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Soto Ayam: Fragrant Chicken Soup with Noodles and Herbs

Soto Ayam, a popular Indonesian chicken soup, is a soul-warming dish that brings together a delightful medley of flavors and textures. This fragrant soup is imbued with the aromatic flavors of herbs and spices, tender chicken, and hearty noodles, making it a comforting and satisfying meal. Soto Ayam is not just your average chicken soup; it’s a culinary adventure that transports you to the vibrant street-food scenes of Indonesia with every spoonful. Whether you’re feeling under the weather or simply craving a bowl of good soup, Soto Ayam is the perfect dish to satiate your appetite.

Soto Ayam: Fragrant Chicken Soup with Noodles and Herbs


  • 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
  • 2 liters of water
  • 200 grams of rice noodles, cooked according to package instructions
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass, bruised
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • For Garnish:
  • Chopped green onions
  • Fried shallots
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Lime wedges
  • For the Spice Paste:
  • 6 shallots
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 4 candlenuts
  • 2 inches of ginger
  • 2 inches of galangal

Cooking Steps

  • Begin by blending all the spice paste ingredients in a food processor until a smooth paste forms.
  • In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil and sauté the spice paste until fragrant. Add the turmeric powder, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and bay leaves, and continue to sauté for another couple of minutes.
  • Add the chicken pieces to the pot and cook until they change color. Then, pour in the water and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let it simmer for about an hour, or until the chicken is tender and the flavors are well combined.
  • Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the chicken pieces from the soup, shred them, and set them aside.
  • To serve, place some cooked rice noodles in a bowl, top with shredded chicken, and ladle the hot soup over. Garnish with green onions, fried shallots, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice.

In conclusion, Soto Ayam is a dish that offers comfort, nourishment, and a delightful culinary experience. When preparing this soup, always opt for fresh herbs and spices to bring out the best flavors. Also, the quality of the chicken is crucial, so ensure you choose a fresh one for optimal taste. Soto Ayam is a versatile dish, and you can customize it with your preferred garnishes. So, indulge in a bowl of this aromatic soup and savor the taste of traditional Indonesian cuisine.

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