from heat and pour them onto prepared tray and use a rubber spatula to separate them as much as possible before they cool. Once cooled, break up or chop any larger chunks that hardened together.

Salad:

  1. Combine all of the salad veggies in a large bowl and toss to combine. Top with black sesame seeds, caramelized cashews, and crunchy ramen. Just before serving drizzle with desired amount of the curry sauce (you may not need to use all of it) Serve as soon as possible with additional lime wedges for squeezing if desired.

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