Coconut Braised Greens

Cooked greens are a sturdy fare that occasionally needs a night out. Most times they are simmered unadorned—a bit of this, a splash of vinegar—a quiet anchor of the dinner plate. I think you will love braised greens in coconut milk. My tasters club really enjoyed them.

So Few Ingredients, Yet You Will Enjoy This Island Lift of Braised Greens

INGREDIENTS: Consider a variety of sturdy greens. I love gai lan [Chinese broccolini], and kale

  • collards – 1 large bunch, stemmed
  • scallions – 1 bunch, thinly sliced
  • coconut oil – 2 TBS
  • coconut milk – 1 cup [or more to taste]
  • soy sauce – 1 TBS
  • salt – 1/2 tsp
  • pepper – 1/4 tsp

GARNISH OPTIONS: toasted sesame seeds, or chopped peanuts, dash of hot sauce

ENTRÉE ADDITION: I was greatly surprised when adding cooked lentils to the finished dish. A marriage that elevates both the collards and the lentils! This can become a comfort standard!


  1. Strip the stems from cleaned collards
  2. Lay about three leaves atop each other and gently roll into a tube. Slice them into 1/4-inch strips. Repeat with remaining leaves.
  3.  Slice scallions into 1/4-inch pieces.
  4. Heat coconut oil in a large skillet and add the scallions. Cook briefly until wilted. Add the collards and repeat turning the leaves until wilted, a few more minutes.
  5. Add the coconut milk, soy sauce, salt and pepper and bring to a slow simmer. Cover and cook until collards are tender, about 30-40 minutes. Check and add water if needed. Braising liquid should become a light sauce at the end of cooking. You may need to uncover to thicken the sauce a bit.
  6. Serve along with toasted sesame seeds or chopped nuts and a bottle of hot sauce.

PRESSURE COOKER DIRECTIONS:  Use a pressure cooker and proceed with steps 1 through 5 and then lock down the lid and cook for about 8-10 minutes. *My last batch I added a half cup green lentils to the pressure cooker along with the collards. Wow, it added a meaty body and a side became an entrée!


Recipe inspired by Von Diaz

Great Asian Flavors

Southeast Asia Braised Greens

  • kale – one bunch, stemmed, chopped [or gai lan]
  • coconut oil – 1 TBS
  • garlic – 2 small, pureed in pinch of salt
  • ginger – 1 tsp, minced
  • onion – 2 TBS, thinly sliced
  • lime – 1, 1 tsp zest and 2 TBS juice
  • chives – 1/4 cup, chopped
  • cilantro – 1/4 cup chopped [or parsley or mint or basil]
  • mirin – 1 TBS, [or 1 TBS dry sherry and 1 tsp sugar]
  • fish sauce – 1/2 tsp
  • salt – to taste [or soy sauce]

INSTRUCTIONS: See above. [If using kale or gai lan, pressure cook for only 2 minutes and then quick release.]

  • After pressure cooking: added the garlic, lime, herbs and ginger and simmer a few minutes
Adding cooked chickpeas and cooked orzo pasta [or cooked rice] completes this as a main course

Thai Green Curry Braised Greens with Pasta

  • winter greens – one bunch
  • coconut oil – 2 TBS
  • garlic – 1 TBS
  • shallots – 1/2 cup, sliced
  • Thai green curry paste – 2 TBS or more [find in Asian stores]
  • coconut milk – 1 cup [or more to taste]
  • cooked beans – 1 can [15 oz], I like chickpeas or cannellini beans]
  • orzo pasta – cooked, 1 cup or more

INSTRUCTIONS: See above. [If using kale or gai lan, pressure cook for only 2 minutes and then quick release.]

Stir in the cooked beans and pasta to the cooked greens and serve hot, warm, or room temperature

Recipes by B. Hettig

3 thoughts on “Coconut Braised Greens

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s