If you fancy soup, especially noodle soup, then you should definitely take note of and try out this Indonesian chicken noodle soup recipe, known as soto ayam. This soup offers a light yet energizing taste that will provide comfort to your stomach. Start by trying the most basic and popular variant called soto ayam bening (clear soto ayam). Let’s dive into the details here!
What Sets Authentic Indonesian Soto Ayam Recipe Apart from Other Noodle Soups?
The first thing to remember about Indonesian cuisine is its influence from other countries, thanks to Indonesia’s strategic geographic location. Arab, Indian, and even Chinese cuisines have greatly influenced Indonesian meals. It’s no wonder that historians suggest a high probability of Chinese soup, known as cau do (meaning tripe), actually has a role in influencing this soto ayam.
Regardless of its origins, this dish has become one of the popular choices for daily meals in Indonesia. “Soto” refers to the dish’s watery gravy, while “ayam” means chicken.
The well-known and beloved soto ayam bening has a temptingly simple, clear, and watery gravy but it actually contains the blend of assorted spices that gives soto ayam its delightful taste.
While the name “soto” is widely used throughout Indonesia, it is important to note that in Makassar, South Celebes, the dish is called “coto.” In Pekalongan, Central Java, it is also referred to as “tauto.”
Soto Ayam Recipe That Easy For Beginner
With its clear gravy color and watery consistency, the appearance of Indonesian soto ayam bening can be deceiving. You might assume that all you need to do is combine the ingredients and let them boil. However, almost every Indonesian cuisine needs extra effort when it comes to preparing the base seasoning. Here’s the full recipe you need to know!
- 1 kg of whole chicken, parting into 4
- 4 liter of water (2 liters to clean the impurities, the second 2 liters to parboil the chicken)
- 3 stalk of lemongrass, peeled and pounded the lower part, knot
- 2 cm of ginger, pounded
- 10 kaffir lime leaves
- 3 or 4 cm of galangal, pounded
- 10 Indonesian bay leaves (salam leaves)
- 1 ½ teaspoons of salt
- A teaspoon of sugar
- 50 ml or about 4 tablespoons of cooking oil of your choice (the lighter the better) to stir-fry the spice paste
- 5 candlenut, roasted
- 3 cm of fresh turmeric, roasted with fire
- 10 shallots, peeled and diced
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced or diced,
- 1 to 1 ½ teaspoons of coriander, pounded
- Salt and sugar to taste
- 50 gr vermicelli, soak in hot water until it softens
- 2 stalks of celery, coarsely chopped,
- A fresh tomato, sliced,
- 100 gr of bean sprouts, blanched with a pinch of salt
- 50 to 100 gr of fresh cabbage, finely chopped
- Crispy fried shallots to taste
- 1 kaffir lime, sliced into four cuts
- Sambal (you can opt for an instant version or make it from scratch with the recipe down below)
Fresh and Raw Sambal
- 60 gr of bird’s eye chilies (or you can split to 40 gr of curly red chilies and 20 gr of bird’s eye chilies for a less spicy taste)
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled, coarsely pounded
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- Coarsely grind or blend the sambal ingredients with mortar and pestle to get a better texture.
Cooking Utensils You Need
Stove, pan, stockpot, measuring cup, strainer, cooking knife, blender or food processor, mortar with pestle, spatula, tablespoon, and tray for roasting or baking the ingredients as instructed.
How to Cook Soto Ayam
1. The first thing you need to do is handle the chicken. Once it’s been separated, thoroughly wash the pieces and place them in the stock pot. Add the measured water.
2. Heat the stock pot on high heat and let it boil for approximately 3 minutes. As it boils, skim off the impurities (muddy foam forms). Alternatively, you can strain the chicken pieces and discard the liquid to remove the impurities.
3. Heat another 2 liters of water. Add ginger and return the chicken pieces to the pot. Boil it over medium heat.
4. While waiting for the chicken to boil, start working on the spice paste. Blend the condiment ingredients together using your preferred tool until you achieve a smooth paste texture.
5. Heat one or two tablespoons of cooking oil in a pan and add the condiment paste, pounded lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, and Indonesian bay leaves. Add salt, sugar, or chicken stock powder to your liking. Stir-fry until the mixture becomes fragrant as it will enhance the depth of the soto ayam’s taste.
6. Once the paste is fragrant, add it to the boiling chicken. Reduce the heat and stir to blend the paste until the broth turns yellow and reduces. This step will infuse the chicken with spices and aromatic flavors.
7. When the chicken becomes plump and almost tender, turn off the stove. Use a strainer to scoop out the chicken pieces and let them cool for a bit.
8.In a heated pan or wok, pour cooking oil and heat it for frying the chicken. Fry each side of the chicken for about 3 minutes or until it turns golden. Once done, remove the chicken and let it cool.
9. Bone out the chicken meat and shred it into chewable pieces once it has cooled.
10. Reheat the soto broth and adjust the taste with bouillon powder, salt, and sugar according to your preference. Prepare the following ingredients in separate plates and bowls: vermicelli noodles, soto ayam soup, warm rice, crispy fried shallots, sliced tomatoes, cabbage, bean sprouts, and the ultimate sambal.
Alternative For Cooking Soto Ayam
If you feel that ingredients are difficult to find and take too much of your time to make them from scratch, you can consider using instant soto ayam seasoning from Nyahtewel. However, make sure to choose the soto ayam bening variant one, as there are various Indonesian soto variations.
- From Which Indonesian Region Does Soto Ayam Recipe Originate?
As one of the Indonesian best types of soups, soto was introduced by Chinese immigrants and became popular for the first time in Semarang City, Central Java around the 19th century.
- How Does Soto Ayam Served in Indonesia?
In addition to the chicken, this meal incorporates various vegetables, including fried potato, fresh cabbage, and parboiled or fresh bean sprouts. It is called a noodle soup because people typically add vermicelli to the broth. Once prepared and ready, Indonesians enjoy this soto ayam recipe with rice, even though it is already served with vermicelli. Toppings such as hard-boiled eggs, crispy fried shallots, and minced fresh celery are also added, as described in the previous explanation.
- How Many Types of Indonesian Soto?
Different regions in Indonesia offer different variants of Soto. There are at least 75 Soto variants across Indonesia.
- How Does Soto Ayam Eaten in Indonesia?
Soto ayam is suitable as an appetizer. It is also served as a companion or side dish to rice with other types of Indonesian daily meals. Yet, it also has a peculiar charm as a main dish itself with the noodle in it.