Sesame Ginger Kale Salad


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kale salad in a blue bowl

Sesame Ginger Kale Salad is a bright, fresh salad with less than 400 calories is packed with protein, full of color and can be enjoyed year-round. A vinaigrette with sesame oil and fresh ginger adds just the right balance of sweet and savory.

mixing raw vegetables in a clear glass bowl

It’s that time of year when the holidays start coming in fast succession. As recently as yesterday I was still finding Halloween candy in coat pockets and stepped on a full pack of Swedish Fish in the frosty grass when I went to grab the newspaper.

And now we’re looking ahead for Thanksgiving and Christmas. There is an extra sense of magic that comes with the first holidays that kids can understand and anticipate. My two-year-olds can readily identify that the coming weeks hold celebration, fun, and sweet treats.

radishes on a grey countertop with sesame seeds

And like my two-year-olds, I too get eager for the holiday food and drink and sense of magic that comes with twinkling lights, frosty air, and warm dishes to share around crowded tables.

grating ginger

I love the opposite ends of the food spectrum that help bring balance this time of year. Eat a few extra salads at lunch and not feel a moment of hesitation when it comes to a plate of  Sexy Fries or sampling an extra cookie (or four) later. Something about the contrast of a salad bursting with bright, healthy things makes those cookies taste extra awesome.

ginger, limes and sauce on a grey countertop

Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette

And while all of this salad is worth making, it’s the sweet and savory vinaigrette that is the real star. It’s inspired by an Asian Vinaigrette from Trader Joe’s that we used extensively on last summer’s trip to Breckenridge, Colorado. This home-made version is simple, full of real ingredients, and keeps for weeks in the fridge. It lends itself to all sorts of creative salad combinations beyond the typical greens.

sesame ginger vinaigrette in a small glass bowl

Here’s to enjoying salads as much (okay, almost as much) as those cookies.

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kale salad in a blue bowl
5 from 3 votes

Sesame Ginger Kale Salad

A bright, fresh salad is packed with protein, full of color. Thick, slightly sweet vinaigrette with sesame oil and fresh ginger makes the perfect topping.
Prep: 25 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 servings


  • Whisk
  • Saucepan


Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 2 tsp Cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup Cooking Oil (any neutral oil like canola or grapeseed)
  • 1/4 cup Rice Vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp Honey
  • 2 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 2 cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp grated Fresh Ginger
  • 1 Tbsp White Sesame Seeds

For the salad:

  • 8 leaves Curly Kale, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup shredded Carrots (I buy pre-shredded)
  • 4 Radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup Edamame, shelled
  • 1 Avocado, sliced
  • 2 tsp Sesame Seeds, black or white


  • Make the vinaigrette.
    Whisk together the cornstarch and soy sauce until cornstarch is dissolved. In a small saucepan (or microwave-safe container), combine soy sauce-cornstarch mixture with remaining ingredients for vinaigrette. Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently (or in the microwave in 15 second increments, stirring after each increment) until it begins to simmer. Continue stirring until vinaigrette thickens slightly, about 2 minutes.
  • At least 30 minutes and up to a day before serving, toss kale with 2 Tbsp of vinaigrette and massage dressing into kale leaves.
  • Toss kale with carrots, radishes, edamame and avocado. Add vinaigrette until it is dressed to your liking (you most likely won't need all of the vinaigrette for this recipe, but can refrigerate it for 2 to 3 weeks). Sprinkle with extra sesame seeds.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 344kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 606mg | Potassium: 1123mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 16808IU | Vitamin C: 147mg | Calcium: 249mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Calories: 344
Keyword: easy dinner, lunch, vegetables
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About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

5 from 3 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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  1. Love this. The colours, the flavours, it’s all looking so good. And a welcome respite from the salty / sugary / buttery holiday delights abound right now. Thanks, Jess!

    1. Thanks so much sweet friend! I though the same thing – I need as much free + veg as I can get this time of year. Hope you’re doing well.