The background story for the macaroni salad Ranch dressing recipe

Just a small story hihi The idea is inspired by the time I still live in my home country – Viet Nam.

Around 2014, my whole family immigrates to Seattle after 13 years effort and patience of my maternal grandparents. My grandfather is a General commander who works for the USA during the war in Viet Nam around the 20th century.

When I still live in Viet Nam, I remember the first time I know about the macaroni is at breakfast. In Viet Nam, we have some street foods for breakfast. Sometimes, I buy the instant noodle fried with beef. On that day, the seller doesn’t have any more instant noodle. Nearby, it has a street store selling soup. The seller goes there and buys the boiled macaroni. And then, the seller just fries the boiled macaroni with oil, some white onion, and some beef. At the time, I think the seller use the beef tendon area. It has been a long time I don’t eat that food for breakfast anymore. I don’t know if it changes.

If you ask the price for that food…At that time, the food cost around 15 VND -> -.- it’s only around 65 cents USD. That is the price for Vietnamese… For tourism…honestly, the seller will over-charge at least one USD for that food.

Anyway, it’s boring when the recipe back then is only macaroni, beef, and some onions.

Just this year, when our family can live separate from my aunt and my grandparents, I get a little more free dome about the food I can cook at the new house.

Just one day, the idea of using the salad Ranch dressing comes to my mind. I guess it’s my own creative thinking when I combine the old experience from the time in Viet Nam and the new experience in Seattle.

My simple macaroni salad Ranch dressing recipe

It’s very simple, but I know it’s somehow abnormal. My recipe is the combination of boiled macaroni, cucumber, tomato, some white onions, beef and the salad Ranch dressing on the top. (and some seasoning)

Hmm… I am not a professional chef. I am the type of common chef who collects experiences from cooking. I am not the type of sciences chef who researches detail on how many flour’s ounces you need, how much sugar, salt, what make the taste richer or lighter like the Master Chef show.

masterchef logo

I am just the common person who can cook some food for myself to survive through the hungry when both my parents are busy at the time our family stays in Viet Nam 🙂

Step by step for making this macaroni salad Ranch dressing recipe

If you ask how long to make this food… honestly it depends on your culinary skill. To me, it takes around 30 minutes long to cook this recipe without record the video how to make it haha.

Half of the time is waiting for boiling the macaroni. Another half is cooking on the stove fire.

Ingredients shopping list

Macaroni Salad Ranch dressing Recipe - ingredient

Macaroni: you can choose any kind of Macaroni you want, any shape macaroni. It doesn’t matter to me since the macaroni is just to make sure the stomach is full. I usually buy one pound macaroni, but usually use only half the package-> after boiled, it’s enough for me to eat twice in a day (one for lunch and one for dinner)

Cucumber: I use only one cucumber 🙂 because I cook for myself

Tomato: I use around 3 small Mexican tomato

White onion: If you can’t eat or dislike the white onion, you can replace it with sweet onion or the Walla Walla onion. Or you can subject the onion to the ingredient list, haha If you still follow the recipe, 1/4 white onion should be enough for making the food smell good 🙂

Beef: Hmm…I don’t have a specific suggestion for the beef. I know everyone has different taste. For me, sometimes I use shoulder beef. Sometimes, I use boneless bottom round beef. Sometimes, I use the tenderloin beef area. -> Again it’s your choice. When I record the video about how to cook Macaroni Salad Ranch dressing Recipe, I use the boneless bottom beef.

How much the beef meat weight you need? Hmmm… I don’t weight how much the beef I use in this recipe. The way I do is going to Saars-> buy the 5 lbs beef meat-> cut into smaller-> put the rest in the refrigerator, but the frozen area. -> it depends on you how much you like to eat beef-> to me, I guess I use around 2,3 ounces beef meat 🙂

The main ingredient is done. Besides, you will need to prepare some seasoning.

