Soto Ayam

Indonesia is a really huge country. The foods and cuisines vary widely from one part of the country to another. However, there are a few dishes that are available in just about every corner of this nation of 10,000 islands. One of these is Soto Ayam, which simply means “chicken soup”. You'll find street stalls selling it just about everywhere, and it's a big hit with foreign travelers as well.

Soto Ayam Soto Ayam - Indonesian Chicken Soup

Of course, as with so many popular dishes, what tourist get is often a far cry from the 'real thing'. In many cases, you end up with just some chicken flavored stock with a few bits of chicken in it along with the vegetables. This recipe seems to come fairly close to the authentic version.

(4 Servings)


Vegetable Oil
Chicken Breast½Skined and cut into bite-sized pieces
Lemongrass1 StalkCut in thin strips
Coconut milk240 ml / 1 c
Chicken broth240 ml / 1 c
Water360 ml / 1 ½ c
Cabbage2 cSliced thin
Bean sprouts2 c
Glass noodles1 pack
Eggs2 td>Hard boiled and quartered
Spring onion1 stalkChopped

Spice Paste

Coriander seeds1 tsp
Cumin seeds1 tsp
Shallots4 bulbsChopped
Garlic3 clovesChopped
Tumeric2 picesPeeled and chopped
Galangal2-inch piecePeeled and sliced
Ginger2-inch piecePeeled and sliced
Lime juice1 Tbl

Preparation Method

  • Put all the ingredients for the spice paste in the bowl of a food processor and blend to a smooth paste. You may need to add a little water.
  • Heat a large pot over a hot stove. Pour enough vegetable oil to coat the bottom of the pot, and then add the spice paste. Stir-fry the paste until it turns light brown.
  • Add the lemongrass, chicken broth, coconut milk and water. Once the stock comes to a boil, add the chicken meat. Cover the pot, lower the heat, and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  • Fill a separate pot with water and bring it to a boil. Blanch the cabbage, bean sprouts and glass noodles (which should have been soaked to soften beforehand).
  • Transfer the vegetables and noodles to serving bowls. Pour the chicken soup over the vegetables, add a wedge or two of hard boiled egg, and sprinkle some chopped spring onions over all.
  • Serve with a wedge of lime.
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