We absolutely love this salad. I think you DO need to toast the ramen noodles, nuts, and sesame seeds, but do it in butter; about half what the recipe calls for is plenty. Then no draining is necessary. We love the almonds, but budget-friendly sunflower seeds are really tasty too. When I first received this recipe from a friend about 20 years ago, it called for 5 green onions. So that's what I use. We prefer less sweet so I use half the sugar, use more soy sauce, and add the seasoning packet(s) to the dressing. Because it just makes for a true Asian flavor I always grate in some fresh ginger. I say "fresh", but honestly I keep a root in the freezer all the time which makes it super easy to grate as well. I always serve this salad with the three parts separate for several reasons: individuals may want more or less topping or prefer more or less dressing, and that way everything stays crisp and fresh. We've had it with broccoli slaw and/or other cabbages when bok choy isn't available. They're all delicious!
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We absolutely love this salad. I think you DO need to toast the ramen noodles, nuts, and...