Crunchy, sweet, and tangy…what’s not to love about this delicious salad that has a great combination of textures and flavors?!
Oriental Salad may not be as retro as some of the other recipes I’ll be sharing on this site with the date on the recipe card of November 1995, but it’s definitely not a salad that you hear about these days with all the focus on fussy presentations of kale, beets, Brussels sprouts, quinoa, and micro greens.
This salad was a favorite of mine to serve a couple of decades ago. It was always a hit with dinner guests and a hit with me because all the components could be made ahead of time. When I offered to bring a salad to a recent gathering, I thought of this recipe and immediately had a craving for the crispy Romaine lettuce, chopped broccoli, and green onions tossed with a sweet and tangy dressing made with Canola oil, apple cider vinegar, and soy sauce. I used Bourbon Barrel Food’s Bluegrass Soy Sauce to add a little extra bourbon kick.
Arguably the best part of the salad is the buttery and crunchy nuggets made by sautéing crushed Ramen noodles, slivered almonds, and toasted sunflower seeds in butter. It’s the combination of these ingredients that makes this salad memorable and why it’s worth bringing back.
- 1 head Romaine lettuce, washed and cut or torn into bitz-sized pieces
- 3 - 4 tablespoons chopped green onions
- 1 small bunch broccoli, trimmed, and chopped
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 package Ramen noodles (use noodles only), broken into small pieces
- ⅓ (or more) cup blanched slivered almonds
- ¼ cup toasted and salted sunflower seeds
- ½ cup Canola oil
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup sugar
- 1½ teaspoons soy sauce (I used Bluegrass Soy Sauce)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, leaving green onions and broccoli on the top. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt butter until foaming subsides, then add Ramen noodles. Stir to coat the noodles with butter and then add in the almonds. Continue cooking and stirring until noodles and almonds begin to brown. Add in sunflower seeds and cook just a little longer until noodles and almonds are lightly brown and crunchy.
- In a small bowl, add oil and whisk in rest of ingredients until sugar has dissolved and dressing is emulsified.
- Sprinkle crunchies over top of prepared salad and toss with desired amount of dressing. Serve immediately.