Day 21 – Recipe: M Cafe’s Kale Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing


I mentioned before that I used to work at M Cafe de Chaya in Los Angeles. M Cafe is one of my favorite restaurants ever, and their Kale Salad with Spicy Peanut dressing is the best kale salad I’ve ever had.

I found the recipe online pretty easily the other day, and I don’t know why I hadn’t tried to look for it before. I made it last night and even though it didn’t taste exactly like what I remembered (I think it was the peanut butter I used, I used roasted, they might use raw peanut butter), it was pretty damn close. It was worth the hour and a half it took me to make it. I was transported back to LA in a single bite.

I doubled the recipe cause I wanted to make sure I had enough salad for a few days… in hindsight I should’ve tripled the amount of kale cause it cooked down a lot. I still have about a cup of dressing left over but I plan to buy more kale tomorrow so I can make this again. I could eat this every day, it’s that good.

This is where I found the original recipe. I take no credit for this! I really didn’t change anything except doubling it and cutting down some of the onion.

M Cafe’s Kale Salad with Spicy Peanut dressing


  • 4 large bunches kale
  • 1/2 small red onion
  • 1/2 cup peanuts, chopped

Spicy Peanut Dressing*

  • 1 cup unsalted peanut butter
  • 3 T raw honey
  • 1/4 cup low sodium tamari
  • 1/4 cup brown rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. ginger, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1- 3 oz hot water (more or less for desired dressing thickness)


Wash kale. Use kitchen scissors to remove leaves from stems. Discard stems. 
Add a pinch of Salt to a pot of boiling water, then blanch the Kale for 2 min. 
Remove the Kale from the boiling water and shock it in a container of ice water. 
Finally, squeeze the excess water out of the cooled Kale.

To make Spicy Peanut Dressing: Place all dressing ingredients except hot water into a blender or food processor. Blend until mixture turns into a smooth consistency. Add hot water slowly and blend to desired thickness. Stir in 1/4 cup + 2 T of chopped peanuts, save remaining 2 T for garnish.

Drizzle the dressing on top of the kale and mix the kale and dressing together until kale is evenly coated. There will be dressing left over. Mix in sliced red onions. Serve with remaining chopped peanuts for garnish.

*Dressing stores well refrigerated for up to 6 weeks.

For me, the step that took the longest was cutting and blanching the kale. I had to do this in shifts cause I don’t own a big enough pot to blanch it all at the same time. If you have a big pot it shouldn’t take you an hour+ to make this.

I ended up using about 2 oz of hot water to thin my dressing.

If you’re not a big fan of spice, use half the amount of cayenne in the dressing.