Spicy Pork Soup with Kale and Japanese Sweet Potato “Noodles”

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From the moment I saw the cover of  last month’s Bon Appetit Magazine, I knew I was going to have to Paleoify it.

My Spicy Pork Soup with Kale and Japanese Sweet Potato Noodles isn’t that different from the Spicy Pork and Mustard Greens Soup on the cover; it’s not a close copy to that recipe, rather much more like a distant second cousin.

My version uses sweet potato noodles in place of rice noodles, kale in place of mustard greens, coconut aminos in place of soy sauce, coconut oil in place of vegetable oil and has different ratios for the both the broth and various spices.

This is a hardy, winter soup that is filling enough for a meal and can be eaten with chopsticks. It is a tad bit spicy (hence the name), so not exactly good for kids but if you are craving a warm, satisfying bowl of Asian soup without any crap ingredients, make this ASAP!

Spicy Pork Soup with Kale and Sweet Potato "Noodles" from www.everydaymaven.comInspired and Adapted From: Spicy Pork and Mustard Greens Soup from Bon Appetit Magazine


  • You don’t have to have a Spiralizer to make the noodles. You can also use a mandoline as I do here in this post – How to Make Zucchini “Noodles”. With that being said, if you have room for it in your kitchen, get a Spiralizer – it is one of my favorite kitchen tools and I use it all the time!
  • Here is a great video on How To Make Sweet Potato Noodles on a Spiralizer from Inspiralized.
  • I used the Hana Sweet Potato aka Japanese Sweet Potato because of it’s light, noodle-like color and for the fact it tastes less sweet than a Yam or traditional Sweet Potato.
  • I used my Homemade Chinese Chili Oil in place of the Szechuan Peppercorns and crushed red pepper flakes since it contains both but if you don’t have this on hand – substitute 1 teaspoon Szechuan Peppercorns (crushed with a mortar and pestle) plus 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes.
  • Szechuan Peppercorns used to be hard to find but now they are relatively easy. Penzey’s Spices carries small amounts and most Asian grocery stores and spice shops have them in stock.

4.5 from 2 reviews
Spicy Pork Soup with Kale and Japanese Sweet Potato "Noodles"
7 Points Plus Per Serving -- Serves 6
Serves: 6
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1" piece fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
  • 1½ teaspoons Homemade Chinese Chili Oil (see NOTES for substitution)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed (or ¾ teaspoon ground cumin)
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cups broth or stock
  • 1 bunch Kale, stems removed and cut into bite sized pieces (approx 4 cups)
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2½ Tablespoons coconut aminos (or fermented soy sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • ½ pound Japanese sweet potato, peeled and made into noodles (see NOTES)
  1. Finely chop garlic, peel and grate ginger and thinly slice scallions.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine ground pork, chopped garlic, grated ginger, chili oil, cumin, salt and black pepper. Mix until well combined and set aside.
  3. Remove stems from kale and cut into bite sized pieces. Here is a great video showing how to quickly remove the stems.
  4. Fill a large measuring cup or bowl with ice cold water. Peel potato and place on spiralizer (see NOTES for substitution and video). Immediately place potato spirals in cold water until ready to use.
  1. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add coconut oil and then pork mixture. Cook, 8 to 10 minutes, breaking up with a spoon or spatula, until browned and cooked through.
  2. Add broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Drain sweet potato noodles and add to broth along with kale, scallions, coconut aminos and fish sauce. Continue cooking 4 to 6 minutes, until noodles are soft and kale is wilted.
  4. Remove from heat, adjust salt and pepper if necessary, serve and Enjoy!

Spicy Pork Soup with Kale and Sweet Potato "Noodles" from www.everydaymaven.com

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  1. Ilene Hawk says

    This was a really great soup!!!! I didn’t have any Szechuan Peppercorns, but I used some crushed Jalapeno Chili. Loved the heat and the flavors and of course the Japanese sweet potato was fabulous!!! Thank you

  2. Octavia says

    Can we use a regular sweet potato or white potato for this recipe?!

    I’m hoping you can answer today because I want to make this for dinner tonight!! :)

    • says

      Hi Octavia,
      You can definitely use a regular sweet potato but not that the “noodles” will have a much sweeter taste. A regular white potato would probably be my preference! Hope you love it :)

  3. Holly Bonvissuto says

    Holy cow! This soup was amazing! It was perfect for this ten degree night! The heat and the flavors were delish! Thank you!

  4. says

    I need a spiralizer in my life! I know you have mentioned them before, so I really must get on the case.Or get my Dad to get me one for my birthday 😀 Love, love, love the sound of this soup. May leave out the pork but it looks like it has bags of flavour without the meat anyway. Pinning this beauty!
    kellie@foodtoglow recently posted..Quick and Clean Fragrant Noodle SoupMy Profile

    • EverydayMaven says

      It all depends on who you are talking to since there isn’t a strict set of Paleo laws. Technically, they are Paleo because they are made from Sweet Potatoes and water BUT they are essentially a highly processed and refined form of a Sweet Potato and higher in starch because of it so I think 99% of Paleo people would prefer the “real” sweet potato noodles since it is real food in noodle form if that makes sense.

    • EverydayMaven says

      You have to get one Alice. I finally broke down and got one last summer and it’s a vegetable game-changer.

  5. Cheryl says

    I’m allergic to rice so thanks for that wonderful idea. I have spiraled zucchini before in soup wasn’t quite the same but maybe this will work better.

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