Recipe: Copy-Cat Duluth Grill Marinated Kale

It's kale season! Looking for ways to use your leafy garden greens? Try this recipe for marinated kale, a delicious way to use up your garden's bounty.

by Stephanie Thurow
PHOTO: olepeshkina/Adobe Stock

Got kale? So do we.  

There is a beautiful city about two hours northeast of Minneapolis that’s called Duluth. It sits right on Lake Superior, on the westernmost point of the lake. Our family tries to get up to Duluth at least once a year because there is always so much to do and see. The lake is awe-inspiring throughout all seasons.

Duluth MN marinated kale
Duluth, MN by Jacob/Adobe Stock

Also, one of our very favorite restaurants resides there—Duluth Grill.  

One thing I frequently order at the restaurant is called Bi Bim Bap, which is a rice bowl with seasoned pork and beef, pickled peppers, pickled onions, kimchi, veggies, an egg, marinated kale and more. We often try to recreate various versions of this meal at home, as I almost always have pickled onions, pickled peppers and kimchi (top three of my favorite preserves) on hand.

But the reason for the back story here is the marinated kale. The first time I ever tasted kale marinated was at Duluth Grill, and it stuck out because it’s such a genius way to enjoy kale.  

I always grow kale in our gardens at home. I harvest so much throughout the season that I’m always thinking of ways to use it up. My kiddo loves kale chips, so we make those quite often. I use kale in soups and sautés, and we freeze plenty.

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Marinating, though, opens up a door to a whole new way of enjoying kale. 

As I said, we make our own variations of rice bowl meals for dinner quite often, and marinating kale in various ways is a unique and delicious way to get some extra fresh greens incorporated into our meal. However, marinated kale doesn’t have to be reserved for rice bowls—it’s also delicious turned into a salad or eaten as a side dish. 

I don’t exactly measure this recipe, as I harvest as much as I think is enough for our family of three. However, it’s about a cup per person. Adjust the ingredients to your preference.  

  • Fresh kale, ribbed and cut to bite-sized pieces  
  • Olive oil to drizzle until kale is saturated (2 tbsp or so) 
  • 1 tbsp or so fresh ginger root, finely chopped 
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped 
  • 1 to 2 tbsp coconut aminos 
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice 
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil 
  • Salt and pepper, to taste 


Wash kale and remove ribs. Cut into bite sized pieces. 

In a bowl, whisk together the marinade ingredients.  

Note: You can make this recipe in a bowl, but I use a gallon-sized Ziplock bag since I find it really easy to mix the ingredients together well and massage the kale with the marinade through the bag so that it gets evenly coated. Also, I make this recipe one day ahead, so once mixed together it’s easy to pop in the refrigerator for storage.  

Combine the marinade with the prepped kale and mix together well. This can be eaten the same day or made ahead a day or two. 


Add and omit ingredients as you’d like to create different flavored marinades to match your dining needs. 

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