When I was growing up we took in a few Japanese exchange students. Every now and then they would cook for us. This is one of the dishes that they made for us. Well, it’s at least the Americanized version of the salad that they made for us.

It has been a family favorite for a long time. It is one of those recipes that my mom always makes when the whole family gets together. It reminds me of my childhood every time I eat it.

Cold Japanese Chicken Salad

2 cooked chicken breasts, diced

1/2 head of cabbage, chopped

1 package ramen noodles, crushed

1/2 cup slivered almonds

1 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons sugar

4-5 tablespoons white rice vinegar

Throw the chicken, cabbage, uncooked ramen noodles, almonds and dried cranberries into a large bowl and mix until combined. In a separate bowl whisk together ramen noodle flavor packet, olive oil, sugar and white rice vinegar. Pour the dressing mixture over the top of the noodles and cabbage and toss until all is coated.

Joy Larson is a mother of four boys, graduate of the University of Montana, animal lover and writer.