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Ramen Noodle Crunchy Coleslaw

posted in Soups, Salads, Sides and Sauces by Kathy Maister
difficulty rating

This coleslaw is FANTASTIC! I was really skeptical when my friend Mary Sutherland sent me this recipe, since I’ve never in my life bought instant Ramen noodles. But Mary, who is an excellent cook, has been making it for years and said her daughters (who are in college) love it! With a leap of faith, I purchased the ingredients and decided to give it a go.

(First, a note of caution: Instant Ramen noodles are most definitely not on the healthy end of the food chain. On occasion this is a tasty splurge, but I would caution anyone against a regular diet of Ramen noodles.)

Coleslaw is a salad made with either red or white shredded cabbage as its base. You can then add a variety of different vegetables like carrots, celery, onion, etc. A mayonnaise or vinaigrette dressing binds everything together. There are an infinite number of recipes available for every palate.

This is a very versatile recipe, as it can be eaten as a side dish, main dish, or just a snack.

There are five quick steps involved in making this recipe:

  1. Make the dressing
  2. Toast the sliced almonds and the sesame seeds
  3. Cut up the white part of four green onions
  4. Mix together the coleslaw, noodles, almonds, sesame seeds and green onion.
  5. Add the dressing and – that’s it!

Be sure to buy the “Chicken-flavor” Ramen noodles. To make things really simple, I purchased a pre-shredded bag of coleslaw mix (which is available in many supermarkets.)

If you prefer, you can easily shred your own head of cabbage to make the coleslaw. (Buy the white – not the red – cabbage for this recipe!) You will need approximately 6-8 cups of cabbage or coleslaw mix.

For those of you (like me!) who have never purchased Ramen noodles, it is a small “brick” of dried noodles that comes with a flavor packet. These noodles are not going to get cooked, but just broken up into the coleslaw. They add an amazing crunch to this dish.

Make the dressing first. You will need:

  • 2 Tablespoons of sugar (or sweetener such as Equal, Sweet & Low, or aspertame)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of oil
  • chicken flavor packet from the Ramen noodles

You could use a bowl and a whisk to mix everything together, but it is easier to just put everything in jar….

…and give it a good shake. Set it aside until the coleslaw gets made.

You can buy already toasted sesame seeds or toast them yourself.

To toast sesame seeds, put them in a dry fry pan. Set the temperature to medium high and don’t walk away from the stove. Keep the seeds moving in the pan by stirring them with a spoon or by shaking the pan. It takes just a minute or two for the seeds to go from untoasted…

…to toasted…

…to burnt in the blink of an eye! Once you start to smell the seeds toasting, they will only need a few more seconds to get nicely browned.

Toast the almonds the same way.

All toasted!

Wash four green onions and remove the green part. Slice the white part into small circles.

Put the cabbage (or coleslaw) in a large bowl. Add the almonds, green onions and sesame seeds.

With your hands, break up the (uncooked) Ramen noodles on top of the coleslaw. Gently mix everything together.

Just before serving add the dressing…

…and gently toss the salad.

Serve the salad immediately. If there are any leftovers, the Ramen noodles will eventually “soften” and the coleslaw will lose some of that crunchy texture.

This will easily make four large servings or 6 medium size servings.



For those of you interested in a few more elegant ways to cook with Ramen noodles,

Nika at Nikas Culinaria, made a beautiful Mexi-Cali Ramen served in mini-pumpkin bowls.

Elise at Simply Recipes made a more exotic coleslaw called Napa Cabbage Picnic Salad.

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Sandi said:

Thanks for a great blog!

Char said:

I make this same recipe for almost every summer picnic/potluck dinner opportunity. I usually add shredded or diced cooked chicken to the recipe and it is good.

Kathy Maister said:

Chicken must really turn this into a complete meal! I’ll have to give it a try.

Foodaholic said:

Great idea! I always make coleslaw, but adding the Ramen noodles made it taste even better.

Girl said:

so many ingredients) i don’t like these vermichelli)

nika said:

Kathy – this looks super delish! I actually do not thing this has too many ingredients .. diversity is good stuff :-).

Thnx for the link!

gaga said:

What a creative use of ramen. It looks tasty too! Thanks for posting

Joan Wigen said:

This is the only way I will eat cabbage. My sister makes this for many of our get to gethers. It is so good. I am sure adding the chicken puts it over the top!

startcooking team said:

Joan Wigen: That’s right! Adding the chicken to this recipe certainly puts it over the top!

gaga, nika, and foodaholic: Thank you for the comments! Enjoy!

Secret Cole Slaw Recipe said:

Nice Recipe! I’ll try it.

I like coleslaw especially kfc coleslaw.;-)

greggytx said:

I like to play around with this recipe..

I add a tablespoon of sesame seed oil to the dressing for more flavor…

crushed roasted peanuts

mandarin oranges

chopped grilled chicken

have fun!!!

Kathy Maister said:

Thanks for the great suggestions! Adding chopped grilled chicken turns this salad into a complete meal.

Dylan said:

This recipe tastes even better with some cilantro in it!

Jessica said:

Hello Dylan,

Yes, adding cilantro is a great idea.

Thanks for the tip!


miri said:

slightly off topic –

Kathy, since you let the cat out of the bag here about Ramen noodles being edible uncooked, no packet is safe from me… ;-)

(BTW, they’re wonderful broken over soup)

Kathy Maister said:

Miri, I could not agree more!

The question is how healthy/unhealthy are just the dried noodles?

miri said:

my guess is that they wouldn’t take the healthy snack of the year award (they’re probably mostly empty carbohydrates and fat). which means to me that they’re ok for the occasional stay at home sick day when we need comfort food with chicken soup.

arabian horse breeders said:

The flavor packet that comes with the ramen noodles is pretty high in sodium so i’ll skip it, but the ramen added to the coleslaw make a yummy crunch. Thanks for posting this!

Maria said:

I use the shrimp flavor packets and add boiled shrimp to the mix. It’s wonderful. I also add 1/4 cup of white vinegar instead of 2 tbs. of red. Gives it more of a zing. Also, I use 8-10 packs of Splenda.This morning, I’m going to try it with apple cider vinegar..It’s suppose to be really good for you.

startcooking said:

What a great idea! I never thought of adding shrimp to this Crunchy Coleslaw recipe – thanks!

hooked said:

You’ll never believe, but I tried it on my hotdog and now I cannot eat hotdogs without this delicious cole slaw.

startcooking said:

Hooked – you are so right! Everyone LOVES this coleslaw even those who don’t like coleslaw!

liny said:

we use broccoli slaw with this recipe. we also put sunflower seeds and slivered almonds in. everyone at work loves it. between the crunchy noodles, sunflower seeds and almonds, the crunch is great. delicious!!

startcooking said:

Hi Liny,
Great idea to use broccoli slaw instead of the cabbage! I will have to give it a try.

Susan Dufour said:

My husband and I just love this salad. Went to a bbq a few months ago, where they had it and just had to have the recipe. The only thing I do differently, is add less red wine vinegar because 2 tbsp can be quite strong and overpowering. DELICIOUS!

startcooking said:

Hi Susan,
Everyone LOVES this recipe! The crunch from the noodles is such a nice surprise.

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