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Maui Kale Salad With Sweet Onion Dressing

Maui Kale


Here’s how this salad came together. A few days before we opened Tin Roof, we had the menu 90 percent set. Mochiko chicken, pork belly, chop steak—the essentials all locked in. Then somebody in the kitchen pointed out that we had no salad (other than mac salad) on the menu. Maybe we needed something with actual greens in it?

Cue the Top Chef quickfire music. Within 30 minutes we had pulled together a salad based on what was in our pantry and what I picked up from the Costco down the street. The dressing was a crowd-pleasing sweet onion recipe that we’d used at Old Lahaina Luau. We took roasted peanuts and coated them with sweet-spicy kochujang and garlic salt. We added crushed potato chips for crunch and more salt, dried cranberries for chew and sweetness. We used kale and cabbage because we figured they would taste better after sitting around in the dressing for a while; eventually we figured out that if you lomi (massage) the leaves with a little salt it makes them even more tender. It turned out to be a very good salad: easy but interesting enough to hold your attention, robust but balanced.


  • 2 large bunches kale, rinsed and roughly chopped (remove any midribs and stems if they’re too tough)
  • ½ medium head green cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
  • ½ cup sweetened dried cranberries
  • ½ cup Sweet Onion Dressing
  • 1 cup crushed potato chips (Maui onion flavor preferred)
  • ¾ cup roughly chopped Kim Chee Peanuts
  • Kosher salt


In a large bowl, combine the kale, cabbage, cranberries, and sweet onion dressing. Toss to coat and mix thoroughly, using your hands if desired. Transfer to the fridge and let chill for at least 15 minutes.

When ready to serve, add the potato chips and peanuts and toss to combine. Season with a pinch of salt, if needed.

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