Chicken Noodle Salad

I have no exciting way to introduce you to this salad of sorts; suffice to say it has taken care of many lunches, and even a few dinners over the past few weeks. It’s the Ichiban salad of my childhood, glammed up with chunks of roasted chicken, and made extra toasty by popping crushed dry noodles in the toaster oven along with the sliced almonds. (Note: do not leave the toaster oven to go check your email. For real.) The resulting jumble is crunchy, sweet and sour, and makes a satisfying sum of its parts. Also: a ginormous bag of coleslaw mix (enough to last at least a week) costs $3, a packet of noodles about a quarter, and a handful of almonds aint much. You also get the health plusses of all that slaw, and the nuts, and a few peas if you want to add the dregs of the bowl of leftovers from the other night. (OK… honestly? I put them in there so I could call it chicken noodle salad. I thought it was catchy. It is kinda fun though, right?)

More selling points: If you’re starving when you get home, it can be put together in under ten minutes, before you devour two pieces of toast and a handful of granola. All the things in it keep well enough to keep on hand in the cupboard or fridge – cabbage has staying power. (You don’t have to add roasted chicken, but if there’s some in the freezer or fridge, it’s a Very Good Thing.)

I’m going to drive structured recipe lovers crazy for awhile here, because this is again one that gets tossed together without reference to measurements.

For two big pasta-size bowls, or enough to put on the dinner table as a side, here’s what I do:

– Crush a bag of Ichiban noodles (spicy chicken is my fave, although you’ll just use a sprinkle of the packet) in its bag, then open it up and shake the contents out onto a baking sheet – it should fit in the toaster oven. Add a handful of sliced almonds and toast until everything smells nutty.

– Mound a generous amount of thinly sliced cabbage or coleslaw mix in a bowl. A couple handfuls per person, I’d say.

– Get a jar, and pour in about 1/4 cup olive or canola oil, 2-3 Tbsp. sugar (it’s sweet), 3-4 Tbsp. rice vinegar and a sprinkle of the seasoning packet. Shake it up.

– Add the toasty nuts n’ noodles to the slaw, add some chopped chicken if you like, and drizzle the lot with dressing. You probably won’t need all of it, but that part is up to you. Toss and eat.

Now I’m all hungry.


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13 comments on “Chicken Noodle Salad

  1. Kathleen
    April 13, 2012 at 9:00 am

    Yes! We made a version of this all the time in University. So yummy!

  2. Karen
    April 13, 2012 at 9:08 am

    Yum! I could eat a huge bowl of this, and I love the name!

  3. Anna
    April 13, 2012 at 10:02 am

    Ohh I love this salad! My mom used to make it for lunch all the time and I’ve just recently rediscovered it. I like to add a little bit of peanut butter to my dressing.

  4. Barb
    April 13, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    This is a good salad. I have made variations of it many times.

  5. Jan
    April 13, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Thanks for the article in Swerve on gluten free cooking. Would you consider writing one on lactose free cooking too?

  6. Trudi S
    April 13, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    This salad left-over makes a great stir fry the next day….

  7. Lori
    April 15, 2012 at 7:39 am

    I have always loved this salad, but one day I read the ingredients on the package of ichiban noodles and haven’t made it since. Any suggestions for substitutions for the flavour packet?

  8. natalie -ga
    April 15, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    funny. I had to bring a salad to a dinner. I said to myself, “I will take the ramen noodle salad, unless Julie has something on her site today.” And it was the same salad! Guess it was meant to be :).

  9. JulieVR
    April 15, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    Meh – I don’t think the flavour packet makes much difference, really! Just leave it out!

  10. Manon from Ontario
    April 18, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    One question…do you put the noodles raw in the salad?


  11. JulieVR
    April 19, 2012 at 7:32 am

    Yep! They’re crunchy, especially once you toast them!

  12. akajb
    April 19, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    I tried this twice now. First time as written above, but didn’t really like the salad dressing suggested – too sweet and sort of bland. Second time I used a Asian sesame recipe (http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/asian-sesame-dressing-10000000337547/), which I liked better. But I would cut down on the soy sauce next time (quite salty) and I used rice vinegar as that’s what I have.

  13. Praveen Kumar
    January 6, 2015 at 2:18 am

    Yummy salad.. Looks tempting.

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