What I use for seasoning this recipe:

  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Salad Ranch dressing
  • Oyster sauce.
  • Black pepper if you want for smell good or for reducing the beef’s bad smell

I know for sure local Safeway stores don’t have the Oyster sauce. Some Asian stores will have. And one place I know for sure it has the oyster sauce I usually use is Walmart. One more local place is Saars – Super Savers Foods

Saars-super savers food weekly ad

If you can, add those ingredients into your normal Walmart shopping list:

  • Morton salt with the net weight 26 Oz
  • C&H Pure granulated white cane sugar
  • Ranch salad dressing
  • Lee Kum Kee Panda Oyster sauce
  • Any kind of macaroni you want
  • Cucumber
  • Tomato
  • White onion or Walla Walla onion
  • Beef

Routine cooking on the stove

The first step I do is taking a big pot-> adding water -> put it on fire-> pour the macaroni-> let it boil. Different macaroni different time for cooking. You just follow the direction for cooking the macaroni. With the macaroni, I use-> I boil about half pound macaroni. I guess… around 10 cup water? I am not sure. I often cook for myself so I just estimate by my eyes. Please look at the photo hehe

macaroni pot water level

Step 2: I prepare the cucumber, tomato, onion, and beef while I wait for the macaroni to be boiled and cooked. These ingredients need to be cut into the fittable size for eating. There is a lot of way of cutting. Here is what I do.

First about the cucumber. I wash one time with cold water to wipe all the dust or anything-> then, I cut it into half based on the cucumber longitudinal. -> next, I take one half-> face up. When facing up, you will see the cucumber diameter-> again, use the knife cut into half, following the diameter. -> you will have the portion with the half-moon shape-> face the portion down with the green to the ceiling and the seeds would face down to the cutting board -> rotate the cucumber portion into 90 degrees with your body-> place the knife about 30 degrees angle with the cucumber portion-> cut into smaller length. You should have the final look like the photo below

cucumber cut style

Second about the tomato-> wash it with water-> cut a slice at the top and one more the bottom-> let the tomato standing up-> cut it into half like half-moon-> and then, let the tomato seeds face up to you-> cut it into three smaller portions. At the ends, you should have the shape like the photo below.

tomato cut style

Third onion-> I use the leftover white onion portion, so I just cut it like the shape you see in the photo.

white onion cut style

Last is the beef-> It’s up to you how you want to cut the beef: slice or square. (forgive me because of my English… I don’t know the name of it)

Let all be like that, no need to marinate the beef before.

After you finish the preparation, the macaroni is getting ready. For me, it’s about 10 minutes for the preparation. The macaroni pot… needs around a few minutes more. (my macaroni instruction said it needs at least 15 minutes to be cooked and extra minutes if you want more tender)

Step 3: taking another pot-> let it warm up-> put some oils-> put the cut onion into the pot-> let it fry.

Step 4: adding cucumber-> mix sometimes for them to cook

Step 5: adding tomato-> mix sometimes too

Step 6: seasoning with sea salt and a little sugar, around one teaspoon sugar? Sorry that I can’t tell how much it needs. I have some experiences cooking for myself so just estimate 🙂

Step 7: just put the mixture of onion, cucumber, and tomato into one side-> pour all the boiled macaroni into a basket-> and then use one different pot or fry pan to beef

Step 8: let the pan or the pot warm up-> add oil-> if you want smell better-> adding some fried garlic. If you are afraid being bad mouth smell then no need to add garlic and onion in this recipe.

Step 9: pour the cut beef -> let it be for seasoning

Step 10: I season the beef with only the oyster sauce. (it’s Lee Kum Kee Panda Oyster sauce if you don’t remember the name). This oyster sauce is salty already. You don’t need to put extra anything. Just mix until the sauce embraces the beef-> and then turn off the fire.

Basic, we are done and below is the short video of how I eat this Macaroni Salad Ranch dressing Recipe 😛

And one more video about the summarize the process making my Macaroni Salad Ranch dressing Recipe at the beginning with preparation until the moment when the Ranch salad dress on the top of the food (っˆڡˆς)

I don’t know about you, but haha to me, my mouth is watering when I think about the moment when I mix the Ranch salad dressing with macaroni, cucumber, tomato, and beef 😛

If you try cooking this recipe, PLEASE eat slowly haha If you eat fast, you would need to go to the restroom for the business haha I mean it. Some people digestion system is allergy with some food recipe, but not me 🙂 I cook this Macaroni Salad Ranch dressing Recipe several times, around one, twice in a month and I’m completely normal.

Try this recipe for yourself before offering to other 🙂

Please leave some comments on what do you think about this recipe? If it were you, what routine you will do? If you have a chance, what suggestions you would donate?

