Kale Contest Entry: Stefanie’s Steamed Buckwheat-Stuffed Kale Leaves with Thai Flavors

This is a Mediterranean concept (dolmades) with an Asian twist submitted by Stefanie Ramsden Dougherty for The Big Kale Contest. Stefanie tells us that the slight bitterness of the steamed kale wrapper with this recipe entry is a nice complement to the Thai-inspired sweet and spicy filling. I am so excited about this creative entry, but I am not surprised. YU may remember that Stefanie wowed us this summer with her delicious and adorable Bite-Sized Apple Pies “a la mode” entry for The YU First Birthday Contest—the woman knows how to develop a recipe.

Stefanie is a full-time freelance French translator, part-time copywriter, and a hobbyist vegan cook, photographer and Ashtanga yoga practitioner. She plans to bring a new blog online in the near future, combining all of her interests into one super-fun mega-project. I know I can barely wait…

Do YU think this recipe is the big winner? Tell us with a comment below and be sure to “like” it on the YumUniverse Facebook Page if it gets your vote.

½ cup buckwheat groats
1 cup water
2 tsp. coconut oil
3 red spring onions (or green onions), chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1.5 tsp. ginger, peeled and chopped finely
Half a zucchini, diced small
3 curly kale leaves, chopped finely
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. nama shoyu (or coconut aminos)
1 tsp. rice wine vinegar
¼ t. fine sea salt
Fresh ground pepper (to taste)
Dash cayenne pepper (to taste)
1 T. unsweetened shredded coconut
2 T. raw cashews or peanuts, chopped finely
Small handful cilantro, chopped
1 bunch Lacinato kale leaves


Rinse the buckwheat groats thoroughly (even soak them if you have time). Pour the water into a saucepan, salt it well and bring to a boil, then add the buckwheat, cover and reduce to a simmer for ten minutes.

Heat the coconut oil in a small pan and gently sauté the spring onions, garlic and ginger. Add the zucchini toward the end, just long enough to take off the raw edge. Remove from heat and set aside.

Put your three chopped curly kale leaves in a medium bowl. When the buckwheat is cooked, transfer it on top of the kale and allow the heat to wilt the leaves a bit. Add the lemon juice, nama shoyu and rice wine vinegar, and mix thoroughly. Add the salt, pepper and cayenne and mix again. Finally, add the sautéed mixture, coconut, cashews/peanuts and cilantro and mix once more. Set aside.

Run a sharp knife down each side of the stem of the Lacinato kale leaves to remove the thickest part of the stem (leave the thinner part near the top of the leaf intact), but keep the thick stems and chop them, then throw them into the bottom of a wok.

Lay a kale leaf on a flat surface. Place a scant tablespoon of the filling near one end of the leaf and begin rolling.

Tuck the end you are holding underneath the filling, and then continue much like you’re rolling a burrito. Line up the rolls snugly in the wok on top of the pile of kale stems. The stems hold the rolls away from the bottom of the wok, out of the water. Stephanie learned this steaming technique from Mark Bittman, in his book How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.

Pour a cup of water into the wok and turn the heat up to medium-high until the water boils. Once it boils, take the lid of any large pot and rest it over the kale leaves (or use the lid that came with your wok if you have one – Stefanie doesn’t). Reduce the heat to medium low and steam the rolls for ten minutes.

Allow them to cool a little bit before you remove them from the wok.




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Check out Stefanie’s entry from The YU First Birthday Contest, too.

UPDATE: Stefanie now has a blog, check it out!



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