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This ramen noodle salad is loaded with grilled teriyaki chicken, almonds, sesame seeds, and crunchy noodles, then topped with an amazingly flavorful easy homemade dressing. Ramen noodle salad is easy to make and great as a main dish or side.
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This ramen noodle salad (or as we call it, “Pai Mai”) is a staple salad in my husband’s family. It is a great side dish or appetizer with Chinese food but it’s also a recipe we reach for often when we want a lighter meal.
This is definitely one of the best ways to eat noodles. The ramen noodle salad has a lot of crispness to it between the crisp greens and the crunchy ramen noodles. If you haven’t tried ramen noodle salad, you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
Ramen Noodle Salad Ingredients
If you haven’t had them in a while, ramen noodles come in a wide variety of flavors. There are a few that work particularly well with this recipe in my opinion. Leave out the seasoning packets when making this ramen salad recipe.
- Cabbage – Chop and cut up your green cabbage ahead of time.
- Sesame seeds – These are tiny seeds that have very little taste but add a delicious sweet and savory flavor and a small amount of texture.
- Almonds – Roasted almonds take this salad to the next level. They are full of flavor and add that soft crunch.
- Chicken breasts – This flavor is also really good with it. It’s similar to the chicken one but has even more seasoning and flavor. It’s a bit harder to find this one, but if you do – try it!
- Dry ramen noodles – Chicken-flavored ramen is probably the most popular soup flavor. Because this ramen noodle salad has chicken and so many competing flavors from the dressing, I like this basic staple with it the best.
This dressing is simple to whisk together and makes just enough to cover the whole salad. As it sits in the refrigerator the flavors will soak in and become even richer with an intense flavor.
- Sugar – Added in for sweetness!
- Olive oil – This gives the creaminess with a light texture.
- Apple cider vinegar – Tangy and sour, zesty flavor that adds all the flavor and zing to balance out the sugar and lemon juice. Rice vinegar will work too just doesn’t have as much flavor.
- Lemon juice – Helps keep all the flavors alive and continues to green the cabbage as it is soaking together.
How to Make Ramen Noodle Salad
This salad is a simple pasta side dish that is loved by all! It has that crunch, soft, sweet, savory texture and flavor that is perfect for BBQs, potlucks, or a side dish at your dinner table. Add this to your salad recipes!
- Mix together – In a large bowl combine cabbage, sesame seeds, almonds, and chicken.
- Dressing – Take a separate, small bowl that combines sugar, oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
- Combine – Pour the oil mixture into the cabbage mixture and toss until the cabbage is well coated.
- Let set – Refrigerate the cabbage mixture in the fridge to let all the flavors settle in.
- Broil – Break up Ramen noodles into pieces and place them on a baking sheet. Sprinkle seasoning salt over noodles and broil for about 1 minute (keep a close eye on them so they don’t burn).
- Serve – Toss the salad mixture again then top with noodles immediately before serving (if you do it earlier the noodles will get soggy).
Create your Ramen Noodle Salad Flavor
Modify or make your own ramen noodle salad flavor and style of salad that is best for you and your family. The options are endless on ways to make this side dish. It is one that will always be flavorful and stand out in the line of salads.
- Top ramen – Lime chili shrimp. If you want your ramen noodle salad to have a kick to it, this is the ramen to choose from. Plus, the shrimp flavor adds something new to the mix!
- Protein – Use pork instead of chicken if you prefer another type of meat or omit the meat altogether for more of a vegetarian-style ramen noodle salad.
- Asian ramen salad – Replace the cabbage with coleslaw mix or broccoli slaw for an Asian salad. This will speed up the process and help you mix it together, even more, quicker if you are in a hurry.
- Flavors – Try other liquids like sesame oil, soy sauce, or rice vinegar to make more types of delicious ramen noodle flavors.
- Add-ins – Mandarin oranges, bell peppers, garlic, ginger, and red cabbage are all favorite ingredients to add.
- Garnish – Top with green onions, almond slivers, and sliced carrots for an added touch of color and flavor.
“Made this tonight and we all loved it which is incredible! I was sure that my kids wouldn’t eat it and that my husband would just eat it to be nice. He went back for thirds!!! It has so many interesting flavors! We’ll be making this again! Thanks for the recipe!”-Tiffany
Frequently Asked Questions
This ramen noodle salad recipe, however, uses instant variety, as in the favorite of starved college students everywhere. Of course, instant ramen noodle soup is easy to find in the grocery store so you can grab everything you need for this ramen noodle salad whenever you do your weekly grocery shopping.
Fresh ramen noodles are made up of four ingredients: wheat flour, salt, water, and an alkaline mineral. You can get fresh ramen at specialty grocery stores, and also at many Asian restaurants.
Not at all! These ramen noodles are actually not cooked at all. Simply break up the raw ramen straight from the packaging. You can throw away the seasoning packets.
How to Store and Make Ahead Ramen Salad
If you are wanting to store the ramen noodles longer than one to two days, make the salad ahead of time and place it in an airtight container. Mix together the dressing ahead of time or the day you are making it and store it in an airtight jar. When you are ready to serve, combine together and store them in the refrigerator for one to two days.
More Asian Recipes
Asian meals are sometimes some of our favorites with rich and intense flavors that blend well together. We love how easily these recipes combine and make for a filling and delicious dinner!
Ramen Noodle Salad
- 1 head cabbage finely chopped
- 2 Tablespoons Sesame seeds
- 1/2 cup roasted almonds chopped
- 1 chicken breast diced and cooked in Teriyaki sauce
- 1 package Ramen noodles
- Seasoning salt to taste
- 6 Tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 squirts lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large bowl combine cabbage, sesame seeds, almonds and chicken.
- In a separate, small bowl combine sugar, oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
- Pour oil mixture into cabbage mixture and toss until cabbage is well coated.
- Refrigerate the cabbage mixture in the fridge to let all the flavors settle in.
- Break up Ramen noodles into pieces and place on baking sheet.
- Sprinkle seasoning salt over noodles and broil for about 1 minute (keep a close eye on them so they don’t burn).
- Toss salad mixture again then top with noodles immediately before serving (if you do it earlier the noodles will get soggy).
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Made this tonight and we all loved it which is incredible! I was sure that my kids wouldn't eat it and that my husband would just eat it to be nice. He went back for thirds!!! It has so many interesting flavors! We'll be making this again! Thanks for the recipe!
This is one of my DH's fav salads too LOL. But of course I MUST add diced green onions ^_^
This is my new favorite website!!!! Love it and so does my family. Thanks!