Recipe | Citrus Sesame Kale

By Kiersten | Last Updated: November 12, 2013

Citrus Sesame Kale

Citrus Sesame Kale
So tell me, how was your Thanksgiving weekend? Did you eat a lot of food? Are you feeling a little bit sick right now? Need something light and healthy for dinner?

Yeah, me too. As I mentioned on Friday, our Thanksgiving dinner consisted of some semi-Thanksgivingish things from Whole Foods (twice baked potatoes? Why not!), so we just got enough for one meal and we didn’t have any leftovers. I was feeling pretty good about not having days worth of mashed potatoes or pie in the fridge, but then I made brownies. Sugary, buttery super rich Mexican chocolate brownies.

Ugh, you guys, no more brownies. Or sweet potatoes. Or stuffing. No! More! Can we just talk about salads and ice water this week?

Citrus Sesame Kale Ingredients
The good thing about holiday over-indulgence is that when it’s all over, I feel more motivated to eat healthy. There’s nothing like a night spent regretting eating that extra Thanksgiving brownie (and topping it with gelato–oh yeah, that happened) to help get you back on track, right?

So here’s a recipe that’s light and healthy–Citrus Sesame Kale. And it’s also easy, because after Thanksgiving, I bet you don’t want to spend a lot of time cooking either. This serves 4 as a side dish, but you can add some baked tofu or marinated tempeh and it could easily serve two as a light main dish.

Citrus Sesame Kale
Kale is definitely my favorite green. There are other greens that I eat because they’re healthy even though I don’t really like them (spinach, I’m looking at you), but kale is a green I will actually look forward to eating. Some people say kale is bitter, but I’ve never found that to be true. (I’m not saying they’re liars, but I think I might be missing a tastebud or something.) To me, it’s earthy and chewy and delightful. Yes, delightful!

There’s nothing creamy in here. Nothing rich. It’s just what you need when you’ve got a post-holiday food hangover.
Go to Citrus Sesame Kale recipe

Citrus Sesame Kale

Prep Time:

10 minutes

Cook Time:

5 minutes

Total Time:

15 minutes


4 servings


  • 2 tsp. sesame oil (I used toasted)
  • 1 tsp. grated ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch kale (about 3/4 lb.), tough stems removed & leaves torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 1/2 tsp. soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tbsp. fresh orange juice
  • 2 tsp. sesame seeds
  • pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
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  1. Heat sesame oil in a large skillet or wok over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic; cook for 30 seconds, or until fragrant, stirring constantly. Add kale and stir until coated with oil. Stir in soy sauce and orange juice; cover and cook for 3 minutes, or until kale is softened.
  2. Stir in sesame seeds and red pepper flakes (if using) and serve.

About Kiersten

Kiersten is the founder and editor of Oh My Veggies.

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I hate to admit I’m late to the kale thing. I’ve been working it into recipes about once per week for the past couple of months but so far my favorite use has been smoothies and pesto. I keep wanting to try it as a salad but “massaging” it seems wrong. Maybe a simple saute like this! It looks absolutely fantastic.

I’m not crazy about raw kale, actually. I like it sauteed a lot more and I feel like that’s easier than massaging–heat a wee bit of oil, throw the kale in, stir it around, and let it steam until wilted. Easy peasy.

I will have to give this a try too. You can’t never have too much healthy food, you know? I have been eating Brussels sprouts for a week, and my husband commented: you are not normal. I wonder what he will say if I eat kale the whole week next time ;-))

Have you tried kale chips? I need to give them a try again because my first time making them didn’t turn out so well, but a lot of people eat kale like that and it’s probably a little more kid-friendly than a saute. Or, at least as kid-friendly as kale can possibly be. 🙂

Do you like other greens? I do, but I like kale a lot more because it’s less bitter and it doesn’t get slimy when you cook it like spinach does. So I think if you like other greens, you’d definitely like kale. And if you don’t like other greens, then you might like kale. 🙂

It’s so funny how the holidays leave us feeling that way. I always feel the same about sweets and avoid them for a long time after. I could your kale recipe year long and never get tired of it. Thanks for sharing:)

ugh! if only i wasn’t the only one in my family who liked kale! i’d totally try out this recipe. i may have to try it out anyway and cross my fingers that at least my husband will try it. my daughter is a no on anything but carrots, cucumbers, peas, corn and green beans (she’s 3 is all i can say). but maybe because there is an asian twist on it, i might be able to get them to at least try it. looks good!

Yeah, if it’s the flavor of kale that they don’t like, they might like this because there are a lot of other things going on here–sesame oil, garlic, ginger, orange juice. But if it’s the texture, well, it’s definitely chewy and kale-like. 🙂

Thank you! I took time off for Thanksgiving and spent it experimenting with different lighting & set-ups for my photos. I was really happy with how these turned out. 🙂

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