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Kale Peanut Salad September 28, 2010

Posted by Angela @ Making Food for Friends in salad, vegan.
Tags: , ,

Sometimes, after a weekend of eating pasta, fajitas, cookies, and maybe a few beers, Monday night rolls around and the only things that sounds good are VEGETABLES.  I ate an entire head of kale for dinner last night and I’d do it again tonight!

The original basis for this recipe is from a dish served at M Cafe de Chaya in Los Angeles. It was sent to me by a friend of a friend, and there used to be a video of the chef at M Cafe making this dish online.  It seems to have disappeared, though.  Over the course of making this quite a few times, I’ve changed and simplified the recipe down to the bare essentials.  The original called for boiling & blanching the kale, but I think steaming it is quite a bit easier and holds the structure of the kale leaf better in the end product.  The original was also garnished with shaved carrot and red onion, but I don’t usually do that—sesame seeds and sriracha for me!

Kale Peanut Salad


1 head of kale
For peanut sauce:
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tbs sriracha (or other hot sauce, or a few pinches of cayenne pepper)
2 tbs Golden Mountain sauce (optional)
1 tsp ginger (optional)
2 cloves minced garlic (optional)

Chopped peanuts for garnish
Sriracha for garnish
Sesame seeds for garnish


Prep your kale by rinsing thoroughly to remove any grit from the leaves. Remove the thick stem from the middle of each leaf, and rip or chop into smaller pieces.

chopped kale

Assemble your ingredients for the peanut sauce.  I think you can make a perfectly fine peanut sauce with just four ingredients: peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sriracha.  You can certainly add in any of the optional items above to fancy it up a little but in a pinch, four ingredients will be just fine.

peanut sauce ingredients

Put your kale on the stove to steam.  I use a metal steamer basket in my largest pot.  If you don’t have a way to steam it, you can blanch the kale in boiling water for half a minute of so, and immediately remove it from the boiling water to an ice bath (a large bowl of cold water with ice cubes) to stop the cooking process.  If you do it this way, make sure to press as much water out of the leaves as you can. You don’t want the kale to be too soggy.  I find steaming it to be much easier!

While the kale is steaming, put all of your peanut sauce ingredients in a blender, and blend it up.  Taste, and adjust any seasonings you might need to tweak.

When the kale is done (it should be bright green and easy to chew–not too tough but not limp), plate it, drizzle the peanut sauce on top, and garnish with chopped peanuts, sesame seeds, and a little more sriracha.

If you have any leftovers, this is good as a cold salad the following day!



1. Vegetarian Thai Peanut Enchiladas « Tuesdays with Angela: Making Food for Friends - May 26, 2011

[…] (julienned) 4 oz tempeh, crumbled 1 handful spinach (chopped) 1 cup spicy Thai peanut sauce (either homemade or store-bought; if you are going store-bought, I like the San-J brand) 4 (8 inch) tortillas 1 cup […]

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