I have tried making kale chips here and there over the years but was never that impressed with the results. But finally, I have learned a few tricks that guarantee perfect kale chips every time. It is all in the technique and the proportion of oil and other flavorings to the amount of kale.
By the way, I kid you not in my title; my dog Buster loves kale chips! You can click HERE to see the proof. 🙂
Here is the recipe I have been using this summer.
Kale Chips with Tamari and Sesame Seeds
- 1/2 pound bunch of curly kale
- 1 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 tablespoons sesame seeds, hulled or un-hulled
- 2 teaspoons tamari (soy sauce)
- Rinse the kale, shake dry a bit.
- Tear leaves off the stem, or remove the stem by folding the leaf in half and slicing the stem off, as shown in this handy video.
- Further tear the leaves into pieces approximately 3 or 4” square in size and run through a salad spinner and/or just spread out and let air dry until totally dry.
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and put out two cookie sheets.
- Mix together the oil and tamari and, in a big bowl, toss with the now dry kale pieces until the leaves are equally coated.
- Next, sprinkle with the sesame seeds and toss to coat evenly.
- Spread the seasoned kale pieces out on the two cookie sheets, being sure that there is little or no overlap.
- Once the oven reaches 425 degrees, put the two cookie sheets with the kale in the oven.
- After a few minutes (you will hear the oil start to sizzle, but set a timer for 3 minutes so you don’t forget and burn the chips!), turn off the oven and let the kale continue baking as the oven cools for another 20 minutes or until very crispy.
- Remove from oven, use a spatula to gently loosen any chips that are sticking, and then let the chips cool before storing in an airtight container. Or, put them in a bowl and start eating them!
- Type of Kale: Any type of kale will work, but be aware that different types may result in a lesser or greater amount of leaves, once de-stemmed, and adjust the amounts of other ingredients accordingly.
- Oil and seasonings: You can use any kind of oil, including olive or canola, but I like the light slightly nutty flavor of the sesame oil with the seeds and soy. You can also add salt or use a totally different flavor combination. But a tablespoon or so of oil with a 3 to 2 proportion of oil to any other liquid seasoning per ½ pound is a good guideline.
I actually start off with a full pound of kale and double the amounts of oil, tamari, and sesame seeds because my oven has enough room and shelves to accommodate four cookie sheets at a time, and, due to more bulk going into the oven at once, I preheat to 435 degrees and cook for the full 5 minutes before turning off the oven.
This recipe is foolproof because, as long as you don’t forget to set a timer and thus forget to turn the oven off and let the kale bake to long at full heat, you will not end up with a mass of charred, disintegrated leaves. And, the sticking to the proportion of oil and liquid per pound of kale ensures that you won’t end up with chewy, versus crispy chips. You may have to experiment a bit because everyone’s oven is a bit different, but with these guidelines, at least you won’t burn your chips!
These chips really are good, and a great way to use kale that, however tasty in a salad, soup, or stir fry, can end up abandoned in the fridge. And we don’t want that to happen, do we?