6 Replies to “Macaroni Salad Ranch dressing Recipe”

  1. Heey, what an endearing article you’ve written about this recipe. Makes me want to visit Vietnam. Something I’ve been planning to do for a while now. Any spots you’d recommend?
    This recipe sounds like a lot of “bachelor” meals I make when I’m trying to be smart with my budget! It’s amazing how many great dishes can be made with macaroni. 
    Keep up the cool asian/american recipes! 

    1. 🙂 Hi, Wilson the original macaroni is the street food in Ho Chi Minh city (or another name is Sai Gon city). If for solo travel to Viet Nam 🙂 I would say you can travel alone to Nha Trang Beach or Phu Quoc Island. If you want to explore in-land spots… you should find a travel agency. 

      By the way, I want to warn you in advance that some street foods, local small restaurants… they usually over-charges the food because they assume you are the international tourism-> it means you have some money. 

      Anyway, thank you for reading, Wilson. 

  2. This is an interesting story and very different recipe from anything I’ve seen before. The combination of ingredients looks nice and colorful, but it’s interesting that you advise testing it out yourself before offering it to others. 🙂 What has your experience been when sharing this dish to your friends and family? I think oyster sauce is a tough ingredient to sneak in, as some people have strong preferences about it! But then again, ranch dressing has it’s own strong flavors, so maybe people find them to work very well together.

    1. 🙂 Hi, Aly You make the point that both oyster sauce and the Ranch dressing has a strong smell. However, the oyster goes with the beef first-> the oyster flavor is salty and little sweet already-> When you add it with beef, it will cover the beef bad smells. -> when you eat the beef, you would not smell the oyster flavor at all because the beef is stronger. 

      And for your questions haha I did one time before. 

      It was the good-bye potluck to my previous team leader around a few months ago. He had been with the company for 20 years long. He saw the new opportunity in Amazon, so he made the decision. 

      Back the potluck 🙂 I did make and brought this Macaroni salad ranch dressing recipe on that day. Of course, I arranged a little different because I knew not everyone would like to add the ranch dressing on the macaroni. 

      As I prepared for the potluck, I fried the macaroni with some butter. And the rest was the same. I just put the macaroni into one medium food tray. The cooked cucumber, tomato, white onion went to one more tray. 

      And I still remembered hihi I bought around 5 pounds of beef (I didn’t remember it was the boneless beef or the bottom round steaks). I followed this recipe: just add the oyster sauce with the beef. That’s it. No more seasoning.

      -> I also put it into a smaller tray… Aigoo~ do you know what? 

      My 5-pounds beef tray was gone in 5 minutes after the potluck started haha The beef meat was tender and season well enough with the oyster sauce. 

      However -.- the macaroni and the cooked vegetables… were left over. Besides, everyone was busy to tasted different dishes. I didn’t make the bowl like my video above. 

      Thank you, Aly, for your opinion. Would you like to try this macaroni salad ranch dressing recipe for yourself first? *wink* I will wait for your feedback to improve more. Even it’s critical feedback 🙂

  3. Hi,
    It’s your great experience with Macaroni Salad Ranch that you have shared with us. It looks delicious, saves our time and it is cheaper too. As it is your personal experience, so I would like to know, have you ever cooked this item for someone special? The ingredients are so many with seasoning ingredients. Are they available in other countries too except Vietnam?

    1. 🙂 Dear Alam, thank you for reading. 

      I didn’t cook for someone special, but a whole team haha Actually, it was the potluck of my previous team leader. The potluck was around 15 people. They brought their own dishes too. hihi I cooked this macaroni and brought to the potluck. 

      For the potluck, I separated each ingredient into a tray. One tray for macaroni. Cucumber, tomato, white onion went to one tray together. And one small tray for beef XD I used all 5 pounds beef (I think it’s bottom round beef. If you want, you can use shoulder beef or beefsteak). My small beef tray was the first one empty haha

      However… macaroni, cucumber, tomato were left-over… After the potluck, I had to buy a new beef portion to complete the recipe -> and then, I had to finish all the left-over by myself. 

       🙂 About your question:”Are they available in other countries too except Vietnam?” -> You can find the fresh ingredients everywhere in the world 🙂 Every country has tomato, cucumber, macaroni, white onion, beef. Just it’s little hard to find the oysters sauce. The rest of the ingredients you can find in your local grocery stores, supermarkets. Or you can order online with Amazon Fresh 🙂

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