A Ramen Spice Packet Can Transform A Mayo-Free Coleslaw

It's hard to definitively say that any one type of food is the true opposite of another. But it's not controversial to say that the opposite of fresh vegetables lies somewhere in the ultra-processed neighborhood where instant ramen lives, along with marshmallow peeps and gas station hot dogs. So you may be surprised to hear that buying more ramen is part of a quick, cheap, and easy hack to eat more vegetables.

The small parcels of seasoning are long-life flavor bombs that pack an umami-rich Asian punch. Though it's not their original purpose, if used in coleslaw, the spice pack can help replace the heavy mayo-based dressings that not only smother the flavors in play but are usually packed with empty calories, with dressings that add brightness and vibrancy to crunchy shredded vegetables.

Ramen spice packets tend to contain salt, MSG (which has a bad reputation, but will make your salad incredibly moreish), and carefully measured quantities of onion, garlic, black pepper, ginger, and soy sauce powders, along with other spices and flavorings depending on your favored brand or style. There's no need to measure anything, and you won't fill up your cupboard with obscure powders you barely use. There's enough flavor and variety within the pack itself, so the dressings can be super simple. Just whisk it into a simple vinaigrette of oil, vinegar, and a little sugar, and say hello to a whole new world of (almost) instant healthy meals.

What to do with all of the extra noodles, then?

Using instant ramen spice instead of mayo is also a good way to lower the calories in coleslaw. That spice packet contains between 25 to 50 calories while a single spoonful of mayo can contain 90 calories. It's also a good way to maximize the ingredients in your kitchen. 

However, cutting down on one form of food waste by not needing to buy soy sauce, onion powder, and whichever other seasonings you're getting from the spice packet is no good if it comes at the cost of wasting the whole rest of the pack of ramen. The simplest and easiest way to use them is to crush the dried noodles into nut-sized pieces to add even more texture to your slaw for very little effort or cost, as one TikToker does.


#vegetablesaladsweek recipe 3- Asian Inspired Ramen Coleslaw- no mayo and tons of flavor! #vegetablesalad #vegetablesalad🥕🥬🥒🌶🍈 #seasonalvegetable #seasonalvegetables #seasonalveggies #asianslaw #asiancoleslaw #coleslaw

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You may want to upgrade your instant ramen game at the same time as bringing zing back to your slaws. Swapping the flavor pack for your own DIY blend and funky toppings makes it easy to build up a stock of flavor packs to use in dressings. Homemade flavor packs can be as simple as making broth with a spoonful of miso pasteinstead of the powders.