Soto Ayam

A clear chicken soup, it looks so simple until you try to prepare it. Soto ayam is a tasty comfort food that can take hours to prepare. Let’s break it down and see what happens.


First, prepare a few stalks of lemongrass and some lime leaves. Also slice a piece of ginger and drop it into a pot of water.


I’ve lifted up my chicken a bit for the photo, but the water need not cover the entire chicken. For this amount of water, I would add about 4 teaspoons of salt. Boil the chicken for at least half an hour, then simmer for another half an hour.


Your chicken should be soft enough to tear up by then. Fish it out of the pot and let it cool down before you tear it to shreds. Imagine it’s your boss. It may help relieve some stress. Set your shredded chicken aside. Keep the broth, but throw away the lemongrass and lime leaves. You may also want to strain it to remove the “floaters”.


Next, prepare the spices. You’ll need black pepper, coriander seed powder, cumin seed powder and turmeric.


With oil in a saucepan, fry chopped onions and garlic with the powdered spices until you get an aromatic mixture.


Add the spices to the broth and bring to a boil. Return the chicken shreds, add bean sprouts and chopped cilantro.


And we’re done. Tasty and fragrant soto ayam. It goes well with beehoon and/or rice. Add some sambal chilli and black sweet sauce for more kick. It’s not a simple dish, but it’s a great savoury, healthy dish for any time of the day.