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Sesame Cabbage + Crunchy Noodle Salad

Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Gluten Free
  • Low Carb/Paleo
  • Vegetarian
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Big Kids Plate
Toddler Plate

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Why we love it:

This craveable, satisfying, simple homemade version of a chain restaurant staple is vegetarian friendly and will thrill your whole family. Guaranteed. Warning - Make double dressing because you’ll want to put it on everything else all week too. Red cabbage will last for literally a month in the fridge, a great veggie staple for infrequent shopping!


  • 1 package Ramen Noodles (the square, dry, package. Use flavor packet for pickling!)
  • 1 bunch Broccolini (optional, or regular broccoli)
  • 1 teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 12 teaspoon Kosher Salt (divided)
  • 12 head Red Cabbage (if you get a small one, you can use the entire thing. Looking for about 5 cups shredded)
  • 1 head Romaine Lettuce
  • 3 Mandarin Orangess (easy peel is always nice)
  • 12 bunch Green Onion
  • 14 cup Almonds (sliced are traditional, but slivered are fine, and if you have whole, just chop them up)
  • 2 Carrots
  • 3 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey
  • 1 Tablespoon Hoisin Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Ginger
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 14 cup Canola Oil
  • 1 teaspoon White Sesame Seeds (optional)

Cooking Instructions


    On a baking sheet, place the ramen noodles. Crunch and crack them into smaller pieces. Slide to one side. Slice just the ends off the broccolini and discard (usually a quarter inch or less is necessary). Chop into 1 inch segments all the way. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of olive oil evenly over the noodles and broccolini. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon of salt.

    Place in the oven for 6 minutes. Remove and let cool


    Cut the cabbage in half. Then in half again. Once you have quarters, you can use your knife on an angle to remove the core at the bottom. Place each quarter face down and slice as thinly as you can across the grain into thin, short strips. Add to the biggest bowl you have.

    Cut the end off the romaine and cut the entire head in half lengthwise. Wash the leaves well and shake them dry. Lay flat and slice thinly into small strips. Add to the cabbage.


    Peel the oranges and separate the segments. Slice the green onions thinly. Measure the ¼ cup almonds. Thinly slice the carrots - or if you prefer, grate them on the large holes of a box grater.

    Add all of these to the bowl with the lettuce.


    In a blender, add 3 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar, 1 Tablespoon honey, 1 Tablespoon sesame oil, 1 Tablespoon hoisin, 2 Tablespoons soy sauce, 1 Tablespoon ginger, and garlic. Blend to combine. Add the ¼ cup canola oil. Blend until emulsified.

    (If you only have a food processor, add everything except the vinegar, soy sauce, and oil first so it gets a chance to finely chop the garlic and ginger. Once chopped well, add the rest. You might want to whisk the oil by hand in a small bowl).

  • 6. FINISH

    Add to the lettuce. Add the broccoli and noodles. Toss with dressing to taste.

  • 7. PLATING

    Serve generously in big bowls. Sprinkle sesame seeds over top to garnish.

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    sautéed shrimp makes a nice addition. Or, sear a piece of salmon and flake it over top before serving.
  • NUTS:
    omit almonds if allergic, consider adding sunflower seeds or pepitas. If not allergic, cashews or peanuts are also wonderful!
    omit and add more lettuce, shredded kale is also great, green or savoy cabbage is also wonderful
    segments of navel or cara cara oranges. Traditional versions use canned mandarin slices. We also like slices asian or Bartlett pears
    the toasted dried noodles are fun (and addictive) but you could cook the ramen if you prefer. You can omit them. Or you can buy the store bought fried ramen noodles in most grocery stores if you'd prefer
    sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, pepitas, or anything else crunchy if you don't have sesame on hand

Kid Friendly Version

Big Kids Plate
Toddler Plate

How to Tweak This Recipe for Kids:

  • Separate out the kids components based on what you think they’ll accept. Bigger kids can have a salad, small kids might prefer things more separated
  • Leave dressing on the side for “dipping” and you can leave some piece of cabbage and lettuce in large pieces for picking up

For Toddlers

  • Cook some of the ramen noodles in boiling water instead of serving crunchy raw
  • Consider leaving the almond off, they can be a choking hazard

For Choosy Eaters

  • If not vegetarian, add some seared chicken, shrimp or steak
  • Keep components very separate and arrange in rainbow order for fun
Rate this recipe:
2 votes, average: 4.50 out of 52 votes, average: 4.50 out of 52 votes, average: 4.50 out of 52 votes, average: 4.50 out of 52 votes, average: 4.50 out of 5 (2 votes, average: 4.50 out of 5)
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