Kale doesn't have to be boring and tasteless! This Crunchy Kale Salad with Lemon Tamari Dressing is delicious and healthy - that's a thing! So what are you waiting for?
It's funny that one of my most loved salads is this Crunchy Kale Salad with Lemon Tamari Dressing when I used to HATE kale. Well actually, that's a lie. I tolerated kale in soups and smoothies, but I absolutely despised it in salads.
Eventually I realised the problem wasn't the kale but how it was prepared! You see, you can't just throw some kale in a bowl and hope for the best. First, you need to massage it. Weird, right? But stick with me.
It amazes me how something as simple (and strange) as massaging kale can transform its leaves from bland, bitter and tough to silky and sweet. But it does. And it's 110% worth the effort.
I'm on a mission to ensure no one else has to suffer through a terrible kale salad again! Keep reading below for my guide on how to prepare kale for your best salad yet.
Here's a quick peek at what you'll need to put together this Crunchy Kale Salad and the Lemon Tamari Dressing...
- Red Bell Pepper / Capsicum
- Red Cabbage
- Green Onions
- Chang's Fried Noodles / Ramen Noodles
- Tamari - OR you can use soy sauce instead.
- Sesame Oil
- Rice Wine Vinegar
- Dijon Mustard
- Minced Garlic
How to prepare kale for salad
Kale needs a little TLC to make sure it doesn't feel rough and taste bitter in salads. All you need to do is...
- Remove the stems
- Just pull them off with your hands.
- Tear into bite sized pieces
- You can chop but I mostly just use my hands to tear the leaves into small pieces.
- Season with salt
- Move the kale to a bowl and season with a little salt.
- When I first read about massaging kale my exact thoughts were WTF (and no, not why the face – the other one). But as it turns out, it makes a huge difference! Just grab handfuls of kale and scrunch together, then release and grab another handful. Do this for about 30 seconds and your kale will taste so much better as it turns from rough to silky! Don’t believe me – read this.
HOW TO MAKE THIS CRUNCHY KALE SALAD - STEP BY STEP
- Work the kale - Prepare the kale using the handy tips above.
- Mix the dressing - Make the lemon tamari dressing by mixing together in a small jar and shaking vigorously until combined.
- Toss the salad - Place salad ingredients in a bowl, drizzle dressing over and lightly toss. Serve immediately.
If you are planning on making this salad ahead, leave out the noodles and the dressing until you are ready to serve. If you have leftovers you can store them in the fridge for a day or two, but just be aware that the noodles will lose their crunch. It's still perfectly edible, just a different texture.
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If you’ve tried this Crunchy Kale Salad with Lemon Tamari Dressing I’d love to hear how you enjoyed it! Pop a comment and a star rating below!
- 2 cups kale
- ½ cup purple cabbage, finely chopped
- ½ red capsicum / red bell pepper, diced
- 1 green onion , sliced
- handful chang's fried noodles or ramen noodles
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon tamari
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Prepare the kale following the instructions in Note 1.
- Make salad dressing by mixing together in a small jar and shaking vigorously until combined.
- Place salad ingredients in a bowl, drizzle dressing over and lightly toss. Serve immediately.
Preparing Kale -
- Remove the stems - Just pull them off with your hands.
- Tear into bite sized pieces - You can chop but I mostly just use my hands to tear the leaves into small pieces.
- Season with salt - Move the kale to a bowl and season with a little salt.
Dressing - The dressing may yield more than 2 serves, so just drizzle over desired amount!
Inspiration - Recipe adapted from Fit Foodie Finds.
Updates - First published August 10, 2017. Last updated January 29, 2019 with new photos & tips. No changes to the recipe.
Nutrition - Nutrition information is a rough estimate based on one serve.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 193Saturated Fat: 2gSodium: 1074mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 7g