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Crunchy Asian Cabbage Salad with Crispy Fish

 This flavorful Asian salad features shredded cabbage, green onions, cilantro and the best part of all: a crispy fish shortcut. Top it all off with a tangy dressing and a super crunchy mixture of dry ramen noodles, almonds, and sesame seeds baked in butter.

Ingredients

For the dressing

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger, optional

For the crunchies

  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 (3 oz) packages ramen noodles , broken into small pieces but not pulverized
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds

To assemble

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Now is a good time to get the peas out of the freezer so they can thaw out. 
  2. Start with the dressing: In a small pot over high heat, stir together the apple cider vinegar, olive oil, sugar, and soy sauce. Once the mixture has come to a boil, cook for about 30 seconds until the sugar has dissolved. Add the minced ginger and then remove from heat. Transfer to a mason jar or tight tupperware, and store in the fridge until cool. 
  3. Make the crunchies: Melt the butter in the same pot you made the dressing in, or melt in a medium mixing bowl in the microwave.
  4. Use your hands to break up the ramen noodles BEFORE you open the package. You want small chunks, it shouldn't be crushed to a powder or anything. Open the package and throw away the spice packet that is usually inside.
  5. Add the dry ramen noodles, sesame seeds and almonds into the pot with the melted butter and stir. Spoon the mixture onto a baking sheet and spread out into one layer. You can line the pan with foil for easy cleanup if you want.
  6. Bake the ramen noodles and almonds for about 5 minutes. Open the oven and use a spatula to stir the pan. Bake for another 2 minutes, then stir again. Repeat until the noodles and almonds are slightly toasted and light brown. The total time in the oven is about 10-12 minutes. Be careful and keep an eye on it, it can go from browned to burned real quick. Transfer the noodles to a bowl and set aside.
  7. Turn the oven up to 400 degrees F. Lay the frozen fish filets in a single layer on the same pan (making sure you get all noodle and almond remnants off, you don't want them to burn.)
  8. Bake the fish according to package instructions (12 minutes on one side, then flip and cook another 10-12 minutes.)
  9. Meanwhile, prep the salad. Shred the cabbage into thin strips (see photos). Chop the cilantro, green onions, jalapenos, and cucumber. Combine cabbage, cilantro, green onions, jalapenos, cucumbers, and thawed peas in a large bowl. 
  10. If you are pretty confident that you will eat all of the salad right away, then toss the ramen noodles and almonds in with the salad. Toss with dressing. (You don't have to use all the dressing). Top each plate of salad with 1-2 fish filets. 
  11. If you think you will have leftovers, let each guest top their own salad with ramen and dressing individually. (Otherwise it gets soggy.)
  12. Store crunchy ramen in a tupperware on the counter. Store the dressing and leftover salad in the fridge. 

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