Kale in Coconut Milk


Isn’t it amazing how we can get creative with food and enjoy great meals with fresh and easy-to-find ingredients?

This kale in coconut milk is no different. I think it’s inspired, practical, good for you, and delicious.

And I’m glad to share this recipe with you adapted from The Adobo Road Cookbook authored by Marvin Gapultos.

If you’re familiar with the Laing dish, you should easily see the resemblance between the two. Kale is used instead of taro leaves but both are cooked in coconut milk with ginger and other spices, shrimp paste, and often chilli peppers. 

Since taro leaves are not always available where I live, I find kale or even spinach a brilliant substitute to make an easy and tasty dish similar to Laing.

What kind of kale to use?

Tuscan, curly, or any variety of kale works. The one on the photo is curly kale.

What to do if using kale for the first time?

Wash it. Remove the centre ribs and stems. Gather the leaves and roughly chop. 

What can I expect in this dish?

Discover the taste of tender and succulent kale in fragrant coconut broth infused with ginger and spices. It’s a hearty meal, I must say.

Are you game enough to try?

How To Make Kale In Coconut Milk

Kale in Coconut Milk

A hearty kale dish cooked in coconut milk with ginger and fragrant spices, shrimp paste, and chilli peppers.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time23 minutes
Total Time38 minutes


  • 2 Tbsp oil, vegetable or canola
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1- in (2.5-cm) piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2-3 green finger chilli or Thai chilli peppers
  • 1 Tbsp shrimp paste
  • 1 lb 500 g kale, washed and leaves roughly chopped
  • ½ cup (125 ml) shrimp stock or water
  • 1 ½ cups (375 ml) coconut milk
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • Heat a large pan or wok over high heat and add oil.
  • Once oil is hot, add onion and stir fry for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, ginger, chilli peppers, and shrimp paste, and cook for about 1 minute until fragrant.
  • Stir in the chopped kale and cook for about 2 minutes until it wilts.
  • Pour the stock or water and coconut milk into the pan and stir to combine. Let boil and bring the heat down to low. Simmer uncovered between 10-15 minutes until kale is tender.
  • Add salt and ground black pepper to taste.
  • Serve hot with steamed rice.