{how to} Spicy Soy Kale Chips

I have talked about why I like kale chips before, but now that I’ve started making them with an Asian twist, I like them even more.

I have started making these as an appetizer to go with cocktails or wine before dinner, which is an especially good idea if you are hosting people who are vegan or have other dietary issues that prevent them from enjoying, say, a cheese and charcuterie platter. Furthermore, I find that if I serve a really heavy hors d’oeuvre, I already feel full when I sit down for dinner, which is lame because usually I have spent considerably more effort and time on the dinner.

I am not going to call this a recipe because it’s more of a “how to” – because you don’t need to measure, you can make as many as you want, and so forth.

How To: Spicy Soy Kale Chips

  • You can use any type of kale you like, but I prefer the lacinato or dinosaur variety for chips.
  • Grasp a whole keale leaf at the bottom of the stem, and pull your fingers up along the stem. This should separate the soft leafy part from the woody stem. You can also do this with a knife but it takes longer. Discard the stems. I leave them whole in this form but if you want them to be smaller/prettier, you can cut or tear them along the center line to make long, thin, elegant chips. Repeat with as many kale leaves as you want to use.
  • Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Prepare a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  • Wash and dry the kale thoroughly.
  • Put the leaves in a large bowl and add a splash of soy sauce or ponzu sauce, a splash of rice vinegar, and a splash of sesame oil. Mix well with tongs or your hands. There should be enough liquid to make all of the kale slightly damp but not soaking wet.
  • Lay the kale in a single layer on the paper. They can overlap slightly as they will shrink during cooking. Sprinkle chili flakes or chili powder over the kale.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes, until kale is thin and crispy and starting to brown. Some may feel soft when you pull it off the pan, but it will crisp up once it cools.
  • Remove chips with a spatula or your hands and serve. They can be made a few hours ahead. To store them, put them in an airtight container and leave at room temperature. They start to taste stale after about 2 days.

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