Sesame Kale – Kale Ohitashi or Kale Goma-ae

Recipes adapted from: Yoko Kumano and Kyoko Ide

Ohitashi means soaked and usually refers to blanched greens soaked in a broth or light marinade. Goma-ae means sesame-mixed. These recipes are often made with spinach, but are great with kale too - sesame and kale make a great pair. Can’t choose which one you want? Split your bunch of kale in half and make both!


1 bunch of kale, or other hearty greens, cut in bite-sized pieces

1-1/2 Tablespoons sesame oil
1 Tablespoon rice vinegar or mirin
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
Red pepper flakes (optional)

4 Tablespoons of toasted sesame seeds
2 Tablespoons of soy sauce
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon of water


Cook your kale: blanch or steam your kale, just until soft. 4-5 minutes maximum, though you can do less if you prefer a firmer texture, or are using softer greens, like Red Russian kale. When done, rinse with cold water or shock in ice water to stop the cooking. Squeeze out water well.

Make your sauce:
Ohitashi: Mix the sesame oil, vinegar and soy sauce in a small bowl.
Goma-ae: Grind the sesame in a mortar until the seeds are mostly broken. Add sugar and soy sauce to the sesame and mix well. Set aside.

Mix together:
Mix your kale with your sesame sauce and enjoy!