Crunchy Chinese Salad
This salad has long been a favorite among friends and family. I used to add the seasoning packet from a package of Oriental-flavor ramen noodles. Now, to avoid the MSG, I omit it. I have also weaned the sugar down to just two tablespoons. If you really like the added flavor of the seasoning packet, feel free to add it to the dressing.

Yields approximately 6 main dish servings or 12 side dish


  • 1 (3 ounce) package ramen noodles, broken in small pieces (see notes)
  • 1 tablespoon butter (or 1/2 tablespoon butter plus 1/2 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil)
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) cooked chicken, shredded
  • 1 (16 ounce) package shredded coleslaw mix
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts (may substitute slivered almonds or cashew pieces)
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil or mild-tasting olive oil
  • 1/4 cup rice or white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Optional garnishes: chopped cilantro or parsley and additional nuts or sunflower seeds


  1. Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Sauté the broken noodles, stirring frequently, in the butter for about four minutes or until the noodles are golden brown.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, coleslaw, green onions, toasted ramen noodles, peanuts, and sunflower seeds.
  3. For the dressing, whisk together the oil, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Pour the dressing over the salad, toss, and serve.


  • For a delicious healthy and gluten-free option, I have used brown rice ramen noodles. When using these in place of the standard wheat version, it is crucial to cook them over medium heat in the one tablespoon olive oil or butter until they are crispy. Cook while continually stirring until the noodles are all evenly toasted and golden brown. This will crisp the noodles beautifully. If not fully toasted, these noodles will be a bit too hard.

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