I’m sure many people are in the habit of calling their loved ones names. By names, I mean endearments, like honey pie or sweetie pie and the such. I recall one fine day in secondary school when I was busy looking up “k” in the dictionary, in order to look for the most ridiculous names I could for my friend, whose name is Kelly. Honestly, I’m not sure what started it off, but I suspect it was because she started to call me names in jest, names like Jajabinks and other more horrible names which shall not be listed here. I grabbed two names from the dictionary which I thought was hilarious – kale and kohlrabi. At that time, I only knew that they were vegetables, but did not know how they looked like.
It was only until recently (ie, when I first started noticing what was being sold in the supermarketes and when I went to Australia) that I saw how these two vegetables looked like. For one, I can safely say that the kohlrabi is perhaps the ugliest looking vegetable I have ever seen. It looks like a warped lettuce/brinjal fennel and I always think of ‘brain’ when I see them in Australia. I haven’t drummed up the courage to cook with it, as I have with some other vegetables. I do however want to try something with it in the near future.
As for kale, I also didn’t know how it looked like until recently. Whereas kohlrabi is almost never found in Singapore, kale is quite common in Singapore. There are several varieties of kale, but the most common one is probably the ‘Malaysian kale’, which does not look like the kale you find overseas because the leaves are not as curly or frilly. When I bought this kale, my mother commented that it looks exactly like kailan :/ Which was a fair comment because kale is indeed a cousin of the kailan (chinese broccoli). You can get Malaysian kale from Zenxin, a Malaysian organic producer. Zenxin retails at several places, including Jason’s and Cold Storage, and a bunch of kale is around S$5? Not too expensive for organic veggies I must say.
The kale that you see in the picture above is curly kale, or widely known as Australian kale (at least in Singapore). Zenxin does sell Australian kale too, but if I’m not wrong, it costs about S$12. NTUC Finest and Jason’s do sell other brands of kale, but they are around the same price range. The other type of kale that I know of is dinosaur kale, or dino kale. Again, I’ve seen it in Singapore, but be prepared to fish out a hefty sum for a bunch.
ETA: I have had some people ask me where you can get kale in Malaysia. They should be available at organic food stores, if not, Zenxin (together with other organic brands selling veggies) retail at most large JUSCO supermarkets so check out for them there! If you are in KL, good on you because kale is also available at Cold Storage, Ben’s Independent Grocers (B.I.G.) and other organic stores – like the one in One Utama! Ps, Zenxin’s kale retails for cheaper in Malaysian too 😉 And no, I was not paid to ‘promote’ Zenxin, but I spoke to this boss(?) of Zenxin during the Savour exhibition of sorts and he really helped in explaining the kale varieties to me!
I actually made these chips when I was in Australia a couple months back, when I saw a bunch of (curly) kale retailing for less than A$3! That’s really cheap because the bunch was humongous, probably 4 times the size of the bunch in Singapore and yet it costs 4 times less :/ Anyway, I had my mind set on making kale chips, which I have seen make rounds on blogs. With comments like healthiest snack ever, and even better than potato chips, how could I resist not trying right? I made these kale chips as a side to the meal, which consisted other roasted veggies like squash, peppers, scalloped potatoes, balsamic pork chop and homemade mushroom soup. I’ve included the photo below, and I must say that although it looks pretty unappetizing and horrible, the thought of eating the velvety mushroom soup again coupled with the kale chips and pork chop is making me salivate as I’m typing. This is torturous considering that I’m currently on a ‘detox diet’. Sigh.
I must say that kale chips are really easy to make, and they taste pretty good too! In fact, they take on the taste of whatever ‘seasoning’ you use, so in that way, they are very versatile. You only need the least of oil to bake them with, so don’t be put off by the shinyness of my picture – it was the flash and lighting in the room. Note to self – I will reduce the amount of salt or parmesan in the future, because parmesan is already quite salty, and when eaten together with the rest of my meal, the kale chips did turn out a tad too salty for my tastes. Do try making kale chips one day, and I’m sure you’ll be surprised! They don’t taste like kailan or ‘veggie’ like at all!
- 1 bunch of kale
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon grated parmesan
- Preheat the oven to 150 degrees celsius. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
- Trim the tough stems from the kale and discard the stem. You can tear or cut the leaves into smaller bite size pieces. Wash the leaves and thoroughly dry them.
- Once dried, add your favorite seasoning to the kale leaves by tossing them and making sure they are coated thorougly. I added some sea salt only. You can use garlic salt (or fresh garlic), chilli powder, curry powder, or anything that suits your fancy.
- Then, arrange the leaves on the baking trays and drizzle some olive oil over the leaves.
- Bake the leaves until the edges brown but are not burnt black, for about 10 to 15 minutes. Do rotate your trays at the 5 minute mark if your oven does not heat evenly. It is best to tear the leaves into uniform sizes so that they brown at the same time.
- Remove the trays from the oven and let the 'chips' cool for at least 15 minutes before consuming. If you would like parmesan flavoured kale chips, do grate the parmesan over the chips once you have removed the trays from the oven.