Recipe: Korean-style Kale Chips (케일 칩)
Kale seems to be coming out of my ears recently. Maybe it’s because I live in California, but many I know seem to consider it some kind of miracle vegetable.
But I’ve noticed that when foods become trendy, how they’re eaten tend to travel in an arc, starting with all the tried and true recipes for the ingredient. With kale, a first stop simply chopping it for salad.
I skipped the salad and went straight to pesto. Every time some kale arrived in my bi-weekly community-supported agriculture (CSA) box, I would rinse, chop and mince it in a food processor with plenty of garlic, pine nuts and olive oil. Hubby is not a big fan of kale, but he loves the pesto. But I get bored with food pretty easily.
What is a CSA?
I am currently a member of a community-supported agriculture (CSA) farm called Farm Fresh to You based in Capay Valley, Calif. Its produce is certified USDA Organic, and they deliver the box right to my home every other week. There are several box types — you can specify which vegetables you don’t want included. Are you allergic to avocados? You can tell them not to include avocados in your box.
Despite my kale boredom, a lot of it still comes my way. After all, in California, simply dumping your excess kale into the yard waste or compost bin — yes, we have municipal yard waste collection here in California — might get me evicted from the state.
So what do I do when I don’t want to make pesto? Here’s a recipe that is as close to a “traditional” recipe as a Californian can find — kale “chips.”
Kale chip recipes are a relatively recent innovation, only going back to about 2005, according to food historian Sandy Oliver, and probably invented in California.
I’m chipping in a Koreafornian spin with some spicy 고추장 gochujang (spicy red chili paste) and “earthy” 참기름 chamggaereum (sesame oil).
Kale Chips (케일 칩)
Preparation time: 4 hours
1 bunch (4–5 cups) of kale (any common type you find in a market)
2 tablespoons 고추장 gochujang
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoons sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Remove the stem and and large ribs of each kale leaf, so that all you have left are the leaves. You can either do this with a knife or with your hands.
Tear or cut the leaves into 2- to 3-inch pieces.
Wash the leaves, and dry them thoroughly. A salad spinner can help with the drying process.
Mix the gochujang, olive oil and sesame oil in a large bowl.
Transfer the leaves to the bowl with the gochujang and oil mixture. Use your hands to massage the gochujang onto the kale leavee.
Place the kale in a single layer on a baking sheet, distributing the leaves so there’s plenty of room to dry and toast.
Dry the leaves for 3–4 hours. Eat the chips immediately, or store them in a dry place.