Betty's Napa Cabbage Salad is a crunchy salad with an Asian flavor. My mother-in-law, Betty, made this cabbage salad when we were visiting. Jeff and I both really liked this salad. I can eat it as a meal and not just a salad. Every time I make this salad, it is always a hit!
This salad has three components: salad, crunchies and dressing. You can prepare all three components ahead of time, then mix them together when you want to serve the salad.
The Salad component is Napa cabbage and green onions. Napa Cabbage is an Asian cabbage that is oblong in shape. This recipe calls for one large head of Napa cabbage. I have found Napa cabbage at just one store, and the heads are not large. I've done some experimenting and found that you should have at least 10 cups of cabbage and at most 14 cups. There will be too much dressing if there is less than 10 cups of cabbage. There won't be enough dressing if there is more than 14 cups.
To slice the cabbage, first, cut it in half, long ways. Then, take one of the halves, and cut the core out in a triangle fashion. Then, slice straight across so the cabbage is about 1/8 inch thick strips. Repeat with the other half.
Ramen noodles, sesame seeds and almonds are the crunchies component. The ramen noodles should be crushed so they are small little bits. I usually break them up while they are still in the bag. If I am feeling strong that day, I break them up with my fingers. 😉 Sometimes, I use the smooth side of a mallet to break up the noodles. This recipe does not use the spice packet. I keep the spice packet to use as bouillon in another recipe.
When Betty made the recipe, I think she used slivered almonds. I have lots of sliced almonds, so I use sliced almonds. Either works well.
Red Wine Vinegar, soy sauce, vegetable oil, sugar and sesame oil are the dressing component. The dressing is boiled then cooled before using.
I love the flavor of sesame, so I altered Betty's recipe slightly. Her recipe did not include sesame oil. I include two tablespoons of sesame oil when I make the dressing. The salad is good without the sesame oil, so, if you don't want to use it, it will still be a very yummy salad.
The salad is best enjoyed soon after the components are put together. The salad is good the next day, but the crunchies are no longer crunchy. Two days later, the salad is a bit wilted.
Jeff and I tried only adding the dressing and crunchies to individual bowls of the cabbage and onion mixture as a way of keeping the crunchies, crunchy the next day. This method works very well. The salad lasts us three days and everything tastes as good on day three as it did on day one.
I hope you enjoy Betty's Napa Cabbage!
Betty's Napa Cabbage Salad
- 1 large head of napa cabbage You should have at least 10 cups of cabbage but not more than 14 cups.
- 1 bunch green onions
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil or olive oil
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil or olive oil
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 1/2 cup almonds, slivered or sliced
- 2 packages ramen noodles, crushed the spice packet is not used
- In a saucepan, mix the oil, sugar, red wine vinegar and soy sauce.
- Bring to a boil and boil for one minute.
- Remove from heat and stir in sesame oil.
- Set aside and let cool.
- In a skillet, heat the oil.
- Add the crushed ramen noodles, almonds and sesame seeds and brown over medium-low heat. Be careful not to burn.
- Remove from skillet. Set aside and let cool.
- Wash and slice cabbage and green onions into a large bowl. Set aside. You can refrigerate the cabbage and onion mixture until you are ready to serve the salad.
- When you are ready to serve your salad, stir the dressing because it may separate.
- Add the dressing and crunchies to the cabbage and onion mixture and stir well until the cabbage and onions are coated. You can mix everything at once, or, mix one bowl at a time and reserve the components until you are ready to use them.
- Serve and enjoy!