Last year we planted broccoli seeds for our garden, only to find out the package had been mislabeled and we actually ended up with giant heads of Napa Cabbage. Not knowing if we had made the error ourselves we planted them again this year. And yes, the so-called broccoli once again grew into lovely heads of Napa Cabbage.
I scanned the internet for recipes and recalled a great Napa Cabbage salad with Ramen noodles that had been served at my wedding shower. I wanted to duplicate that, but also wanted to use the easy ingredients I had on hand. The result was a combination of about six different online recipes, leading the version below that I've now made twice - the bowl was cleaned both times!
I avoided recipes that used the flavor packet from the noodles, as I had no interest in including those ingredients in my fresh salad. I leaned toward olive oil instead of vegetable oil, and I used sunflower seeds (but you could also use sliced almonds). Instead of sugar, I used our own honey.
1 medium head Napa Cabbage
1T olive oil
2 garlic scapes, diced (or garlic cloves, whatever you have on hand)
1 package ramen noodles, crushed (discard the flavoring)
2-3T sunflower seeds
4T olive oil
3T cider vinegar
2T soy sauce
1T cilantro, chopped
Cut the head of Napa Cabbage down the middle vertically, then turn each half on its side and slice into slivers about 1/4 inch thick. Soak in cold water for about 10 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients, then dry in a salad spinner or in towels.
Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a medium-sized frying pan on medium heat; add the diced garlic scapes (or garlic) and saute for 1-2 minutes until lightly browned. Add the crushed ramen noodles and sunflower seeds and cook for 3-5 minutes until they are also lightly browned. Watch carefully as to avoid burning the seeds. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Make the dressing by mixing the rest of the olive oil, cider vinegar, soy sauce, and honey.
Drizzle the dressing over the Napa cabbage right before serving, then add the other ingredients and mix well.