Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
8 Feb

Coconut Amino Beef Skewers with Crispy Kale

Beef SkewersYou’ll taste a bold blend of ginger, garlic, lemongrass and the sweet/salty flavor of coconut aminos in every bite of these intensely flavored and aromatic strips of beef. Served with crispy coconut-sesame kale on the side, this is perfect party finger food and pretty great as a main course, too.

If you haven’t cooked with coconut aminos before, think of it as a soy-free, gluten-free replacement for soy sauce and tamari. Made from aged coconut sap and sea salt, the flavor is both sweet and salty. It doesn’t taste like soy sauce, but has the same mysterious umami quality that adds an interesting dimension of flavor. It’s great with beef and also works well as a marinade for fish.

The addictive crispy kale served on the side is an especially tasty version of the ubiquitous kale chip. A blend of coconut and sesame oils, plus a generous hit of salt, turns kale into a snack that’s better than a bag of chips. If you’re looking for a side dish instead of a snack, try roasting the leaves a little less, so they’re still slightly tender with a only a little bit of crunch.

Servings: 4

Time in the Kitchen: 30 minutes, plus 2 hours to marinate



Beef Skewer Marinade

  • 2 pounds (900 g) beef top sirloin steak or flank steak, sliced thin across grain into strips about 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick (3mm to 6mm)
  • 1 tablespoon grated or finely chopped ginger (15 ml)
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos (60 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (15 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (30 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander (5 ml)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric (a generous pinch)
  • 1 tablespoon minced lemongrass (15 ml)

Crispy Coconut-Sesame Kale

  • 2 bunches lacinato kale leaves (torn off the stems), roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil (45 ml)
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil (5 ml)
  • Salt to taste


In a large bowl whisk together the ginger, garlic, coconut aminos, fish sauce, coconut oil, coriander, turmeric and lemongrass.

Mix the beef into the marinade so it’s completely coated. Cover the bowl and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

Marinating Beef

(If using wood skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes.)

Preheat a grill for high heat and lightly oil the grate.

Thread 2 to 3 pieces of the marinated meat onto each skewer.

Grill the skewers for 2 to 3 minutes then flip them over. Grill the second side for about 3 minutes then flip the meat once more. Keep the meat on the grill for another minute or so until the meat is lightly browned and a slightly crispy around the edges.

Grilling Skewers

To make the coconut-sesame kale, preheat the oven to 350 ºF (176 ºC).

In a large bowl mix together the coconut oil and sesame oil.

Add the kale leaves and toss really well, using your hands to rub the oils into the leaves until evenly covered. Sprinkle lightly with salt.

Raw Kale

Spread the kale out in a single layer on one or two large baking sheets. Roast 15 minutes, stirring once. If the kale is not crispy enough for you, roast it a few minutes more but make sure it doesn’t burn.

Immediately after coming out of the oven, toss the kale leaves with more salt to taste.

Beef Skewers

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. We love (LOVE) coconut aminos! We have also discovered coconut BBQ sauce, perfect for quick and easy stir fry meals.

    These beef skewers might be on the menu tonight! YUM.

    Emma and Carla wrote on February 8th, 2014
  2. I love this product -I have been using it to make a yummy fried rice dish!…..super easy to make any leftovers…bacon, roast chicken & shallot is my fav one

    Maggie wrote on February 8th, 2014
  3. I don’t have a grill. Any suggestions for making this in the oven or stovetop?

    Allison wrote on February 8th, 2014
    • Hi Alison,

      I make stuff like this on the stove-top all the time with a grill pan (looks exactly like the photo above, but in a pan size). You can find them at most stores with a good range of kitchen cookware. I have a gas stove top and with this type of pan it works pretty well as a substitute for a full grill or BBQ.

      Hope this helps :)

      longtallsally wrote on February 8th, 2014
    • Take the meat on water-soaked bamboo skewers and arrange them hanging on the edges of a lined bake pan (things will drip) just a little smaller in one dimension than the length of the skewers. It usually takes 15-20 min at preheated oven to 350F.
      This depends on what kind of meat and chunk size.
      Then you can broil for 1-2 min on low, about 3-4 inches from the heat source (optional).

      paleocrushmom wrote on February 8th, 2014
  4. The irony–the same week we get a post about the dangers of grilling, we get a recipe with grilling.

    But I guess the marinade is the key here.

    Ben wrote on February 8th, 2014
    • Thanks for the brief chuckle, Ben.

      paleocrushmom wrote on February 8th, 2014
    • I think the point might be that yeah, we should be aware, but not live in fear. Mark never said don’t grill!

      Allison wrote on February 8th, 2014
  5. I like coconut aminos more than soy sauce. The flavor is mellow and not so aggressively salty.

    Fleece wrote on February 8th, 2014
  6. I use coconut aminos for my beef jerky. Great stuff!

    Nocona wrote on February 8th, 2014
  7. Yum, I’m looking forward to trying that kale recipe! Thanks, Mark :)

    Camille wrote on February 8th, 2014
  8. Trying these tomorrow. I love coconut amino, I even take them out to use at sushi restaurants.

    Gary Deagle wrote on February 9th, 2014
  9. My o my! Who knew that kale could taste so good? It melted in my mouth! I am hooked

    betsy wrote on February 10th, 2014

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