This is, without any doubts, the star of this winter’s salads. I saw it several months ago on Azusa’s blog (Humble Bean) and wouldn’t stop thinking about it. How could I forget a recipe which had dried uncooked noodles among its ingredients? I simply waited for this time of the year when cabbage is one of the rare seasonal salad vegetables. Even though the salad looked beautiful, I must admit that the intriguing use of noodles was what tempted me most of all to prepare it. In fact I didn’t expect even half as good result and certainly not such a wonderful, complex side dish. The crunchy mixture of dry noodles, peanuts and sesame seeds is of course the focal point here. Once browned in butter, it proved an amazing topping and a perfect company for the sweet and sour salad dressing. I can very well see it sprinkled on many other dishes too. (Maybe I’m wrong, but I suppose the Japanese would call it “furikake”.) I made this salad for the first time yesterday, I have had it once more today and am already looking forward to serving it tomorrow. I think it will be my staple this winter just like Azusa’s Tomato and Shiso Salad was for the last two summers. Thank you so much, Azusa, for one more extraordinary discovery!
This recipe comes from a Hawaiian cookery book and accidentally it would go perfectly well with Shoyu Chicken, the only other Hawaiian dish I prepare (also found at Humble Bean). It would be an original alternative to coleslaw or any salad served with roast meat or birds during holidays. The guests’ amazement is guaranteed!
I have slightly modified the recipe mainly using peanuts instead of almonds, adding salt to the crunchy mixture (I still don’t know why I did it but it was a good decision) and scaling it down to a dish for two. Visit Humble Bean to see the original recipe.
TIP: The best way to crush both peanuts and noodles is to put them in a resistant bag (such as ziplock) and crush them with the bottom of a bowl for example.
I have made a bigger amount of the crunchy mixture (it has to be kept open, otherwise it will lose its crunchiness) and the following day the salad took me only 5 minutes to prepare. The mixture cannot be kept for a long period though (it might get rancid).
Preparation: 20 minutes
Ingredients (serves two):
150 g (about 2 cups) shredded white cabbage or a mixture or white and red cabbage
4 flat tablespoons crushed ramen noodles (Chinese-style “curly” wheat noodles)
2 flat tablespoons sesame seeds
3 flat tablespoons crushed peanuts (the original recipe calls for almonds)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar (I have used agave syrup)
3 tablespoons chopped green onion (I had chives, so I have used them instead)
Heat the butter in a pan and, at low heat, brown the mixture of noodles, peanuts and sesame seeds, constantly stirring. When the noodles become golden, put the pan aside and combine the mixture with the salt.
Combine the dressing ingredients. Combine it with the shredded cabbage.
Sprinkle the salad with crunchy mixture and green onion or chives.
Give the salad a stir just before serving it.