Chinese Napa Cabbage Salad with a Crunchy Topping

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Chinese napa cabbage salad is tossed with a sesame soy dressing and topped with ramen noodles and slivered almonds that have been crisped in butter. A party favorite!

Chinese Napa Cabbage Salad in a bowl with two forks next to it

Have you ever been to potluck dinner where there’s a salad that’s the talk of the food table? Caribbean Salad with Honey Lime Dressing and Cucumber Onion Salad wear this badge of honor.

Chinese Napa Cabbage Salad with a crunchy noodle and nut topping is a contender for the hall of fame.

It’s tasty and unique and you just can’t get enough of it. You want to sneak seconds (and maybe even thirds.) But, well…it just wouldn’t be polite to gobble it all up before everyone else has had a chance to experience its deliciousness.  I confess I have to reign in this type of behavior at times.

The crunchy topping of ramen noodles and almonds browned in butter is what really takes this dish over the top. But, I love the dressing with a hint of sesame too.  It’s similar to the Sesame Dressing used in Chicken Arugula Rice Salad.

The light, crinkly napa cabbage with it’s tender and slightly peppery flavor makes it easy to devour.

head of Chinese Napa Cabbage

In case you’re not familiar with it, this is Nappa or Napa or Chinese or celery cabbage. Yep, it goes by all these names.

I didn’t bring this Chinese Napa Cabbage Salad to the get-together, another mom did. And, she was kind enough to share the recipe with everyone so we could all go home and make up a gigantic salad that we wouldn’t have to share with anyone. 🙂 That was 10 years ago at T-ball end of season party. Yikes. Where does the time go?

Over the years, I’ve lightened it up quite a bit by using less butter and some olive oil. I also nixed the seasoning packet that comes with the ramen noodles which eliminates that animal protein…not to mention, there’s just too much MSG and artificial ingredients in that little packet. You won’t miss it.

Serving Suggestions and Tips for Chinese Napa Cabbage Salad:

  • Make the dressing and crunchy topping ahead of time. Keep separate until ready to serve. The cabbage also stores well after you chop it for a day or two.
  • Add shrimp or chicken (or your favorite protein) for a complete, one-dish meal.
  • Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired.
  • Another option is to use pre-shredded coleslaw found in the produce area.

two bowls of chinese napa cabbage salad with name of recipe in between

I hope you enjoy this party favorite!

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5 from 2 votes

Chinese Napa Cabbage Salad with a Crunchy Topping

Chinese napa cabbage salad is tossed with a sesame soy dressing and topped with ramen noodles and slivered almonds browned in butter. A party favorite!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Chinese
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 632kcal



  • 1 large head crinkly Chinese cabbage aka Napa cabbage thinly sliced
  • 5-6 green onions sliced thin


  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Stevia sugar blend or 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce or coconut aminos
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

Crunchy Topping

  • 2 Tablespoons butter margarine or dairy-free substitute
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 package Top Ramen noodles broken into small pieces (any flavor, discarding the seasoning packet)
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • Salt to taste


  • Mix sliced cabbage and green onions in a large bowl.
  • Combine dressing ingredients in a jar with a tight lid and shake well to mix.
  • Pour dressing over cabbage mixture, toss to coat and set aside.
  • In a large frying pan, melt butter and stir in olive oil.
  • Add broken noodles, almonds and salt (if desired.)
  • Saute until noodles and nuts are lightly golden brown.
  • Sprinkle crunchy noodles and almonds over the cabbage mixture.


Calories: 632kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 55g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 639mg | Potassium: 805mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1040IU | Vitamin C: 63.6mg | Calcium: 262mg | Iron: 2.9mg
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We'd love for you to share!


  1. I am definitely going back for thirds!!

  2. I love salads and would definitely have more than one serving of this 🙂 Pinned!

  3. this is a yummy salad!! I always add a little toasted sesame oil the dressing and it makes it even better. Toasted sesame oil is strong and a little goes a long way! yum!

  4. Marjory, this looks truly incredible. I love a salad with a good crunch and lots of nuts!

  5. Lovely recipie. I substituted lime juice and honey for the vinegar and sugar in the dressing. Delicious, thank you.

  6. Just made this for a party and it was HUGE hit. So tasty!

  7. Can this be made a day in advance without the ramen becoming soggy? Thank you

    • Hi! I’ve not tried making the topping the day before. Unfortunately, I do think it will become a little softer if you do that. The cabbage can definitely be prepped in advance as well as the dressing.

  8. Made this on Sunday and there was none left. My oldest son was raving, and that takes alot. Tonight we’re having blackened chicken breast AND lemon pepper chicken ( granda- daughter’s favorite) and this salad again. Yes, I’m making enough for leftovers. Great ideas. My daughter and I just discovered your website and love it. So impressed with the clean and easy recipes. What’s not to like? I even signed up for your e-class, something I never do.
    Thanks again for your delicious recipes and hard work.

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