Sunday, August 22, 2010

Chinese Salad

 I've been visiting my parents this weekend. Mom always plans special meals when a daughter comes to visit. 

When my sisters and I were growing up, Mom did weekly Adventures in Eating nights, trying dishes far afield of Texas.  Mom says now that it was a budget-stretcher move, but the end result was that her three daughters like trying new things.

Chinese Salad is not Chinese but it tastes good so we let the name slide.  It came from Alice Clower, sister of Dad's friend Clark, and is one of the recipes Mom liked enough to record in the family cookbook.  

I never met Alice. Clark passed away at age 95 some years back, but the way he pursued life still makes me smile.  In his 70's he took up photography.  New camera, courses at the community college.  Mom was delighted when he volunteered to take a Scott family portrait at Christmas.  Some of the shots were blurry and heads were cut off in others but we had a good time and the pictures from that year still get a giggle. 

Judging from this recipe, Alice liked trying new things too.  I was surprised when I read the ingredient list and directions but the finished dish has pop and flavor and even cabbage-haters like it.

Serves a lot of people modest servings or 6-8 cabbage lovers.

1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup oil (Mom uses canola)
1/2 cup sugar
2 T soy sauce

Bring to a boil, then cool.

1 pkg Ramen noodles (uncooked), broken into bits about 1/2"
2 oz. sliced almonds (she buys a small package of pre-sliced almonds)

Brown in a little oil until noodles are crunchy.  Cool.

1 head Napa Cabbage, diced into pieces about 1/4"
Optional:  diced red green pepper and spring onions

Put cabbage (and other vegetables if you use them) into bowl.  Mix in ramen noodles and almonds.  Toss with dressing.  

Mom's Note:  Wait until you are ready to serve to assemble because if you do it too far ahead of time the noodles get soft. 

Kathleen's Note:  Enjoy the crunch, color and flavor and make happy dinner memories with your loved ones.

Copyright 2009-2010 Kathleen Scott, for Hill Country Mysteries. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.


  1. This sounds so good I'm going to try it. You look like your mom who is adorable in this photo!

  2. This sounds absolutely yummy! Can't wait to try it.

  3. It sounds delicious. I need to make this for my Chinese children....they love Ramen noodles :-)

  4. Your Mom is such a sweet person and this recipe sounds delicious.
    xoxo ♡

  5. This sounds good.

    Your mom looks like such a sweet lady. Thanks for sharing her with us.


  6. Your mom is a doll. So vibrant and cute.

    Love you, Kathleen. Hope you are feeling more cheery of late. I have been thinking of you.


  7. That IS an interesting recipe. I'll have to try it the next time I'm feeling adventurous! Anything involving ramen can't be bad ;) I'm still jealous of your family cookbook. Its such a wonderful idea!

  8. If possible I love your Mom though I've never even met her. I called such dinners "Broaden Your Horizons" when my kids were growing up. They often fished for invitations to eat somewhere else when they knew it was coming up in rotation, but there were a few hits scored as well as misses. And both picky eater kids have grown up to be wonderfully adventurous eaters now so something went right.

    Your Mom's photo lines up with yours and I see shared smiles and curls and such joy for life in both your faces. I am glad in my heart you had a nice visit together. Those shared memories are the best and I'd give anything for a chance to visit with my sweet Mom again. There are days I still miss her SO much.

  9. We have enjoyed Napa cabbage salad a lot this year. I will have to try your version! My husband will probably scarf it.

    Here is the turnip gratin link:

    Thanks for stopping by.


  10. That's nice and I'm going to try it! I love how you share it all...

  11. Meals we had never had before would have Mom saying "I hear they eat this stuff in New York City."

  12. This sounds delicious. My mother makes something similar but uses packaged broccoli slaw!

    And your mother is adorable --

  13. Are you sure about the measurement with the dressing. It's the better part of a pint.
    And granted the Sp napa is 8", but that amount of dressing seems to lean more towards gazpacho than a salad.
    Just a question BTW, for there really might be huge napa cabbage in Texas.;)

  14. Sorry, just saw the photo. Holy WOW.

  15. What another great recipe! I sure hope you're compiling them into a book. I adore your mom!

  16. Oh, meant to say: into your own family cookbook!

  17. I can't believe I didn't comment here either, I always read and then leave to ponder, and then return, guess I messed up:)

    I'd love to try this...


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