Welcome to the first installment of the Not Like Grandma Used to Make series where I reinvent a family recipe with a modern twist! Grandma’s cooking is so good, but let’s be honest: The recipes that call for a cup of lard need a face lift.
My goal is to make each recipe as friendly as possible for even the most conscious eaters to enjoy. Yes, that means vegan and sometimes gluten free alternatives! I hope to create relatively healthy dishes that are all around more mindful to modern eating habits.
To read more about food mindfulness, check out this post.
Today, we’re starting with an easy stovetop meal, reminiscent of mall cafeteria joints.
Try this delicious and easy Asian salad with fresh cabbage and ramen noodles! Below you will find the original recipe, a downloadable PDF of my updated recipe, and a step-by-step photo guide following the instructions.
If you’re looking for something even easier and quick, check out my list of favorite lazy foods to eat.
The Original: ‘Oriental Cabbage Salad’ Recipe
Scroll down to see my modified recipe PDF below!
Pictured above is the original recipe from how many decades ago? I can’t be certain. The amazing nails belong to my mother who is at our home in Georgia and was awesome enough to provide me with these photos!
A few thoughts when I first saw the recipe…
- Oriental is a dated term and politically incorrect now. While I see no problem in using it as a description for a recipe, Asian is a more appropriate descriptor. Someone please correct me if this is not the case.
- What kind of oil? It doesn’t say. It just recommends entirely too much of some kind of surprise oil. Vegetable, peanut, canola, olive, sesame, coconut, avocado or some other kind?
- This has a lot of noodles. You mean I get to eat a ton of carbs and call it a salad? Okay, I’m in.
Introducing: Asian Ramen & Cabbage Salad
Download this PDF and follow the steps to taste this delicious dish for yourself!Asian Ramen & Cabbage Salad recipe
- I cut the recipe in half. This was likely created for the big growing American family. It was just too much. I kept the same amount of 5 green onions and used even less than half of the amount of sugar.
- Mixed green and red cabbage with carrots, kale, spinach, and brussel sprouts. The color added so much more interest to an otherwise plain dish. I highly recommend using other veggies of your choice as it came out beautifully plated
- I used olive oil when browning the vegetable mix and later threw some more into the sauce. It helped balance out the sweetness of the coconut oil.
- I purchased ‘Soyaki’ sauce which is made with sodium free soy sauce, fresh ginger, garlic, and a ton of sesame seeds. It also contains sugar and vinegar so it could replace three of the four ingredients in the sauce if need be. It’s a total cheat. I was okay it as I couldn’t find sesame seeds. This is also a great affordable option! This Trader Joe’s sauce contains wheat but is vegan.
- I substituted the ‘marg’ with coconut oil. Is margarine still an ingredient commonly used in household kitchens or anywhere for that matter? Coconut butter would work well. I chose the oil as I have more uses for it.
- Turbinado – raw cane sugar – instead of granulated, refined white sugar. When using a sweetener, I prefer is have some nutritional value. The turbinado still has molasses in it, thus why it’s brown, as well as vitamins and minerals. I also considered honey but preferred to avoid animal products for this.
- Apple Cider Vinegar. You might think I’m crazy. Before I lose you, hear me out. I thought it would be a fun substitute to regular vinegar. Since there is regular vinegar in the Soyaki, I only put in a splash or three of the apple cider. It added a unique sweetness so I went even lighter on the sugar.
I used a generous amount of sauce with my recipe. I recommend building up to a ratio that’s best for you. For a lighter version, try using 2/3-1/2 of what I used!
Step-by-Step Photo Guide
Maruchan Ramen Noodles (minus the flavor pack) and raw sliced almonds.
Trader Joe’s Fair trade Turbinado raw cane sugar
Trader Joe’s Soyaki; Unfiltered, Organic, Greek extra virgin Athinolia Olive Oil; Organic Apple Cider Vinegar; Organic virgin Coconut Oil
1. Cook the ramen noodles
2. Chop the veggies and mix together
3. Sauté veggies (at this point, I was drying my noodles)
4. Make sauce
I added a smidge more olive oil to the sauce last minute!
The coconut oil will be clumpy and awkward to mix. Use a small blender if possible or a whisk. I managed fine with a spoon and willpower.
5. Mix it all together!
Don’t forget to add the almonds 😉
The coconut oil mixed much better when added together with the cabbage which is fine. If this consistency is a concern for you, the sauce would be great sauteed with the veggies and the heat would melt the oil!
I waited to stir everything in a mixing bowl rather than the frying pan as it was big enough to hold all the ingredients and easier to mix.
(Spoiler, it’s delicious.)
These colorful veggies really make it a pretty dish + it’s sooo simple!