Salad with crispy noodles and sweet sesame dressing

A colourful burst of flavour and goodness!

If you’ve spent any time strolling through the recipes here, you’ve likely discovered by now that I am a big fan of salads. This is a new favourite, both for its flavour and contrasting textures. In this recipe, I like to use a variety of greens including romaine lettuce for crunch and baby red lettuce for colour. Use any neutral oil you prefer for the dressing, such as canola, safflower, avocado, etc. For a gluten-free option, use tamari instead of the soy sauce and sunflower seeds in place of the fried noodles.

Ingredients

Dressing and garnish:

  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) maple syrup or honey
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) vegetable oil
  • 1  3 oz (85 g) package instant ramen noodles
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) vegetable oil

Salad:

  • 1 10 oz / 284 mL can mandarin orange segments
  • 6 cups (270 g) mixed greens
  • 1 cup (100 g) diced cucumber
  • 1/2 cup (45 g) grated carrot
  • 1 cup (180 g) halved grape tomatoes
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 2 tablespoons (12 g) minced green onion tops
  • 2 tablespoons (18 g) toasted sesame seeds

Method

  • Prepare the vinaigrette up to 48 hours in advance by shaking together the soy sauce, maple syrup, rice vinegar, sesame oil and 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil ingredients in a small jar with a tight lid. Refrigerate until needed.
  • Prepare the crunchy garnish by opening the ramen noodle package. Discard the seasoning packets (or reserve for another use). Place the noodles in a sturdy plastic bag or a sheet of parchment folded into an envelope and crush the noodles into small pieces (no more than 1/2 inch or 1.25 cm) with a rolling pin or sturdy mug. Heat the 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a broad skillet. When the oil is hot, add the ramen noodle pieces and stir well to coat evenly with oil. Cook until toasted and golden brown, about 2 – 3 minutes, stirring continuously so they don’t burn. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Once cooled, noodles can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week. You’ll only use about a quarter of them for this salad so save the rest to perk up another meal.
  • Drain the can or mandarin orange segments then spread the segments out on a paper towel-lined plate to dry for at least 10 minutes or up to 2 hours.
  • To make the salad, toss together in a large bowl the greens, cucumber, carrot and tomatoes. Drizzle about half of the dressing over top and toss again; continue to add dressing one tablespoon at a time until everything is evenly coated but there is no puddle of dressing in the bottom.
  • Scatter the avocado and orange segments over top and toss one more time, very gently. Sprinkle minced green onions, toasted sesame seeds and 1/2 cup of the toasted ramen noodles over top and serve immediately.

Serves 2 as a main course or 4 as a side salad.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and YouTube.

8 thoughts

  1. I pretty much eat salads every day – even in the winter! And I love this one. Asian flavors just go so well with salads. Well, they go with everything! Love this!

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