Sweet and Spicy Grilled Kale with Ginger Steak

Kale is such a powerhouse vegetable that we never get tired of discovering new ways to cook it. We’ve made crispy kale chips, creamed kale, and kale sautéed with olives and though we’ve loved them all, we may have just found a new favorite recipe. Kale marinated in coconut milk then seared on the grill is a side dish that’s sweet, smoky and a bit spicy. This dish manages to taste decadent, which is something not often said about kale. We’re talking about kale with some real character, kale that might even win over those of you who resist this leafy green.

Marinating vegetables is not something we do often. Meat, yes, but vegetables? Not so much. That’s changed now that we’ve tried kale marinated in coconut milk. The coconut milk takes the astringent bite out of the kale and replaces it with a sweet, rich flavor. Marinating the kale in coconut milk is all about flavor; it doesn’t actually change the texture all that much. What does change the texture is throwing the leaves over a hot flame until they wilt and then brown around the edges. Grilled kale is soft in the middle, crispy around the edges and tinged with a smoky flavor that perfectly compliments the sweet coconut milk.

As good as this kale is, man cannot live on kale alone so we’ve paired this side dish with a richly flavored steak. Our ginger marinade may be simple, but it adds tons of flavor to red meat. Just don’t skimp on the ginger, and if a few pieces cling to the steak when you throw it on the grill, all the better.

Marinating the steak and kale takes 4 hours so you have to plan ahead a little, but the actual cooking time for this meal clocks in under 20 minutes. Try it this weekend and let us know what you think… we’re predicting that at least a few of you will finally fall in love with kale, or if you’re like us, fall in love all over again.

Approx 3 servings



  • 1 1/2 pounds flank steak (although any type of steak will work with this marinade)
  • 1 large piece of ginger root, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup tamari
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice


  • 2 bunches of kale
  • 2 cans of coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste


Place steak in a bowl or sealed bag and cover with the ginger, garlic, tamari and lemon juice. Marinate for 4 hours in the refrigerator, flipping steak occasionally.

Pull the kale leaves from the stems (they are too chewy). Tear kale leaves in half, or larger leaves into thirds.

Heat the coconut milk on the stove until it is just about to begin simmering, then turn off the heat and add tamari and lemon juice. Pour the coconut milk over the kale leaves. Marinate in the refrigerator for 4 hours, stirring kale occasionally.

Heat the grill to high heat. Grill kale leaves 1-2 minutes on each side, until the leaves are wilted and slightly singed around the edges. Remove from the grill and sprinkle red pepper flakes on top. Chop the kale into smaller pieces if you like, as larger pieces of kale can sometimes be a bit chewy even after grilling.

Grill the steak 6-8 minutes a side. Let the steak rest 5 minutes before cutting into it.

Serve with kale leaves on the side.

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