Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Infamous Napa Cabbage Salad....

Good Morning All...Been a while, I 'm still trying to be consistent but it's pretty damn hard to take pictures while you cook and attempt to cook during the day to have decent natural light! Oh, and having a 3 year old helps too! Oh, and the fact that I take step by step photo's and then forget to take the "final product" photo because I can't get the food in my mouth fast enough (happens more than I would like to admit, heehee)

My brother and sister in law have been requesting this recipe on the blog since I started, so it is finally here.  This was one of those recipes that I had mentioned above, gone before the final snap was taken (may have happened a few times.)
 SO, the story goes...Shawn, "What is that?" Me, "Napa Cabbage Salad..." Shawn, "Gross, I don't eat cabbage....Gross."  Me, "Try it, you'll love it..." Shawn, "Yuck, I'm not going to like it!" Shawn proceeds to take a bite, look at me with a smile, and inhale the rest of his plate! Shawn, "Can I have the recipe?" Me, "Sure."  SO, with that being said, if you do not like cabbage, reconsider for the sake of this recipe.  One, napa cabbage does not have that "cabbage taste or texture." Really, I promise...I am a cabbage hater, I won't even touch sauerkraut if I'm making something with it, I make my friend DD open it, pour it in and stir until I can no longer see or smell it!!

Shawn has requested this salad at every family function since.....

Napa Cabbage Salad
Recipe from our family cookbook, author My Mom

2 Large heads of Napa Cabbage 
1 bunch green onion, sliced thin
1/2 stick of butter or margarine
2 pkg of ramen noodles, crush them up in the bag, seasoning packet saved for another use.
1 small pkg slivered almonds (sliced ones work fine too)
handful of sesame seeds *see my note at the end of blog about purchasing hint*

1 cup of Canola or minimal flavored oil, I would NOT use olive oil here, it will skew the flavors
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 cup red wine vinegar

A couple notes about serving size. This amount above makes ALOT! However, it will get eaten, I promise you! It will also keep it's crispness with the dressing on for a day after you make.  It also behaves like spinach and mushrooms and lettuce and....that it will "deflate" down to a normal size serving once you add the dressing (or heat up.)

Melt butter in large saute pan, or sauce pan (whatever you have) over medium heat.  Add broken up ramen noodles to butter and stir until browned.  Pour onto paper towel lined plate to cool. Be aware, these will turn golden and then burn in seconds, so once color starts to show, pay constant attention.
Add almonds to same pan over low heat and toast slightly, add sesame seeds to warm up and toast a bit and set aside to cool.

Mix cabbage, onion, noodles, almonds and sesame seeds.  Mix the dressing and toss.  Add the dressing a lil' at a time, I have found that it does not require the entire amount.

~If taking as a dish, place ramen/almond/sesame mixture in a ziplock and add after dressing.  The moisture of the cabbage during transport can make the ramen mushy.
~If cutting serving size in half, I always make full amount of dressing, I find the flavor changes if you cut it in half.
~If you find throwing the seasoning packet of ramen wasteful, you can sprinkle on browned noodles after they are cooled but it does add quite a bit of salt so be aware, you may not like the end result. I like salt so it doesn't bother me, but I do not typically do this.
~ Buy your sesame seeds in the international aisle of your grocery store rather than the spice section.  You will save a ridiculous amount!