Tim Anderson’s Caesar Ramen Salad

By Mieke
24/04/2024

My love affair with Caesar salad started back in the mid-90s at a Planet Hollywood located in EuroDisney’s Disney Village. Though I did not grow up to be a Disney-adult, I did grow up to remain a Caesar salad fanatic. So when Tim Anderson‘s new title, Ramen Forever: Recipes for Ramen Success, landed on my doormat and I saw this recipe for ‘Caesar ramen salad, I knew I had to make it.

Tim Anderson's Ramen Forever: Recipes for Ramen Success cover

Tim Anderson’s Ramen Forever

Ramen Forever came out in October of last year and it’s obviously another banger from Tim. I’ll admit I’m not the biggest ramen lover, probably because I’ve never had good ramen, I do love a good broth so there’s a decent hit list of things I’d like to make from this book.

As a lover of gelatinous broths and someone who’s been on the prowl for the Best Vegetable Broths for a while now, I am particularly keen to make the tonkatsu broth, as well as the three (!!) vegetable broths Tim has on offer in this book. I’m also really curious about the tares and a lot of the ramen toppings, to make a proper entry-level ramen for myself one day. And of course, because I’ll always be a Frankenfood-maniac at heart, I am very into the Not Quite Ramen-chapter of this book, which is where this Caesar ramen salad recipe comes in.

I should note because of the nature of ramen, this is a more ‘project’-oriented book than you might be used to from Tim’s Japaneasyseries. The most important ingredient for flavorful broths is obviously time. There is a lot of care that goes into making a complete bowl of ramen, from the broth, to the various tares (flavor enhancers) and toppings, right down to the noodles. So if you’re not a very project-oriented cook, this probably won’t be the book for you. Despite Tim doing his best to get a whole lot of veg-based options into the book, it still skews pretty meat-heavy. So if you are vegan or vegetarian this may also not be the book for you.

Caesar ramen salad

Because I am also not the most project-oriented cook, my eye fell on this chicken Caesar ramen as my first contender. According to Tim there is debate on the chicken in chicken Caesar salad, but I don’t really know any better (the blessings of Europe) and happily ignore this level of food-discourse, so I minded my business and just munched on the results instead.

I did switch out his dressing for this quick Caesar salad dressing PDXoliveguy shared on Twitter a while ago, because it’s not only the best Caesar salad dressing I’ve ever made but it’s also almost offensively easy. I’d been looking for an excuse to share it here. I like to add in some finely grated parmesan for extra umami goodness. I’ve shared both options for your perusal in the recipe below. Do try Tim’s version as well, he’s added in some nice Japaneasy-notes using miso, dashi powder and sesame oil.

Finally, I switched out the actual chicken for some fake chicken-bits because fake chicken is generally just very good, so why the hell not? And finally really finally: if you don’t want to bake your own croutons, store-bought is fine. Some avocado would do nicely in here as well, so you know, have at it.

Full disclosure here: Tim and I have become friends and he is kind enough to send me copies of his books so my copy of Ramen Forever was gifted to me.

Tim Anderson's Caesar Ramen Salad

Dorothy Porker
Unconventional but delicious 'chicken' ramen Caesar salad from Tim Anderson's Ramen Forever cookbook. Can be made with both real or faux chicken.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Main course
Cuisine American, Italian, Japanese, Mexican
Servings 2

Equipment

  • Oven for baking croutons
  • Bowl likewise
  • small pot for cooking ramen
  • Large bowl for making dressing and salad

Ingredients
  

For the croutons

  • 4x1 cm-1/2" slices of baguette
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/2 clove garlic finely grated
  • pinch sea salt

For Tim's version of the dressing

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 clove garlic finely grated
  • 20 g-0.7 oz miso
  • 10 g-0.35 Parmesan finely grated+extra for garnish
  • 1/2 t katsuo dashi powder
  • 1/2 t mustard English mustard preferred
  • black pepper freshly ground
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/2 t sesame oil
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 100 ml-3.5 fl oz vegetable oil

For PDXolveguy's version of the dressing

  • 1/4 C mayonnaise he likes Duke's, I like Amora 5 ingrédients
  • 1/2 t garlic powder he likes Burlap&Barrel purple stripe
  • 1 T fish sauce he likes Red Boat, I like Squid Brand
  • 1 T wine vinegar I use apple cider vinegar
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 T Parmesan finely grated
  • black pepper freshly ground, to taste

For the salad

  • 2 portions ramen noodles cooked and chilled under cold water
  • 1 'chicken' breast or plant-based equivalent cooked and shredded
  • 1 head cos (romaine) lettuce chopped
  • big pinch sesame seeds toasted
  • black pepper freshly ground, to taste
  • handful chives thinly sliced

Instructions
 

To make the croutons

  • Preheat your oven to 180°C-400°F.
  • Mix 1 T of olive oil with 1/2 finely grated garlic in a bowl and toss in 4x1 cm-1/2" thick slices of baguette, before placing the pieces on the wire rack in the oven and baking for about 15 minutes. They should be completely dried out. Remove from the oven, leave to cool and break into small pieces.

For Tim's version of the dressing

  • Whisk together the egg yolk, 1/2 a finely grated garlic clove, 20 g-0.7 oz miso, 10 g-0.35 oz finely grated Parmesan, 1/2 t of dashi powder, mustard, a grind or two of black pepper and the juice of 1/2 lemon in a large bowl.
  • Combine 1/2 t of sesame oil with 1 T of olive oil and 100 ml-3.5 fl.oz. of vegetable oil in a jug and slowly drizzle the oil mixture into the egg yolk mixture while whisking constantly to emulsify.
  • Keep whisking and drizzling until all the oil has been incorporated and you're left with a thick, creamy dressing.

For PDXoliveguy's version of the dressing

  • In a large bowl, whisk together 1/4 c of mayonnaise, 1/2 t of garlic powder, 1 T of fish sauce, 1 T of wine vinegar and 2 T of extra virgin olive oil until well-combined. Stir in 1 T of finely grated Parmesan and a few grinds of black pepper in the end.

For the salad

  • Tip your precooked noodles, precooked and shredded 'chicken' and chopped salad into the dressing and toss until evenly coated.
  • Serve with the croutons, sesame seeds, extra Parmesan and thinly sliced chives.

Notes

  • I'm sure you can make this with store-bought garlic croutons, I do find home-made ones always pack an extra punch however, and they tend to be a bit more interesting texturally. 
Keyword caesar salad

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