When kale is shredded finely and salt and acid are massaged into it, the relatively tough and fibrous leaves are broken down and become good to eat, while still technically raw. It can handle a variety of flavours, though here they’re vaguely Japanese. The miso paste in the dressing adds sweetness and umami I suggest using yellow shinshu miso if possible, as it’s relatively mild compared to dark red aka miso, but bolder than white shiro miso. This is perfect with red meats, offal, tofu and white fish.
- Yield: 4 to 6 Servings
- 350 g kale
- 2 g sea salt
- 150 g podded edamame beans, defrosted if frozen
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon golden caster sugar
- 1 red chilli, finely diced
- 2 tablespoons white or yellow miso paste
- 3 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 4 tablespoons mirin
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- First, pickle the chilli. Heat the rice vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add the chilli and remove from the heat to cool while preparing the rest of the dish.
- Wash and dry the kale. Tear the leaves from the central rib of each leaf and discard the ribs. You should end up with around 200–250 g leaves. Working in batches, make a stack of leaves, roll them into a cigarette shape and use a large knife to shred that into very fine strips. Chop across the strips a few times before transferring to a large bowl. Once all the kale is chopped, add the salt and massage with your hands for 2–3 minutes the kale will soften and become wet.
- Whisk all the dressing ingredients together until they have emulsified. Stir in the pickled chilli and its liquid, stir again, then pour over the kale. Add the edamame beans and sesame seeds and mix well. Leave for about 5 minutes so that the dressing mingles with the kale. It’s good if there’s still a bit of bite to this salad, so it’s best eaten within an hour, as the kale will continue to soften. That said, it’s also perfectly fine after a few hours in the fridge.