As the executive chef and owner of French-Vietnamese restaurant Indochine, which has served New York City’s elite for the past 30 years, Hui Chi Le knows a thing or two about food trends.
And while he has also been involved in other buzzy restaurants in the city, like Republic, BONDST, Acme, and Tijuana Picnic, the Indochine menu is one he continually updates with the latest in haute cuisine to keep it fresh (which might be why it’s stayed relevant straight from the SATC era to the Girls era). His current trendy take on an old classic? This Asian Kale Salad.
“Kale has become a bit of a trendy staple ingredient on restaurant menus these days, but there is no denying that it is a great, versatile and healthy leaf,” Le says. “This is such a simple recipe, but the result is very satisfying. You know the dish is good for you but it’s not boring.”
Le recommends serving it as an appetizer, or next to a grilled steak as a summer side instead of a roasted vegetable. “The flavors are bold enough that it’s kind of addictive,” he says. Now that we believe. —Jamie McKillop
Indochine Asian Kale Salad
(Makes six servings)
5 Tbsp rice vinegar
3 Tbsp white miso
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp sesame oil
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp yuzu juice (or Meyer lemon)
¼ Tbsp chili paste
¼ Tbsp finely chopped garlic
1 Tbsp grated ginger
Mix all ingredients in a blender until smooth.
2 cups shredded red cabbage
1 handful finely chopped kale
Blanch 1 cup shredded cabbage for one or two minutes. Rinse under cold water, wring and pat dry with paper towels. Fry until crisp. Season with a pinch of sugar, pinch of salt, pinch of cayenne.
In a large bowl, mix kale, fried cabbage, 1 cup raw cabbage, and dressing with your hands (start with half the dressing and add more to taste). Arrange on six plates in a steep mound.
For more information, visit www.indochine.com
(Photo: Paul Wagtouicz)