Cold Ramen with Quick-Pickled Mushrooms, Celery, and Ginger

updated Jan 29, 2020
summer
Cold Ramen with Quick-Pickled Mushrooms, Celery, and Ginger

Pickled vegetables and chewy ramen noodles combine for a mighty yet simple cold noodle salad.

Serves4

Prep10 minutes to 15 minutes

Cook10 minutes

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Credit: Joe Lingeman

The brine from the pickle jar is good, potent stuff that shouldn’t be thrown away. Acidic, with a good balance of sweetness and saltiness, it’s begging to be a ready-made dressing for your salads — noodle or otherwise.

Here, you’ll make your own quick-pickle with a seasoned rice vinegar mixture — it’s practically as easy as pouring from the pickle jar. You’ll pickle matchsticks of ginger, celery, and well-seared mushrooms (ideally a mix of varieties) so you have the intrigue of different textures and shapes in the salad. While the ginger infuses the pickling liquid with flavor and softens so it’s tender enough to eat, the celery stays crisp and the mushrooms meaty while soaking up some of the now-gingery pickling liquid.

The vegetables can sit in the brine for up to three days in the refrigerator, and will grow more intensely flavored as they sit. When you’re ready to eat, toss the vegetables and brine with some chewy ramen noodles and you have yourself a mighty yet simple cold noodle salad. Well, almost: You’ll want to add lots of black pepper at the end. It has an earthy spice that’s a surprising alternative to Sriracha or another chile sauce you may usually be compelled to add here. 

Cold Ramen with Quick-Pickled Mushrooms, Celery, and Ginger

Pickled vegetables and chewy ramen noodles combine for a mighty yet simple cold noodle salad.

Prep time 10 minutes to 15 minutes

Cook time 10 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 pound

    mixed fresh mushrooms

  • 1 (2-inch) piece

    fresh ginger

  • 2 tablespoons

    canola oil

  • 1 tablespoon

    plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided, plus more for seasoning

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 6 stalks

    celery

  • 1/2 cup

    water

  • 1/2 cup

    rice vinegar

  • 4 teaspoons

    granulated sugar

  • 4 (5-ounce) packages

    dried instant ramen noodles

Instructions

  1. Halve or slice 1 pound mixed mushrooms (you want bite-sized pieces). Peel, then thinly slice a 2-inch piece of ginger into matchsticks.

  2. Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until just starting to smoke. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and cook undisturbed until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from the heat, stir in the ginger and 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and let cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, reserve the leaves from 6 celery stalks, then thinly slice the stalks. Stir 1/2 cup water, the rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon kosher salt, and 4 teaspoons granulated sugar until the salt and sugar are dissolved.

  3. Add the celery to the mushrooms, then pour over the vinegar mixture. Let sit until the mixture is room temperature and the vegetables are lightly pickled, at least 15 minutes. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan salted water to a boil. Add 4 (5-ounce) packages instant ramen noodles (discard the seasoning packets) and cook according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water, then drain again.

  4. Stir the ramen into the pickled vegetables (do not drain the vegetables). Garnish with the reserved celery leaves and plenty of black pepper.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The vegetables can be pickled and refrigerated in the brine up to 3 days ahead.

Storage: The salad can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 2 days.