Something Savory #2 - Chinese Coleslaw
It's time for the April edition of my "Something Savory" series. You may recall last month, I kicked off this new series with my Chicken Pockets recipe. While I usually focus on sweet treats, I started this new monthly feature to challenge myself to try new savory recipes and experiment in the kitchen. While I love to bake and experiment with cake recipes, I'm definitely not as confident in cooking and with savory recipes.
If you've ever eaten at a potluck dinner, there is a good chance you've had today's delicious side dish - Chinese coleslaw. I have had this dish at many potluck dinners and just can't get enough of it. I had to stop myself after two servings during Easter lunch when my mother-in-law served the slaw! I decided I wanted to figure out this recipe and try it for myself.
As usual, I started out by searching for recipes on Google. I looked through lots of sites ranging from Food Network to personal blogs. There are some complicated recipes out there, but there are some surprisingly simple recipes as well! I finally chose one that was simple and also incorporated a lot of staples in my pantry (apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, ramen noodles). Grocery costs can really add up, so to save money I try to look for recipes that incorporate items I already have in my pantry. With a few modifications, I only had to buy a couple things for this recipe, making it very budget friendly.
My first change was to omit the sliced almonds and sesame seeds the recipe called for. These ingredients definitely give more of a texture contrast, but aren't ingredients we use often in cooking. The sesame seeds alone were $4. The other change was not using the salad oil that is called for. I read about it online and found out it was a mild tasting vegetable oil. So, I just decided to use some vegetable oil I had in my pantry.
Now I will warn you - I was very disappointed when I first tried this. When I tasted my slaw I really didn't care for the taste, the vinegar seemed overpowering. I thought maybe I had made too many changes, or incorrectly measured an ingredient. I covered it up and left it in the fridge for about an hour. I got it back out and decided to give it one last taste before throwing it out. Suddenly it tasted SO much better. I think letting the dressing soak up in the slaw for a little while really enhanced the flavor. The vinegar flavor seemed milder as well. The only issue was there was a bit too much dressing, it pooled up at the bottom. My grocery only sold the broccoli slaw in 10 and 12 oz packages, so I tried to get by with 12 instead of the 16 oz it called for. This didn't work as well, so I went back out and bought some more. I hated wasting the leftover bit of slaw, but the dish was so much better after adding more.
So here's my revised, and more budget friendly, Chinese coleslaw recipe. I adapted it from the Chinese Broccoli Slaw recipe from the site, All Recipes.
Chinese Coleslaw ingredients:
- 6 oz (two packets) Oriental ramen noodles
- 1/4 cup butter
- 16 oz broccoli coleslaw
- 1/2 cup green onion (chopped)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 2 tbs soy sauce
Chinese Coleslaw instructions:
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Open up ramen noodle packages and place the noodles in a bowl (put the seasoning to the side, you will use that later)
- Crush up the ramen noodles into small pieces, I started by breaking them up with a knife and then crushing with my hands and a heavy cup
- Melt 1/4 cup butter in a microwaveable bowl
- Mix the butter in with the noodles (if you want to include sesame seeds and/or almonds, here is where you add them in)
- Spread out noodle mixture onto a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes, you want the noodles to be golden brown
- Let noodles cool completely
- Chop up green onions and mix in with broccoli slaw in a large bowl
- Whisk together the dressing ingredients (vinegar, oil, sugar, soy sauce, and ramen oriental seasoning packets)
- Combine noodles into the broccoli slaw mixture
- Pour dressing over coleslaw and toss to coat completely
- Let sit in the fridge covered for a while before serving
Hope you enjoyed this savory dish! Today, I'm getting back to baking and am making 4 dozen cupcakes for an event tomorrow. Some of the cupcakes are going to be decorated as garden flowers, but the other half will have cute toppers pertaining to the theme of the event. I'll post a sneak peek of the cupcakes on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram tomorrow. Then in a few days I'll show you how to make the toppers and tell you all about the event!