What is better than a kale shopping spree? Ok, I am pretty sure there are a lot of other things better than kale on sale, but last week I got a little crazy and wild and bought six bunches of kale during Whole Foods National Kale Day celebration. $1 a bunch for organic kale! I just could not resist. Then I got home, and like all shopping sprees, I stared at my purchases and realized I might have went overboard. So much kale. What to do?
I started to make a list. Stir fried kale with garlic and ginger with a splash of soy sauce and sake. Miso soup with kale and enoki. Beef and kale with oyster sauce. Potato, tomato, and kale curry. The list went on. One of the great things about kale is that it is a sturdy leafy vegetable. It is perfect in stir fry dishes and in soups and stews. Different varieties of kale will taste slightly different, but most varieties have a great earthy taste. Plus, and this might be the best part, they last at least a week in the fridge when stored properly. Just keep it loosely in a bag and unwashed until ready to use.
The choices with what to do with kale seem endless, so be prepare to see a few kale recipe posts in the upcoming weeks! First up is Kale, Seaweed, and Shiitake Fried Rice. The earthy taste of kale, combined with the slight saltiness and sea taste of seaweed, makes this dish a perfect side for seafood or meat entrees. Serve it along with poached chicken, kalbi (Korean BBQ ribs), or even with a sunny side up egg on top. Of course it is great on its own too!
Kale, Seaweed, and Shiitake Fried Rice
3 cups overnight cooked jasmine rice, 1½ cups uncooked jasmine rice makes 3 cups
2 cups chopped curly kale, about 3 big leaves
8 dried shiitake mushroom, rehydrated in water and sliced
2 tblsp fueru wakame, dried seaweed flakes
1 tblsp aonori ko, seaweed flakes
1 scallion, chop
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp soy sauce
FOR THE RICE. Overnight cooked rice is preferred for making fried rice. The grains are firmer, the moisture is less, and this makes the rice easier to stir fry. If you don’t have overnight cooked rice, you can use fresh cooked rice. Once the rice is cooked, spread the rice evenly on a flat surface (a large flat bowl or a cookie sheet) to cool. Let the rice cool for at least an hour. The longer it cools, the better and easier it is to stir fry.
FOR THE SHIITAKE MUSHROOM. The easiest way to rehydrate dried shiitake mushrooms is to soak them in water overnight. You can also rehydrate them the day you need it. In a saucepan bring 3 cups of water to boil. Turn the flame off and add the dried shiitake mushrooms. Cover the saucepan with a lid. The shiitakes will rehydrate in about an hour. After the mushrooms are rehydrated (overnight or the day of), rinse them, squeeze the excess water out, and pat dry. They are now ready to be slice.
In a small bowl, add 2 tblsp of fueru wakame (dried seaweed flakes) and fill the bowl halfway with cold water. To clean the seaweed, use your fingers and rub the dried seaweed flakes together for 10 seconds. Drain all the water out. The seaweed flakes do not need to be fully rehydrated, so do not worry if some of the flakes are still dried. Set the bowl of seaweed aside.
Heat 1 tsp of oil in a wok or large skillet. When the oil is hot, add the sliced mushrooms. Stir fry the mushrooms for 3 to 4 minutes until they start to brown a little. Turn the flame half way down and add 2 tsp of soy sauce and a pinch of table salt. Continue stir frying the mushrooms for one more minute and set aside.
In the same wok or large skillet, heat 1 tsp of oil. When the oil is hot, add the minced garlic and chopped kale. Add ¼ tsp of table salt and a few grinds of freshly ground black pepper. Stir fry the kale for about one to two minutes until it starts to wilt.
Add 2 tsp of oil and the cooked rice. Stir fry to combine the rice and kale. Add ¼ tsp of white pepper and ½ tsp of salt. Continue to stir fry the rice until the rice is warmed thoroughly. If your rice starts to stick to your wok or skillet, add ½ tsp of oil.
Add the cooked shiitake mushrooms, chopped scallion, and the bowl of seaweed (fueru wakame). Stir fry for one more minute until all the ingredients are combined.
Turn the flame off. Add in the aonori ko (seaweed flakes). Combine everything together. Serve immediately.
Serves 4 as a side dish or 2 as a main entree.