Kale with Seaweed, Sesame and Ginger

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Wilted kale recipe with arame seaweed, garlic, sesame, and fresh minced ginger.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Living for a while in Japan does strange things to your food preferences.

Instead of thinking, “eating seaweed? PHEW!” one gets a warm glow and a faraway look in one’s eyes thinking, “Eating seaweed? Ahhh. Yummm.

Which kind do I want? Some sautéed hijiki? Crumpled nori with sesame and shoyu over rice? How about some silky wakame soup?”

So when I saw a kale seaweed salad at a local Whole Foods deli counter, I was all over it.

It was wonderful! The kale, ginger, sesame, seaweed and seasoning worked so well together.

Not telling my father what was in it, other than kale, I got him to try some. “That’s great! Make some!” was his response, not caring one whit after I told him all that was in it.

If my 75 year old, midwestern, meat-and-potatoes father can gobble up this dish, anyone can.

When you buy seaweed in the market, typically it is dried. You’ll first need to hydrate it by soaking it in some water. We are using “arame” seaweed, which is fairly common; you could also easily use hijiki. I like to use either Eden or Emerald Cove brands.

We are using lacinato kale, aka dinosaur kale, for this recipe because it is a little more tender than regular kale, but either will work.

Dinosaur Kale

Dinosaur Kale (Lacinato Kale)


Kale with Seaweed, Sesame and Ginger Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4


  • 1/2 cup dried arame sea vegetables (food-grade seaweed)
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoons dark (roasted) sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp peeled and minced ginger
  • 1 bunch kale (we used dinosaur kale)
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce (can sub with Bragg Liquid Aminos)
  • 1 Tbsp Toasted sesame seeds


1 Prepare the seaweed: Rinse the seaweed in water and let soak, covered in water for 5-7 minutes.

Drain seaweed and place in a large bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of dark sesame oil and the minced ginger.

2 Prepare kale by soaking in water to loosen any dirt, rinsing thoroughly. Chop cross-wise into 1-inch by 2-inch pieces.

3 Sauté garlic, then seaweed and ginger: In a large covered skillet, uncover and heat 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil on medium heat. Add garlic and gently sauté for one minute, until fragrant. Add the seaweed and ginger, gently cook for 1 minute. Remove seaweed/ginger/garlic from pan back to the bowl and set aside.

4 Sauté kale: Add another 1 Tbsp oil to the skillet. When the oil is hot, add the chopped kale. Add 1 Tbsp soy sauce. Gently mix in the pan to coat the kale with the oil and soy sauce. Cover; lower heat to low; let cook for 5-10 minutes or until kale is wilted - soft enough to eat easily, but not so soft as to be mushy.

Remove cover and let cook a minute more to evaporate any excess moisture. Remove from heat.

5 Mix in the kale with the seaweed ginger mixture. Add more dark sesame oil and soy sauce to taste. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds.

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7 Comments / Reviews

  1. Elise Bauer

    Hi Pam, I haven’t thought about a soup version of this, but if you experiment and come up with something you like, please let us know!

  2. Neen

    I just made this dish and it was fabulous. The seaweed has a great flavor, and it’s a GREAT use of Kale (I was starting to get tired of Kale soups and Anglo-style sauteed Kale). I used Wakame flakes instead of Arame (just what I had on hand). Highly recommended!

  3. Peter Duke

    In my version, I wash and cut the kale, then blanch it briefly before dunking it in ice water. I then season, toss, and serve. It seems to please most guests!

  4. Catherine

    Where’s an inexpensive place to buy food-grade seaweed?

    I just get mine at Whole Foods. You can also try an Asian market. ~Elise

  5. Catherine

    I recently read that kale and seaweed are listed among the top five most nutritious foods. I’ve been searching for recipes . . . and yours looks perfect. Thanks for helping us all get healthy!

  6. Yoko

    Thanks for all your wonderful recipes Elise – anytime I’m stuck with an ingredient this is where I go.

    This recipe reminded of how my mother make kale – with orange juice and soy sauce :) the sweetness & tartness of the juice offsets the bitterness of the kale really well (although I like bitter veggies)

  7. Karen

    Really good! We will make this again.

    I made this last night, doubling the recipe so we could have leftovers today. It was good warm, it was good cold. It did seem saltier today when it was cold. But not the kind of thing that leaves you puffy salty. More just… hmmm… salty dish… would want to balance it with a …. kind of dish.

    Thanks for working this out!

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