Asian-inspired Kale Salad

This is the latest in my very occasional recipe series, and this one is inspired in part by Chad Hamilton. I’ve prepared kale in a number of different ways, from a good ol’ Southern pork-laden, beer-braised recipe, to placing shredded strips of the vegetable in my rainbow quinoa salad while the grain (pseudocereal?) was still warm.

The inspiration for this recipe came from a different place, a desire to make something that was simple, quick, and retained the overall nutritive character of the kale while addressing its bitterness and fibrousness.

Ingredients (feeds 2-4)
1 bunch of kale (I prefer Lacinato or dino kale, but curly will work in a pinch)
1 lemon or lime
1/6 – 1/4 of a large red onion
1 bunch of shallots
4 clementines/satsumas, or a comparable amount of a larger citrus fruit
1 pint of grape or cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup of toasted sesame seeds
Dressing (measurements are very approximate & can be adjusted to taste):
1/4 cup of rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup of soy sauce
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
1/3 teaspoon of powdered ginger (or equivalent fresh)
Pinch of wasabi powder
Chili garlic sauce to taste


Directions (assuming all produce is pre-washed)

1. Shred the kale into strips. Juice the lemon into the bottom of a bowl sufficiently large to hold the kale. Place the shredded kale into the bowl, and toss by hand to coat the kale thoroughly with lemon juice. Set aside.

2. Finely chop the onions and shallots, and incorporate into the kale, tossing to distribute evenly.

3. If you’re feeling really enterprising, cut the tomatoes in half and toss into the bowl with the kale, onions & shallots. Otherwise, toss ’em in whole.

4. In a separate bowl, combine the vinegar, soy, sesame oil, and whisk until the oil is emulsified. Add the ginger, wasabi, & the garlic chili paste (if you’re so inclined), and whisk again.

5. Pour the dressing over the salad, and mix by hand to ensure the kale is thoroughly coated with the dressing.

At this point the salad can be served, but it will probably be a little more agreeable if you let it sit for an hour or so. I like to throw it in a large plastic bag and turn over a few times to ensure the dressing is distributed throughout the kale. When you are ready to serve, incorporate the citrus fruit into the salad, and sprinkle the sesame seeds over it.

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