Pork-and-Kale Soup with Sizzling Puffed Rice

“I love food that makes noise,” says Edward Lee, chef and owner of Louisville, Kentucky’s 610 Magnolia and the Wine Studio. When F&W challenged the Top Chef Season 9 contestant to make a fast dish with pork, kale and white wine, he created a deeply flavorful soup, then added crumbled rice cakes that crackle as they hit the broth. The dish is based on one he likes from a hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese spot in Manhattan’s Chinatown. “They make a big deal out of adding the rice, so you can celebrate the sizzling sound,” Lee says. Slideshow: Delicious Pork Soups and Stews 

Pork-and-Kale Soup with Sizzling Puffed Rice
Photo: © Johnny Miller
Total Time:
45 mins
6 to 8


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 cup dry white wine, preferably Pinot Blanc

  • 1 pound kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped

  • 2 quarts chicken stock

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise with a vegetable peeler

  • 1 1/2 pounds trimmed boneless pork shoulder, cut into thin strips

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 2 teaspoons sugar

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 puffed rice cakes, crumbled


  1. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a pot. Add the onion and garlic and cook over moderate heat until lightly browned, 4 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Simmer until reduced by half, 5 minutes. Add the kale and stock and bring to a boil. Cover partially and simmer over low heat until the kale is almost tender, 10 minutes. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of the soy sauce with the sesame oil and sweet potato. Simmer uncovered until the potato is tender, 10 minutes longer.

  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, toss the pork with the lemon juice, sugar and the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of soy sauce. Let stand for 10 minutes.

  3. Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet. Add the pork and cook over high heat until browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Add the pork to the soup.

  4. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet until shimmering. Add the crumbled rice cakes and cook, stirring, until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Ladle the soup into bowls, spoon the sizzling rice on top and serve right away.

Suggested Pairing

Aromatic, full-bodied Alsace white, such as a Pinot Blanc.

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