Kale Chips and Donburi

Monday 26 November 2012

I can't get enough of kale. It's cheaper than chips (pun intended), widely available and is packed with more nutrients than most vegetables or meat on this planet. I call it the superfood because it contains more iron than beef if we do a per calorie comparison, packed with anti-oxidants, helps prevent lung and cavity cancers as well as cardiovascular disease and rich in calcium. But wait, there's more, it contains omega 3 and has practically 0% fat.

In the past, I've struggled to get Lil L's friends to eat vegetables when they come around on a play date. For most of the week, the main entrance of my flat is comparable to that of a revolving hotel door with kids coming or going all the time (no, I'm not running a nursery but Lil L has a busy social life). Most of them are incredibly fussy eaters with a hate list longer than my arm. I've refused to succumb to sausage and mash or spag bol (still getting used to that term), both of which I can only stomach a few times a year nor kill myself with exhaustion by cooking two separate dinners each night.

I have found that if you encourage kids to experience and enjoy diverse cuisines, they'll naturally increase the repertoire of foods that they eat and develop a more mature palette. I've dealt with kids who declared that they'd never ever eat duck, mushrooms, Asian dishes or greens only to scoff them down by the spoonfuls. Kids are absolutely brutal and natural food critics. No holds barred. Some of the Michelin starred chefs (not naming names here but we know who they are) who can't deal with negative feedback probably have never cooked for kids on a daily basis.

Kids just adore chips or crisps as they call them here. Well, so do I. Hence, the ever expanding girth. These kale chips taste divine and are far healthier option than potato crisps. You can also crumble and sprinkle them over donburi or rice like furikake. Remember to store the kale chips in airtight container. The minced chicken donburi can be prepared in less than 10 minutes. All in all, a healthy and nutritious meal in no time at all. I've only dared to put this on the blog after getting rave reviews over the past few weeks from kids who'd never eaten Japanese food before.

kale2 kale3

Kale Chips

A bag of kale (approximately 200g)
2 tablespoons of extra virgin oil
Sea salt (optional)

1. Preheat the oven at 140˚C. Put baking paper on the tray.
2. Wash and dry the kale. I normally put mine into a salad spinner but do it in batches.
3. Toss the leaves in extra virgin oil. I don't add extra salt but just a tad is more than ample.
4. Spread them over a baking tray and bake for 30-40 minutes. I bake mine in no more than 140˚C
    so that the leaves can dehydrate but not burn.

Minced Chicken Donburi (adapted from Harumi's Japanese Home Cooking)
 Serves 4-6
*please note that I tend to guesstimate so taste as you go along

500g minced turkey or chicken or pork
6-7 tablespoons light soy sauce
4 tablespoons mirin
3 tablespoons caster sugar
An inch or two ginger, grated

1. Dump all the ingredients into a pan, wok or pot. Keep stirring until nearly all the liquid has evaporate which will take 5 to 10 minutes.
2. Serve with rice. You can add boiled eggs, spring onions or kale chips.


  1. That looks divine!!! I would never have thought of doing kale chips. Great idea. Feeling hungry now :)

  2. I've never eaten Kale at all but this has inspired me!

  3. I think i'll have to adapt this one to my what i find in my supermarket.
    But i always like bringing in exotic recipes to meals routine !

  4. This sounds delicious. I often crave a simple rice dish like this! Adding to the must-make list.

  5. That chicken donburi looks so tasty. I love Harumi's cook books. I often snack on kale chips now. I make them with grape seed oil for a bit of extra crunch.

    Rowena @ rolala loves

  6. Yum! My entire household devours kale chips! All hail kale!

  7. Not thought of cooking kale this way but it's a new one for me. The chicken donburi is similar to something I do with turkey mince which I marinade with oyster sauce and fry in the wok. I give the boys some romaine lettuce leaves (shaped like boats) and they fill them up with mince and I give them a little bit of hoisin sauce and julienned cucumber) as well to garnish. Went down like a house on fire the first time I did it and it's become a regular now. I'm too scared to try on the boys' friends though.

    1. What a fab idea - I think I might try that with my two! Fun finger food!

  8. Kale chips - that is brilliant!!! I love kale in general but it is not always easy to get the hub and my little one to eat it. I must so try this. I found Kale & Sausage Stuffing and forwarded to my MIL to try for Thanksgivibg, it turned out soo good.

    Your food looks so delicious, i want to lick a screen..ha.

  9. Oh yummy, I love Kale anyway it comes and it does so well with nuts fruit or any other kind of veg. My boys were good eaters when they were young and have become worse and worse - not sure why that happened. And my daughter is Queen of white food. You sounds like a lovely Mum hosting all those playdates!

  10. Kale chips? Interesting! I'll need to try this. :)

  11. I love kale chips! The first time I made it, I almost ate all of it and not saved any for G! :P I tried a similar recipe with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and it was delish. You should definitely try it! :)

  12. Yum!! This looks so good. I will definitely try it on one of those dull weekends. I've made kale chips before but made the mistake of putting too much sea salt. I will have to re-do and add them on this dish instead. Looks like the perfect topper!

  13. wow, i had no idea kale was so versatile, it looks SO tasty! I am definitely giving it a go x

  14. I've been loving kale chips and your combo sounds incredibly tasty. Too cool that you got the kids to eat it and even more so, awesome that they loved it! :)


  15. i love kale chips too but i buy them in a bag here ;) seems easy enough to make tho, might give it a go!

    steph /

  16. mmmm yum yum. I have been using Kale in my smoothies but am yet to make chips. They sound so good. One day your daughter's friends are going to think back on that awesome mum who opened their palates to different foods and kick started a lifetime of food adventures!

  17. That looks so enticing! YUM! Elle

  18. i've actually never had kale but am curious how kale chips taste!!! you make them look so yummy w the donburi

  19. LOVE kale chips - we eat so much kale - I buy it in big frozen bags and add it to everything when it is finely chopped! Sauces, chilli, stir fries - you name it - it works in everything:)

  20. this looks so good! friends rave about kale chips - now i'll have to make them myself :D

  21. I love Kale- I just have to go easy on it because I'm allergic to most of the cabbage family. Love it in salads and vegetarian sandwiches. Such a supper food.

  22. I grew up eating and loving kale, and kale chips are so delicious! :)/Madison

  23. I have never tried kale before, am so intrigued and curious!

  24. Your food photos always look so bright and delicious. And I love all donburis!

  25. YUM! I always think Kale chips sound so delicious, but then when i tried to make them myself I didn't like them at all! I think I need to try more recipes and also taste someone else's kale chips :)

  26. I swear by Harumi's Home Cooking cookbook for all my Japanese culinary experiments, it's really nice to see someone else making a lovely dish from that book!

  27. This looks sooooo yummy !!
    New post on my blog, hope you'll like it !

  28. This looks really good, and I've been going through Kale Chips like no other from Whole Foods. Every time I pick up a bag, I always say to myself, "I should be making these."
    - Aliya :)



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