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Massaged Kale Salad with Shiitake Mushroom Bacon and Tamari Lemon Dressing

Asian Kale Salad with Mushroom Bacon

  • Author: Chef Whitney Aronoff
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x
  • Category: Lunch
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: Asian
  • Diet: Vegan


Massaged kale is the base of this healthy Asian inspired salad. Loaded with fresh sprouts, pickled red onion and savory tamari and lemon dressing.



For the dressing

  • 1/3 cup organic tamari soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

For the salad

  • 1 bunch each of Dino Kale, Black Kale & Green Curly Kale
  • ½ medium red onion
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds, roasted & salted
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds, plain
  • ¼ cup white sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1 cup sunflower or pea sprouts
  • 1 cup sprouts (such as broccoli sprouts)
  • 1 avocado, sliced into ½ inch cubes
  • 2 cups thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms (about 2030 mushrooms)


For the shiitake bacon

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove the stem of the shitake mushrooms and disgard. Slice mushrooms a quarter-inch thick, toss lightly with 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of sea salt.
  2. Spread the pieces in an even layer on a baking sheet with parchment. Bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating and stirring halfway through. Remove from oven when they are crispy and golden brown and reduced in size by half.

For the salad & dressing

  1. Combine soy sauce and lemon juice in a blender. Slowly drizzle in the oil as the dressing emulsifies. Slice half a red onion into thin half moons. Add to a small bowl with half the dressing to marinate as you prepare the rest of the salad.
  2. Wash, dry and destem the kale. Stack the kale leaves and slice into thin, ¼ inch ribbons. Toss kale with 1/4 of the dressing. Massage with your hands or use tongs to evenly distribute dressing onto kale. Add the red onion, and sprouts, mixing well.
  3. Place salad in bowls. Top with seed mixture, fresh avocado and shitake mushroom bacon. Add more dressing to taste. Reserve extra dressing for leftovers.


To destem the kale quickly, hold the bottom of the kale stem in one hand. Run your other hand down the stem, pull off all the leaves as you move down the kale stem.

For slicing the kale in thin strips, stack 3-4 kale leaves to move through the bunch quickly and mindfully.

The success of this recipe lies in cutting the kale into thin, small ribbons and massaging the kale. If you prefer to use tongs, let the kale sit tossed lightly in the dressing for 5-10 minutes before adding sprouts and seeds for serving.

Keywords: massaged kale salad, raw recipes, asian inspired meals, healthy lunch ideas