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How Long to Cook Kale

Because of the numerous health benefits of kale, this leafy green vegetable has started getting a lot of attention of late. Yes, it is packed with many antioxidants and vitamins, but let’s be honest here, kale isn’t the tastiest thing to ingest, and for this reason, many people shy away from kale recipes.

However, if you’ve decided to try out the kale for the first time but are confused about the cooking time for this ingredient or how you can properly cook it, no need to panic because we’ve listed tips and guidelines to make your kale taste a lot better. These tips will also help you eradicate indecisiveness and shorten the cooking time significantly.

How Long To Cook Kale

Tips to Make Your Kale Taste Delicious

Kale may be inedible to most people because it tastes really bad, but you can get your kale tasting a lot better if you follow these simple tips and guidelines:

Wash kale – The first thing you should do to any vegetable would be to wash it properly, and kale is no exception. Kale can be bought from the store or grown in your backyard, and because it is mostly harvested fresh, it tends to have a lot of dirt in the leaves (especially home-grown kale); some of this debris may not be visible at first glance.

The most effective way to wash kale is to soak it in a bowl filled with cold water, allowing your hands to reach every part of the vegetable. You should avoid running water because it may be inconvenient to do this over running water.

De-stem kale – After washing your kale, the next step would be to break off the stems from this vegetable. De-stemming kale is getting rid of the unwanted tough part of the stem; you can also shred the vegetable by separating the leaves from the stems; this step is essential if you want better tasting kale.

Pro tip: To shred kale in a much shorter time, you could either get a kitchen tool to make this process quicker or grab the kale by the stem, pinch the end of the leaf and quickly slide your hand to the top. This process is the most crucial part of preparing kale, and if you can get it done in half the time, your cooking time will become a lot shorter.

Massage the kale – Massaging kale would make them much tender, and if you have tender kale, half of the boiling process has already been done. What you are doing is trying to break down as much fiber as you can from the kale by tearing it into smaller bite-size pieces; you don’t have to go easy on the kale here, give it a deep massage in a bowl of warm water and spread out on a towel to dry.

Sprinkle some salt – After your shredded kale is completely dry, the next step is to add some salt and mix properly. What salt does to vegetables is that it pulls water from them, making them much tender (or wilted)? After adding salt, you could also drizzle a little lemon juice or vinegar, although I would recommend picking lemon over vinegar because lemon also acts as an acid to help break your kale; the good thing about lemon is the citrusy flavor it adds to kale.

Cooking Time for Kale

If you are about to cook kale for the first time, the timing guidelines below will help ensure your kale comes out tasting delicious. The table below shows the average time it takes to cook kale.

Cooking MethodCooking Time
Washing kale2 minutes
Sautéing kale3 to 5 minutes
Boiling kale2 to 4 minutes
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Quick Kale Recipe (1 to 2 servings)

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  1. Place kale in a bowl and completely cover with water, then firmly massage and wash the vegetable until it is tender. Remove the stem from the leaves by slicing them both ways with a knife, be careful not to tear the kale too much because the next step involves chopping them.
  2. After the kale has been washed and allowed to completely dry, you want to go ahead and add your salt and lime juice and properly mix until the vegetable becomes much tender.
  3. The next thing to do is to chop the already shredded kale into much smaller portions. This is an important step in this recipe because you don’t want your kale to easily absorb the flavors of other ingredients, and no better way to do this than to expose as much surface area as you can by chopping the kale.
  4. Slice open the red bell pepper and remove the seeds to make it less spicer, then slice it into thin straps. Repeat the process for both the yellow and the green bell peppers. The combination of colors provides an aesthetic for the dish and also contributes to the savory flavor.
  5. Chop the onion into medium size chunks, then squash and chop 4 cloves of garlic. Be careful not to mix the garlic and onions, because you will need to sauté the onions separately before adding the chopped garlic.
  6. In a hot pan, add drizzle some olive oil and throw the chopped onions in. Sauté the onions for about 2 minutes on low heat before throwing in the chopped garlic, continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes more. At this point, your onions should start to take a slight brown color.
  7. Add your colorful sliced bell peppers to the pan and cook for an extra minute. Make sure you stir continuously to avoid burning the onions.
  8. Add 2 tablespoons of oyster sauce, and 1 tablespoon of dark soy sauce. This will give it an excellent umami flavor.
  9. Continue adding your seasonings. Add one tablespoon of dark brown sugar, 1/4 tablespoon of salt, 1/4 tablespoon of garlic powder, 1/4 tablespoons of onion powder, 1/4 tablespoon of black pepper, and mix everything properly.
  10. Add kale, cover the pan and allow to cook for another 5 to 7 minutes. When it is properly cooked, take the lid off and give it a good stir to combine everything.
  11. You can add more soy sauce if you need more moisture, and more oyster sauce, about a tablespoon or half of both. Stir again to mix the veggies and leave to cook for a minute.
  12. Turn off the heat and remove the pan. You can serve this alongside spaghetti, or any other starchy food of your choice. You can even add some protein, the possibilities are endless.

This quick and easy kale recipe is my personal favorite, and if you follow the guidelines correctly, you will be left with a delicious kale dish in less than 15 minutes. If you’d like to see more recipe ideas, we recommend that you check out this video recipe.

  • Author: Bobby