Wed, Sep 8, 2010
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My family was introduced to kale wraps at a Thai restaurant called A Taste of Thai in Greensboro, North Carolina. They are one of the most interesting things I’ve had and they are definitely a conversation piece for a party. As you eat the kale wrap, you get a burst of each of the flavors: ginger, lime, coconut, peanuts, red onion and tamarind sauce. I didn’t even notice that I was eating kale.
When I recently made these at home and my almost 2-year old son was chanting “more kale” I knew that the recipe was a keeper! For the sauce, I initially created a honey-soy sauce drizzle which was great but not exactly what I wanted. So, I called the restaurant and they were nice enough to share the secret ingredient: tamarind. I found tamarind paste in a specialty store with lots of Thai ingredients. Below I share both of my sauce recipes so that you can use the one of your choice. The honey-soy version is a great option if you can’t find tamarind paste. And if you don’t feel like making either sauce, the Litehouse Toasted Sesame Ginger salad dressing is a quick and easy store-bought option.
These wraps work when served as lettuce wraps but with kale being the “super” food that it is, I prefer serving them as kale wraps. And because the wraps include several ultra-healthy ingredients (kale, ginger, coconut, peanuts, and onions) it was the star of my Tapas For a Cure menu.
- Kale leaves, cut into squares
- Shredded coconut, toasted
- Limes, scored and thinly-sliced and quartered
- Ginger, chopped
- Red onion, finely chopped, optional
- Litehouse Toasted Sesame Ginger salad dressing, optional
- 3 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- ½ Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp ginger powder
- ½ cup tamarind paste
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 cups boiling water
- To toast the coconut, spread the shredded coconut on a baking sheet and bake it at 375-400 degrees.
- It will only take a few minutes so watch the coconut closely to make sure it doesn't burn.
- Stir the coconut frequently so that it toasts evenly.
- Score the limes lengthwise.
- Then slice the limes into thin rings.
- Quarter the slices so that half of each quarter has the rind and half does not. (By removing some of the rind, the lime quarters will not overwhelm the wraps.)
- Pour the boiling water over the tamarind paste and let it steep for 20-30 minutes until it softens, mashing it occasionally to help it dissolve into the water.
- Then place the mixture through a sieve and discard the fibrous chunks.
- Stir the brown sugar into the remaining tamarind liquid and bring it to a boil.
- Let the sauce simmer for 10-15 minutes until it reaches a syrupy consistency.
- Let each person assemble the wraps by sprinkling peanuts, toasted coconut, chopped ginger, chopped onions and limes slices on the kale squares.
- Drizzle some of the sauce or dressing over the ingredients and roll or fold up the kale to eat.