Soto Ayam – Indonesian chicken noodle soup

Written by AWI. Posted in Hotels Update

A popular dish in Indonesia.

Soto Ayam is a yellow, spicy chicken soup with vermicelli or noodles. It is a very popular dish in Indonesia, and is sold everywhere – from restaurants to small shops and roadside stalls. A must-try when visiting the country.


  • 1.4 kilograms whole chicken, cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 litres (8 cups) water
  • 2 stems lemongrass, quartered
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 3 French shallots, finely chopped
  • 5-centimetre piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons rice bran oil
  • 100 grams packet bean thread vermicelli noodles
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 65g (1 cup) bean sprouts
  • 1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves

Place the chicken in a saucepan. Add the water, lemongrass, lime leaves, half the garlic and salt. Bring to the boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium low. Cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until the chicken is just cooked. Transfer the chicken to a plate, reserving the poaching liquid. Cool slightly. Remove and discard the skin and bones. Shred the chicken. Transfer to a bowl and keep warm.

Step 2
Use a mortar and pestle to pound the French shallot, ginger, and remaining garlic until a coarse paste forms. Add the cumin, ground coriander, and peppercorns. Pound until peppercorns are coarsely crushed. Stir in turmeric.

Step 3
Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook the French shallot mixture, stirring, for 3 minutes or until aromatic. Add reserved poaching liquid. Bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 5 minutes to develop the flavours. Strain through a fine sieve into a large bowl. Season.

Step 4
Cook the noodles following the instructions on the packet. Drain. Divide among bowls. Top with the chicken and shallot. Divide the broth among the bowls. Top with egg, bean sprouts and fresh coriander.


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