This is a refreshing change from the well used cabbage ramen salad seen at every almost every buffet spread over the past several years. You may remember something almost like this salad sold in the produce section at Costco more than a decade ago. Ever since it disappeared, I’ve been longing for it - and I'm sure this has the same salad DNA.
Ten years ago I was still making several PB&J sandwiches almost every day of my week - and lunch was a chore. I remember finding this salad sold by the mega-bag at Costco and falling in love with it. Each ingredient was packaged separately so you could throw it together just before serving. Since it made such a huge amount, I divided it into 6 to 8 portions and then brought it out one bag at a time.
I would reward myself for making it through yet another lunch with the kids by waiting until they were finished, and then making myself a big plate of this crunch-fest. When I felt really generous, I would put a container in my husband’s lunch and share with him. He normally wasn’t a real salad guy - but he liked this as well as I did.
All of a sudden, you could no longer find it at Costco (which happens SO often). But I kept my eye out for it anyway, and finally resigned myself to the fact that if you don’t buy something as soon as you SEE it at Costco - you may never have another chance.
I noticed a similar sesame dressing at Costco lately, so I snagged it - but then realized that I might not find the right candied pineapple and crunchy rice noodles.
Saturday I was shopping at a great little food storage store called Kitchen Kneads in West Jordan, Utah. I found a bag of dried sweetened pineapple that looked identical and I became hopeful. While picking up a head of cabbage at the grocery store on my way home, I was happy to find that LaChoy offers the same crunchy rice noodles that were in that salad mix. The stars aligned and I could make this salad of my dreams again.
We tried it and compared two different crunchy accents - the rice noodles I remember, and some yummy packaged fried won-ton skins (found in the produce section of the grocery store). They were both fantastic - we couldn’t decide which was our favorite. If price is the deciding factor - go for the rice noodles (at $1.29) - vs - the won-ton skins (at $2.79 a bag).
For the recipe and instructions - go to: