This Crunchy Ramen Noodle Salmon Salad is a unique, updated version of the potluck classic Ramen Noodle Salad. With toasted almonds and Ramen noodles, a sweet Asian style dressing and good-for-you baked salmon, this salad is sure to win over the potluck crowd!
We’ve been eating healthier, and this has meant including salmon on our dinner menu at least once a week. I get bored with the same thing over and over; in fact I rarely make the exact same recipe twice! We all know that salmon is packed full of omega-3s and other healthy benefits, but the same baked salmon week after week was weighing on me.
I decided I needed to come up with some alternative ways to enjoy this healthy fish. I created some Baked Salmon Teriyaki Lettuce Wraps that were absolutely to die for. I knew that salmon could be great in a salad, so I came up with this variation on the old stand-by potluck classic Asian style Ramen Noodle Salad. It’s a great way to use up leftover salmon.
How to make Salmon Ramen Noodle Salad
To begin, cook up some salmon. If you have leftovers from dinner, you can use that, or even canned salmon if you like. If you are starting with fresh salmon, bake it in the oven for about 16-18 minutes or until it’s cooked through. The time will depend on the size and thickness, but I prefer to cook a little more on the rare side to avoid over-cooking. Visit our Easy Baked Salmon recipe for even more tips on getting your salmon perfect. Once it’s cooked, let it cool and flake it apart for your ramen noodle salad.
Next, toast the ramen noodles, sesame seeds and almonds. Take some uncooked Ramen noodles and break them up into small pieces (discard the seasoning packets). Spread the broken noodles, sesame seeds and almonds on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in the 400 degree oven for about 5 minutes or until golden. Set aside to cool while you prepare the rest of the salad. This is not a necessary step, but the toasting adds tons of flavor so I definitely recommend it.
Pour coleslaw mix into a large bowl and stir in sliced green onions and fresh chopped parsley.
Make the salad dressing and set aside until ready to serve. You can make the dressing a couple days ahead of time and just refrigerate until ready to use. Let the dressing come to room temperature for a bit and shake it up again before adding it to the salad.
Toss the salad just before serving.
Tips and Tricks
The base for the salad is a coleslaw mix but you could also chop your own cabbage and carrots. I added some red cabbage because that’s my favorite thing to have in salads. There’s also some fresh parsley and chopped green onions for fresh flavor.
The crunch comes not only from the cabbage but from the toasted Ramen noodles and almonds. You could definitely toss them in the salad without toasting, but trust me when I say that toasting them brings out the most amazing flavor, and completely enhances the crunch.
The dressing is basically a sweet teriyaki-style dressing with soy sauce, Worcestershire, sugar, honey and vegetable oil. The salad is best when tossed together just as you are ready to serve. Dressing the salad too soon can make the noodles soft, and you really want that yummy crunch.
What to do with leftovers
If you are planning on having a lot of leftovers, I recommend only dressing as much of the salad as you plan on eating. Ramen Noodle Salad with Dressing doesn’t keep well as the acid dressing with continue to break down the cabbage and the noodles, making them soft.
If that doesn’t bother you, then you can store the Ramen Noodle Salmon Salad in a sealed container in the fridge for a couple of days before discarding.
Can you cook the Ramen Noodles first?
The original Ramen Noodle Salad uses uncooked noodles. However if that just doesn’t do it for you, you can cook the Ramen noodles and still have a pretty killer salad.
First make the salad dressing.
Cook the noodles just a minute shy of the package directions. You want them to be al dente, like any other pasta.
Immediately toss the noodles in a bowl with about a third of the salad dressing. Set aside, covered, in the fridge until ready to use.
Toss the remaining ingredients together with the Ramen noodles and serve chilled.
I don’t like something in this recipe, can I leave it out?
Absolutely. My favorite thing about cooking is that I can make any recipe fit my own likes and dislikes. Or I can switch out ingredients based on what’s available in my pantry.
If you’re really not a fan of salmon, use chicken or tuna. Or you can leave the protein out all together.
Don’t like cabbage? Replace half of it with a crunchy lettuce like Romaine or iceberg. Or you could swap in Napa cabbage.
The sesame seeds or almonds can be left out, too, especially if there are allergies.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange salmon in a large baking dish and season with a pinch of salt. bake for 16-18 minutes, or until cooked through. Transfer to a plate; remove skin and discard. Gently flake salmon apart and set aside.
Break uncooked Ramen noodles into small pieces (discard seasoning packets). Spread noodles, sesame seeds and almonds on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in the 400 degree oven for about 5 minutes or until golden. Set aside to cool while you prepare the rest of the salad.
Pour coleslaw mix into a large bowl, Stir in green onions and parsley
In a tightly sealed container, shake together oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, honey and Worcestershire sauce, until well combined. Set aside until ready to serve.
When ready to serve, gently stir in salmon, ramen noodles, almonds and sesame seeds. Pour dressing over coleslaw mix and gently toss to coat completely.
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Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.