The current motto around the Stanbrook kitchen seems to be, "add more fish sauce." We've doused our pizza with it, mixed it into homemade mayo to accompany steak and now we're even putting it on our kale. It may have something to do with our recent trip to Portland, Oregon and specifically our visit to Smallwares - by far our favorite restaurant in a weekend that was filled with some of the best eats the city has to offer.
Chef Johanna Ware is known for "inauthentic" asian dishes and we could not be more grateful for her inauthenticity. It is what led to our current over-use of fish sauce and the creation of this new take on kale chips.
While I'm not always proud of it, my ethos in the kitchen seems to center around two main principles - most dishes can be improved with either 1) more salt or 2) more chocolate. While chocolate covered kale chips may never come into being (although come to think of it...), I'm certainly glad I followed my hunch and rubbed a little fish sauce into our last batch. The added punch of salty, briny flavor took the chips from a good, healthy replacement for potato chips, to addictive, make me more, I can't live without a constant supply of these snacks status.
If you're not familiar with nutritional yeast, feel free to leave it out. It adds a cheesy flavor without dairy, but it's by no means necessary.
Thai Kale Chips
1 bunch kale (I used curly purple - works equally well with lacinato or other varieties)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp to 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
Preheat oven to 300
Wash and dry your kale thoroughly. I rinse mine off, remove the thick purple stalks and tear the leaves into smaller pieces before placing them in my salad spinner to remove excess water. Transfer the kale to a bowl, drizzle in the olive oil and massage the oil into the leaves to make sure everything is covered. Repeat with the fish sauce. Sprinkle the nutritional yeast over the leaves and toss gently.
Transfer the kale to two parchment paper-lined baking sheets. You want the kale to lay in a single layer so use as many trays as you need. Two half-sheet pans is usually sufficient. Place in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes (23 seems to be the magic number for our oven). If your oven cooks unevenly, rotate the trays halfway through. Remove the trays from the oven and allow the chips to cool on the baking sheets.
If you're not going to eat them right away, transfer the cooled kale chips to an airtight container and keep at room temperature. I imagine these would last four or five days at least, but we've never been able to test this theory as they always get eaten in the first two days.