Soto Ayam (Chicken Soup) is an Indonesian culinary icon which has various servings and methods of cooking. I quite like cooking it with lots of fresh herbs, if not frozen. Those ground spices are not bringing the best flavour of the chicken at all. It won't taste fresh and clean on the palate, so don't use them!
Some people enjoy Soto Ayam with rice, others like it best with so-un (glass/cellophane noodles) or bihun (rice vermicelli). Either or, as long as the soup is hot and fresh, it will be fantastic. Lovely to enjoy this in the edge of Winter and early Spring, when showers are still lingering and cool weather is still faithfully sending us its breeze.
A bowl of soup, sitting in the orchard where plum blooms are covering each trees, is a way to sweep gloom away.
by Arfi Binsted
It is your personal choice either enjoying it with rice or noodle.
1 free-range chicken, jointed (weigh about 1-1.5kg)
3 lemongrass stalks, bruised
3cm ginger root, bruised
2cm turmeric root, bruised (I use frozen one)
2cm galangal root, bruised (I use frozen one)
4 kaffir lime leaves, torn
3 bay leaves
100ml coconut milk (add more if you want thicker flavour)
Cook these ingredients together, except coconut milk, with water just to cover the whole joints until boiling, then simmer and continue cooking until the chicken is tender. Strain. Put the broth back into the saucepan and add in the seasoning paste and coconut milk. Put chicken in another bowl or container, and shredded. Cover for later use.
Bumbu Soto (Soto Seasoning)
1 1/2 Tbs coriander seeds
1 Tbs cumin seeds
8 shallots, peeled and choppped
6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
Make a paste of these ingredients using either mortar and pestle or food processor. Cook in a little oil until fragrant. Just gentle, not too dry. Add it in the broth and cook further more until you have a good aroma from it.
sliced spring onions
raw cabbage, sliced thinly
mung bean sprouts
diced and cooked potatoes
Put noodle/rice in a bowl, pour in the broth. Pile shredded chicken, vegetables, egg, sprouts, and potatoes on top. Sprinkle with fried shallots and sliced spring onions. Serve warm. Makes 4-6.