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Author Notes: This is a riff on that old Oriental slaw recipe with the ramen noodles and cabbage and bland dressing. I've ditched the bland dressing, replacing it with a more lively one of my own; kept the ramen noodles, added nuts and water chestnuts and lots of apples. You can make a light entree of it by adding grilled and thin-sliced chicken breasts, or by putting a nice piece of broiled or grilled fish atop each portion. —Kayb
- 4 cups shredded cabbage
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1/2 cup slivered or sliced almonds, toasted
- 1 can water chestnuts, chopped
- 2 Braeburn or Honey Crisp apples
- 2 Granny Smith apples
- 1/4 cup mirin
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon tamari or light soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, OR
- 2 tablespoons pickled sliced ginger (can buy at Asian markets), shredded or minced finely
- 1/4 cup neutral oil, like canola or grapeseed
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon wasabi powder, or to taste
- 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
- 2 packages ramen noodles, any flavor
- Toss together the cabbage, carrots, toasted almonds and water chestnuts in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Make dressing by whisking together mirin, rice vinegar, sesame oil, tamari, ginger, neutral oil, white pepper and wasabi powder. Taste dressing to see if you need to adjust seasoning, and set aside.
- Core and dice the apples, unpeeled. (You can peel them, but I like the peel for both the texture and the color.) Add them to the bowl.
- Give the dressing a final whisk, pour about half of it over the salad, and toss. You may need to add a little more dressing; you want to be sure the apple chunks are coated nicely, so they don't turn brown. Salad may be made up to the this point as much as 8 to 10 hours in advance.
- Shortly before serving, open ramen noodles, discard seasoning packets, and crush them roughly with your hands. Longest pieces should be a little under an inch. Add to salad and toss again. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on top.
- Serve with additional dressing on the side.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Salad with Apples