Asian Chicken Salad with Crunchy Ramen
and almonds / avocado / edamame
Asian-inspired salads with crumbled raw ramen noodles are a potluck staple in many parts of the United States, and they're perfect for warmer weather. If you've never had one of these salads before, you'll be surprised by how addictive they are! To give this salad enough substance to stand on its own at dinner, we've added protein-packed ingredients like marinated chicken and edamame.
Smarts: If you're short on time, skip the step to toast the almonds and ramen. It adds a nice flavor but isn't necessary. (You'll still need to break the ramen into small pieces before adding it to the salad.)
- Vinegar, rice - 1 Tbsp
- Honey - 1 Tbsp
- Tamari - 1 Tbsp
- Oil, cooking - 2 Tbsp
- Oil, toasted sesame - 1/2 tsp
- Chicken breasts, boneless and skinless - 1 lb, cubed
- Tamari - 1 Tbsp
- Vinegar, rice - 1 Tbsp
- Cabbage, Napa - 8 oz, shredded
- Green onions - 2 stalks, sliced, white and green parts combined
- Noodles, dried gluten-free ramen (3 oz / 85 g) - 1 package, crushed (look for brown rice ramen noodles; sub soba noodles)
- Edamame, shelled, fresh or frozen - 1 cup
- Avocados - 1, cubed
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Almonds, sliced - 1/4 cup
Marinate chicken - Cube chicken and combine with Tamari and vinegar (portions for salad). Tenderize with a fork. Marinate for at least 20 minutes and up to 1 day. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
Make vinaigrette - Whisk together vinegar (portion for vinaigrette), honey, and Tamari (portion for vinaigrette). Add cooking oil (portion for vinaigrette) and toasted sesame oil while whisking. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Napa cabbage / Green onions - Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done up to 2 days ahead)
Noodles - If using gluten-free ramen noodles, skip this step (you’ll use them raw in the salad). If you couldn’t find gluten-free ramen noodles, and are using soba noodles, cook noodles according to package directions.
Edamame - If using frozen edamame, defrost in the microwave.
Avocados - Cube avocados.
Heat oven to 350F / 177C degrees. (Note: After feedback from community members, this temperature has been reduced from the original version.)
While oven heats, place a wok over medium-high heat. Add cooking oil (portion for salad). Use a slotted spoon to remove chicken from marinade (discard marinade) and add to wok. Season chicken with some salt and pepper. Saute until chicken is golden brown and cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes.
When chicken is cooked through, set it aside and let it cool.
While chicken cools, spread almonds out on a sheet pan. If using gluten-free ramen noodles, crush dry ramen noodles into small pieces with your hands and add to pan (discard the seasoning packet that comes with the ramen). (If you pre-cooked your noodles, you’ll just be spreading almonds out on the pan.)
Place sheet pan in heated oven and toast until almonds and noodles are light golden brown, shaking pan halfway through cooking, 6 to 8 minutes total. (If just toasting almonds, they will be toasted in 5 to 6 minutes.)
Combine cabbage, green onions, edamame, avocados, chicken, ramen (or soba), and almonds in a large mixing bowl.
Give vinaigrette a stir and pour over salad ingredients. Toss until all ingredients are well combined. Taste and season with some salt.
Serve salad immediately (at room temperature). Enjoy!
This was really good! I also added mandarin oranges and some cilantro, and made more dressing.0 Helpful
This was my first CookSmarts meal. It was a hit with my picky 13 year old. I think i may add mandarin oranges next time but otherwise great as written!0 Helpful
I actually took this to a potluck and it was a huge hit!0 Helpful
For a lighter meal, this was great. Made the 4 person version and fed 3 of us - wouldn't have been able to comfortably stretch it to 4 for a full meal. Doubled the avocado. Chicken was good, but I might grill it next time. Agree that dressing could be increased.0 Helpful
Doubled the dressing. Used green cabbage instead of Napa because it was what was available. Didn't love the ramen, could skip that next time - I toasted them on the stovetop, perhaps they would have been better in the over? Loved the avocado (but I love everything w/ avo), could have skipped the edamame since I had to shell those which took the most prep time. Adding red peppers or mandarins is a nice idea for next time.0 Helpful
I accidentally bought toasted sesame dressing, not toasted sesame oil and.... easiest decision! Also added bell peppers, cilantro & mandarin oranges. Really tasty overall.0 Helpful