This is a fun and easy salad that works well for pot lucks, picnics, and family gatherings; or even for those quiet, private moments that you have all to yourself.
Wait a minute. Did you just say, “Yeah, right. What quiet, private moments? I can’t even go to the bathroom without someone interrupting me.”
Oh yes, I remember those days; the days when my kids were young and their whole world revolved around either my location or what they were going to plunder next. Sometimes, after my husband would get home from work, I would hand the kiddles over to him and then escape to the bathroom to be alone…not because I needed to use the bathroom, but because I needed a place to sit and regroup. I would go into the bathroom, lock the door, turn on both sink faucets and the tub faucet and the fan, put the lid down on the toilet, sit down, close my eyes, put my fingers in my ears, and start humming a favorite song while rocking back and forth. I’d stay there for 10 or so minutes surrounded by the sound of running water, a whirring fan, and my own humming. It was very therapeutic.
Although I needed an intervention from time to time, or maybe even more often than that, I loved those years when my children were young; that time of footed pajamas and bedtime stories and favorite blankies. I call those years the ‘magic years’ and as I look back on them it is as though I am looking at the perfect miniature world of a snow globe…all pristine and happy and swirling with wonder and smiles. I remember the hard parts of raising a family, but more than that I remember hugs and kisses and that for a time I was the center of my children’s worlds and they were the center of mine. My fondest memories? The relaxed weight of a child’s body against mine as he or she would fall asleep in my arms.
So, how does Sumi Salad fit in with those early mothering memories? Simple. I used to make this salad frequently when my children were growing up. They loved it and now they make it for themselves or their own families or roommates. I got the recipe from my sister in-law, Anne, who got it from I don’t know where.
I have been hesitant to post this recipe because it seems as though many people have a similar recipe that generally goes by a variety of other names. However, yesterday I was reading one of my new favorite cookbooks, One Big Table, and came across a recipe actually titled ‘Sumi Salad’. I glanced through the ingredients and sure enough, it was more or less the same recipe as the one Anne had given me so long ago. Well, heck, if Sumi Salad can make the big times in such a great cookbook as One Big Table, then by jingo, it can appear here on my blog.
Light and tangy sweet; this salad is almost addicting. The wonderful blend of textures offers satisfying mouth appeal. Please note: The total time stated for this salad includes chill time in the refrigerator.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
For the Dressing:
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup oil
- 6 tablespoons rice vinegar
For the Salad:
- ¼ cup slivered almonds
- ½ cup sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used Canola)
- 1 medium-sized head green cabbage, coarsely shredded then chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 3 cups chopped cooked chicken
- 8 green onions, sliced, including some of the green stem
- 2 packages ramen noodles, crushed (discard seasoning packet or save for another use)
For the Dressing:
- Whisk together the dressing ingredients. Set aside.
For the Salad:
- Heat the 2 tablespoons of vegetable in a small skillet over medium heat. Add slivered almonds and sesame seeds to oil. Cook and stir until lightly toasted. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, lightly toss together the cabbage, chicken, green onions and crushed ramen noodles. Add the toasted almonds and sesame seeds.
- Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat salad well. Cover salad and refrigerate for an hour or more to allow flavors to blend. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
If you would prefer to add additional heat to the salad, add 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes or 1-2 teaspoons of Sriracha sauce to the dressing.