Cabbage salads featuring crushed instant ramen noodles are a staple of Hawaiian home cooking. The noodles add crunch, texture, and sweetness to this terrifically versatile slaw. As the salad sits and the noodles soak up the intensely flavorful sesame dressing, they soften slightly — be sure to serve this salad straightaway. This recipe from John Buckley of Culver City, California, was the winner in our July 2011 Home Cook Challenge contest.
- 1 large head green cabbage, shredded into 1/4-inch ribbons
- 6–8 scallions, white and green parts, sliced thin (about 2 cups)
- 1⁄4 cup mirin
- 1⁄4 cup rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 1⁄2 tbsp. kosher salt
- 1⁄2 tsp. white pepper
- 1⁄4 cup sesame oil
- 1⁄4 cup vegetable oil
- 1⁄4 cup toasted sesame seeds
- 1⁄4 cup black sesame seeds
- 1 packet instant ramen noodles, crushed lightly (save the seasoning packet for another use, or discard)
In a large bowl, combine the cabbage and scallions. In a medium bowl, whisk together mirin, vinegar, sugar, salt, and white pepper. Combine the sesame and vegetable oils in a separate vessel and slowly add into mirin mixture, whisking steadily, until all the oil is added and the dressing has emulsified. Add vinaigrette to the bowl of cabbage and scallions, top with sesame seeds and crushed ramen noodles. Toss to combine and serve immediately.