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Elyse Kopecky Shares Her Secret for Cutting Kale

As part of her series on knife skills, Elyse is removing the mystery from kale.

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Kale is one of those veggies that seems like it should be simple enough to chop up, but quickly becomes unwieldy if you go in without a plan. And when you use kale a lot (it is a superfood, after all), having a tried-and-true system for cutting it into manageable pieces is key. Watch Elyse Kopecky break it down.

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[Part of the Mastering Meal Prep with Elyse Kopecky series]

Read the transcript:


Now I’m going to teach you how to properly chop kale. This is a technique you can use if you’re chopping your kale for salads, for grain salads, or if you’re just going to sauté up some greens to go with your dinner, to go with your power bowls.

So you want to remove the stem. There’s no really fancy technique to this. I just pull off the leaves to get a whole mound of kale to chop all at once. For salads you want to chop your kale a little bit finer. For sautéing, you can use rougher pieces, or if you’re throwing your kale into soups, it’ll shrink down a lot so your pieces can be a little bit bigger.

Let’s start with that. What you want to do is kind of try to wrap it up into a tighter ball.

This makes it easier to cut a bunch of kale all at once. You kind of roll it and smash it down. There’s not really a great technique for doing that, but just trying to get it into a little ball. And then once again, remember to tuck your fingers back.

And what I do is I go in two directions, running my knife through it. First I’ll chop one way, getting thin strips, scooting my fingers out of the way as I work. And then again, if it falls apart, you can just roll it back up. It’s different; this kind of curly kale is a little harder to roll up but the flatter leaf kale, you can really roll it up. And then I like to get it a little bit finer, so I kind of just rotate the pile to be able to cut it in the opposite direction.

And I’ll just run it through one more time to get some finer pieces. There’s a lot of different techniques you can use, but you can go back through it if your pieces are still too chunky. That’s one way to do it. With a flatter leaf kale, you could do individual pieces at once by keeping it intact, it’s easier to roll, and you just roll up that leaf really tightly.

If you want to get it a little bit finer and then rotate it and go the other direction. And you’ve got little tiny bite sized pieces of kale.