Kale Salad


Kale Salad
Move over Popeye, say hello to the Queen of Greens – Kale. In recent times, kale has become one of the most talked about vegetables, championed by chefs and food bloggers. Green smoothies with kale and kale chips recipes have popped up everywhere I click. Kale, sometimes known as curly kale, is from the Brassica family and is a nutritional powerful with high concentration of beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, and rich in calcium.

After seeing kale sold at a highly exorbitant price in KL, I reminded myself to grab my chance to try kale on my Europe trip. On the first I arrived in Reading. I was with my friend’s mother in law at Waitrose, and she asked me if there’s anything I would like to try. I grabbed a bunch of kale, thinking of making green smoothies the next day (lucky me to be staying at my friend Angie’s place with access to kitchen). Miscommunication ensued, the kale appeared stir fried chinese style for dinner. Angie was puzzled as to why I want to try kale because it’s the most ‘horrible’ vegetable she has ever eaten and it’s mostly used in stews. Even though the kale is tough like chinese kai lan, I happily finished that whole plate by myself.


Left: Baked Kale Chips an Lily’s london flat – surprisingly crisply like potato chips
Right: Kale (Boerenkool) & other vegetable seeds for my balcony gardening

Not giving up, I bought my 2nd bunch of kale when I went to London next, made green smoothies and bake them into kale chips at Lily’s place. Despite it’s hardy texture, kale blends well into smoothies. Lily and I were amazed at how the baked kale chips became crispy chips, just like potato chips.

Back in Netherlands before flying back to Malaysia, there’s no fresh kale in sight at the market or supermarket. Known as boerenkool (farmer’s cabbage) in Dutch, it is a very frequently used in a traditional winter dish called stamppot boerenkool, which is a mix of kale and stomped potatoes. Dutch prefer their boerenkool to be frozen in the field, as it tastes sweeter and more flavourful after being exposed to a frost. Read more about my Netherlands vacation here.

Kale Salad

Packets of chopped fresh kale is all I found and I made Kale Salad. Tough chewy raw kale to be massaged gently. Another pleasant surprise sprung when I had my first taste of massaged raw kale. Love the clean, crisp, earthy flavours. It totally blew the mind of a few Dutch friends when they tasted the salad. Their usually frozen & stomped boerenkool tasted so good raw.

My adventure with kale does not end here. The flower seller at Amsterdam laughed when I asked him if boerenkool can grow in hot weather. I will have to to update him that I met someone last week, who has a garden full of blooming kale in KL. I’m super excited! Planting the seeds this weekend and wait for magic to happen. Will keep you posted on the progress.

Update 18th June 2014 – Check out the post “How To Grow Kale in the Tropics”.

Kale Salad
Prep time
Total time
Clean, crisp, earthy flavours of the massaged raw kale salad. Kale is a nutritional powerful with high concentration of beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, and rich in calcium.
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 4
  • 3 cups (about 200g) of thinly sliced Kale leaves (If using whole kale, use only the leaves)
  • 1 medium Mango - diced (about 1 cup)
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 3 + 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Optional: Any nuts or seeds
  1. In a large bowl, add kale, half of lemon juice, 1 tablespoon oil and salt. Massage kale with your hands until the kale starts to soften and wilt, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk remaining lemon juice with freshly ground black pepper and 3 tablespoon of oil while whisking until it emulsify (like a dressing form), and you like how it tastes.
  3. Add the dressing, mango (and any nuts or seeds if using) into the kale. Toss and serve.



  1. Hi Shannon,

    May I know the Malay name for kale?

    • I dont think there’s a malay name for Kale, from what I know, nobody has planted kale for sale here. The ones sold at Publika is imported from USA.

      • Kale is also planted in cameron highlands. There are places growing kale in Msia too. Even Publika has cameron kale. Price is about 6 times cheaper than the US Kale. Just that it’s not a constant supply from cameron.

        • Thanks for letting me know Emily! I saw some Cameron kale at Ben’s, but it was out of stock that day. I prefer not to get veggies from Cameron, the amount of pesticides they use is scary

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  3. Hi Shannon, did you manage to grow the kale in KL? i too am sourcing for kale for juicing. would love to grow them if i can find some seeds.

  4. Love your post. I have been looking for kale in KL with no luck. If ever your home grown kale is successful, do share us the golden experience. 🙂

    • Hi Foong Yee, thanks for your feedback. Kale is sold at BIG Publika & sometimes at Village Grocer. My kale seedling is still growing, hopefully it will do well. Will definitely update on this blog

  5. Such a bright and colorful salad and I love the idea of adding mango to it! I am a huge fan of kale, both raw and cooked. Luckily it is quite cheap and plentiful here in San Diego, plus I am able to grow it it my garden too. Good luck growing yours 🙂
    EA-The Spicy RD recently posted..Super Simple Side Dish: Carrots with Feta Cheese & Toasted Pine NutsMy Profile

  6. This is our favorite salad! Bobby loves to massage the kale. 🙂 For the seeds, I usually use toasted pepitas and I’ve changed up the fruit from anywhere from apples, peaches, and even sweet potatoes. It such a versatile salad! Your pictures are absolutely lovely and really show what a fabulous salad this is!
    mjskit recently posted..Atole – My Cold Weather SmoothieMy Profile

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