Nom nom, Asian flavors. Regardless of what I’m cooking for dinner, I’m guilty of repeat ingredients: soy, ginger, sesame, curry, fish sauce, sriracha…the list goes on. I don’t consider it a problem that I’m not much of a diverse home cook anymore. I’ve just found the flavors that are going to make me happy for another 5+ years. Or longer. Who knows?
I remember this time, in the fall of 2011, when I woke up one morning and instantly realized, “I like sushi now!” No joke. Up until that very moment, I despised sushi – and not because it’s raw fish, but because the flavor of nori repulsed me. I learned rather quickly that sushi as sushi actually has little to do nori – but at that point in time, I was ready to brave the threatening maki roll. That morning, I knew I was going to become a sushi lover. And that I did. Isn’t it strange how our tastebuds change?
So, given this detail, I’m guessing it’s only a matter of time before my Asian flavor craze fizzles out and is replaced by some other flavor craze. But until then, I surely will eat Kale Peanut Salad every day.
Kale Peanut Salad
makes 3-4 medium-sized servings
one bunch of kale; rinsed, destemmed, dried, and torn into pieces
3 T peanut butter (use whatever! I make mine my with Trader Joe’s all natural crunchy)
2 – 3 T seasoned rice vinegar (I usually just splash it in, so this is an estimate; start with 2 T, then add more if you want it!)
2 T honey
1 T soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1 inch ginger root, peeled and minced
1 t or more srircha
1/2 t sesame oil
2 t vegetable oil
a heavy pinch of salt
1/3 C roasted, unsalted peanuts
Prepare kale and set aside in a very large bowl.
In a food processor, combine all ingredients with the exception of the kale and peanuts. Blend well and taste. If it’s too sweet, add a little bit more soy. If it’s too tangy, add a little bit more honey. If it’s not spicy enough, add more sriracha. If it’s too salty, I don’t know what to tell you. Add lime juice?
Roughly chop the peanuts so you end up with some small pieces and some larger ones.
Pour every last drop of the dressing over the kale and add peanuts. Toss with tongs to combine.
I keep this in the fridge and eat off of it for 2-3 days. The dressing helps to tenderize the kale over time.
Now, how’s that for a little Asian persuasion?