Cold Asian Noodle Salad (with a tasty soy, honey and sesame dressing)

Asian Noodle Salad

This Asian noodle salad has the perfect balance of salty, sweet and tangy with a hint of heat. There’s plenty of crisp vegetables, soft springy noodles and crunchy sunflower and sesame seeds, too. Serve this tasty salad as a side or a main dish. It’s quick and easy to make, can be made ahead of time and will even taste better the next day.

Cold and colorful

For some helpful tips before you begin, click here.


For the dressing:

  • 5 tablespoons (75 ml) soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) honey
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (6 g) MSG*
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1.5 g) black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon (5 g) red chili flakes
  • 2 tablespoons (12 g) grated fresh ginger (from about a 1-inch piece)

*MSG enhances savory flavors. But if you do not like to use MSG, it can be omitted.

For the salad:

  • 1/2 head Napa cabbage, shredded or thinly cut
  • 1 small carrot, shredded
  • 1 small red onion, quartered then thinly sliced
  • 5 small radishes (like Cherry Belle), halved and sliced thinly
  • 1 bunch parsley, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 3 large scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 2 or 3 Korean chilies, halved lengthwise then thinly sliced – optional
  • 4 servings (228 g) ramen noodles
  • 1/2 cup (64 g) roasted sunflower seeds
  • 2 tablespoons (18 g) sesame seeds


1. Combine the dressing ingredients in a small mixing bowl.

– Whisk all the dressing ingredients together in a small mixing bowl until the honey and brown sugar are dissolved and everything is well-combined. Set aside,

2. Combine the prepared vegetables in a large mixing bowl.

– Combine the cabbage, carrot, red onion, radishes, parsley, scallions and Korean chilies in a large mixing bowl.

3. Prepare the ramen noodles. Chill, cut and add to the vegetables.

– Prepare the ramen noodles according to package instructions.
– Rinse the noodles in cold water to chill. Drain well.
– Cut the noodles to your desired length and add to the salad.

4. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss. Top with the sunflower and sesame seeds.

– Pour the dressing evenly over the salad and toss until everything is well-coated.
– Sprinkle the sunflower seeds and sesame seeds on top. Toss lightly, if desired, to distribute the seeds throughout.


– Serve right away or chill in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Cold and crisp salad
Top with beef bulgogi
Asian Noodle Salad topped with beef bulgogi.


This Asian noodle salad comes together quickly and can sit in the refrigerator until ready to serve. (In fact, the flavor improves with time.) It is a great side dish and can easily be elevated to a main dish with the addition of chicken, beef, seafood or tofu.


Here are a couple of helpful tips:

1) Make extra dressing for later.

– The dressing will keep well in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks (maybe longer). So make some extra for later. Aside from being delicious on salads, this dressing also makes a great dipping sauce, marinade or basting liquid. (This recipe makes about 1 1/4 cups or 300 ml.)

2) Serve cold or warm.

– This dish is usually served cold, but would be just as good served warm. Just toss in a hot wok or sauté pan.

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