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Ramen noodles, the old stand-by late night snack of college students, but in a salad.  Some iteration of this salad has been around for a number of years.  This version runs smack-dab into peanut noodles.  Who knew Ramen could be so good?  The other bonus with this salad is—no mayonnaise.  Therefore, great BBQ or picnic salad, too.  Kids like this salad, which is always a bonus…must be the peanut butter.

Let’s just get right to it!

Summer Sunburst Salad

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

  • 2 (3 oz) package ramen noodles with 1 seasoning pack
  • 1/2 head Savoy cabbage, very finely shredded and chopped (about 5-6 cups)
  • 1 carrot, peeled and shredded
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced, include some of the green tops, please
  • 20+ snow peas, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 1 can Mandarin oranges, drained
  • 3/4 cup diced fresh mango (you may use pineapple chunks for all or part)
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup lower salt dry-roasted peanuts, very coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup apricot jam, melted (you may use honey or maple syrup)
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter

Break up the ramen in each package into smallish pieces.  Place on a pan that will fit your toaster oven and broil for about 4-5 minutes or until browned.  I shake the pan and stir the noodles a couple of times.  You want them to brown, not burn.  Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Combine the salad cabbage, carrots, scallions, Mandarin oranges, mango, cranberries, peanuts and toasted noodles in a large bowl.  Toss until well mixed; hands work great for this, but you can use a spatula, too.

Whisk the remaining ingredients, except the peanut butter, together until well combined.  Whisk in the 1 flavor packet.  In a small bowl, whisk a couple of tablespoons of the dressing mixture into the peanut butter, slowly adding more until the peanut butter is loose and creamy and all the dressing has been added.  Taste for sharpness and sweetness.  Pour over the salad, toss and serve.  If the salad sits for a couple of hours in the fridge, the noodles will soften.

Summer Sunburst Salad Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2015.  All rights reserved.

247You may substitute a bag of the coleslaw that’s available in the produce section of the supermarket, instead of the cabbage.  I prefer to slice and chop the cabbage myself, as I prefer to use Savoy cabbage.  You can also add a small amount of red cabbage, too.

255I use the toaster oven to toast the ramen, but if you wish, place the broken up ramen in a preheated 350°F oven for about 8-10 minutes.  Keep an eye on them and stir the noodles a couple of times so they toast evenly.

259You can use any dried fruit, but cranberries are the prettiest, though diced dates and apricots are nice, too.  You can substitute pineapple for all or part of the mango, if you wish.

253It’s important to “thin” the peanut butter, by adding small amount of the dressing to the peanut butter and not the other way around.  If you add the peanut butter to the dressing ingredients, it’s very difficult to achieve a smooth dressing.  You can add up to 1/4 cup of peanut butter, if you want more peanut flavor.  Cashews and toasted almonds or pistachios are also very good.  In the case of a peanut allergy, simply omit the peanut butter and this is still a delicious salad.

278Don’t be afraid of the ramen noodles.  They work surprisingly well with this mixture and really, this is a type of pasta salad, right?  The Goddess loves this salad.  Sometimes she adds leftover cooked chicken or cooked shrimp to make a terrific main course salad for The Latin Lover on sizzling, hot summer nights.