Parfait! Ramen ‘n Romaine Salad with Tamari Dressing

05SaladBowlbfLO…which is really a long way of saying ‘Asian Salad’ – tho’ I really do hate that name, almost as much as I LOVE this salad; ramen noodles and sunflower seeds toasted in a bit of butter and olive oil, cooled, then sprinkled over a crisp romaine salad, dressed in a tangy dressing made with tamari and rice vinegar.

Of course, you can add what you like to the salad, sliced chicken breast makes it a meal on its own, and feel free to add almonds or walnuts to the ramen, it’s all good.

Ramen topping:
•3 pkg ramen (noodles only)
•1 cup sunflower seeds
•3 tbsp butter
•3 tbsp olive oil

01bRamenBagMalletbfLOSalad Dressing:
•3/4 cup canola oil
•1/4 cup water
•1/4 cup rice vinegar
•1/4 cup sugar
•2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce

First, the ramen:
Place the blocks of noodles in a large zipper bag and smash ’em with a kitchen mallet (or hammer, whichever is handier), then add the seeds – or, if you like, add some nuts.

A note on the ramen: this amount is more than you will probably want or need for one salad, but I like to have extra on hand to sprinkle over other salads, and this will keep, in the zipper bag in the fridge, for quite a while.

Melt the butter with the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, then add the ramen and seeds or nuts and cook, stirring and turning every now and again, for about five minutes, until the ramen is nicely toasted and mostly golden brown. If some of the ramen looks a bit over done, it’s not a big deal – unless you’ve really burned it, all will taste fine.

03aDressingAddOilbfLOSet the now nicely toasted ramen and seeds aside to cool, then return to that handy zipper bag and pop into the fridge for storage.

Now, for the dressing:
Place the sugar, tamari (or soy sauce) – I use low sodium – water, and rice vinegar in a blender and pulse to mix well and dissolve the sugar. Scrape down the sides, if needed.

09RibsPlateSaladbfLOWith the blender running, slowly stream the canola oil through the hole in the lid until the dressing is nicely emulsified and creamy looking.

Transfer to a covered jar or cruet and pop into the fridge. This dressing will separate, but not to worry, a good shake or two will put it back to rights in no time.

Put it all together:
Make a salad with whatever you like; I used the dark scallion bits leftover from the Korean Short Ribs, about half of an English cucumber, and some diced carrot. Sprinkle the toasted ramen over all, toss, then serve with the dressing. You can toss the dressing into the salad, but then any leftovers will get wilted, so I just pass the cruet and let each person dress their own.

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