This delicious salad is full of veggies and is sure to satisfy that Asian-inspired flavor craving. Keep reading to learn how to tenderize kale and all the tips to build the most epic salad.
Asian Kale Salad Recipe
If you’re looking for salad inspiration, I’m sure you will love this easy Asian Kale Salad. I know kale has a reputation for being a bit tough to eat because of its coarse texture, but in this post, I’ll show you how easy it is to break down the kale’s texture with a quick “massage.”
I also like a lot of color in my salads because more color means that there are more nutritious ingredients in there like matchstick carrots, shredded red cabbage, red onion (which looks purple), and shelled edamame. All of these veggies help bring the deep green of the kale to life and add loads of nutrition, fiber, and protein!
Then, there is the amazing dressing that I’m sharing today. You’ll want to make it on repeat and by the gallon, no less! It is an easy recipe (which you’ll find below) that’s full of Asian-inspired flavors. You simply mix it together and can store it for up to a week!
Can You Eat Kale Raw in a Salad?
Yes! Just like you do with lettuce, spinach, or cabbage, you can eat kale raw in a salad. To make kale softer and easier to digest, chop it coarsely and give it a soft “massage” before adding it to your salads.
The kale is the star of the show, but let me tell you that the rest of the cast is not less! Simple and delicious veggies and the mouthwatering dressing make this Asian Kale Salad one you’ll want to enjoy often!
What you need:
- Kale: I prefer to buy a big head of kale rather than the pre-bagged kind because, after chopping, you can still store it in the fridge for a week to use in recipes like these Buffalo Kale Tacos.
- Red cabbage: adds color and nutrition. You can swap it for green cabbage.
- Shredded carrots: a classic crunchiness that goes great with any salad.
- Shelled edamame: tons of nutrition! Thawed if using frozen.
- Red onion: or any other onion you have on hand.
- Sunflower seeds: add nutrition and more crunchiness.
- Asian dressing: with the recipe you’ll find below, you can make any salad tastier! This Balsamic Vinaigrette and this Maple Dijon Dressing are other great options.
Remember to grab the ingredient measurements in the printable recipe card below.
How to Make Easy Asian Kale Salad
The easiest Asian kale salad is right here. Once you are done preparing this 5-minute salad, drizzle a little dressing on top, and you are set!
In a large bowl, layer kale, red cabbage, shredded carrots, shelled edamame, red onion, and sunflower seeds.
- Make the dressing
In a large bowl, combine dressing ingredients with a whisk. Transfer to a glass jar and refrigerate up to 1 week.
Drizzle the kale salad with Asian dressing and serve.
Check out how my son, Gabriel and I make this salad and make sure you hang on to the end for the bloopers, I’m quite sure that if you have kids, you’ve had that conversation before.
Should You Massage Kale for Salad
While you can eat kale in a salad without giving it a massage, doing so helps soften its coarse texture and flavor. So, while you can skip this step, it only takes a minute and it’s worth doing.
How Do You Tenderize Kale for Salad
Since the kale’s texture is rather coarse, I like to cut it smaller than lettuce. The secret to a good kale salad is remembering to massage the kale to break it down a little, making it easier to chew and digest.
Massaging is simple, just like kneading dough, but a lot simpler. Or, you could use baby kale leaves (as shown in the pictures) since it’s much more tender.
How Do You Make Kale Salad Less Bitter?
You may find kale’s flavor a little bitter, so the “massage” is the answer again! Massaging this veggie not only makes its texture softer but also makes its flavor less bitter.
Asian Kale Salad Dressing with Sesame Oil
Let’s talk about this jaw-dropping Asian Dressing. The acid of vinegar mixes with classic Asian flavors of sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger, and sesame seeds. It comes together in no time and it last up to a week in a jar. Amazing!
This Asian Kale salad is not the only one you’ll want to enjoy with this tasty dressing. You can use it to marinate chicken or bake salmon with it. Easy peasy. Never underestimate my ability to use one recipe in many different ways!
Does Kale Get Soggy with Dressing?
Kale, even with its coarser texture, will eventually get soggy if it’s been tossed in dressing for a long time, especially at room temperature and for hours. In my experience, unlike field greens or lettuce, it’s one salad you can toss with dressing and pack for later and enjoy a healthy work lunch.
Kale Salad with Edamame and Asian Dressing
For the Salad:
- 6 cups chopped kale, about 1 large head
- 2 cups red cabbage, shredded
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 cup shelled edamame, thawed if using frozen
- ½ cup thinly sliced red onion
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
For the Asian Dressing:
- ½ cup rice vinegar
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
- 1 garlic clove, grated
- 1 ½ teaspoons sesame oil
For the Kale Salad:
- In a large bowl, layer kale, red cabbage, shredded carrots, shelled edamame, red onion, and sunflower seeds. Drizzle with Asian Dressing and serve.
For the Asian Dressing:
- In a large bowl, combine dressing ingredients with a whisk. Transfer to a glass jar and refrigerate up to 1 week.