Soto Ayam: Indonesian clear chicken soup

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Soto Ayam Indonesian clear chicken soup

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Of all the variety of soups among Indonesian culinary, Soto Ayam is probably one of the most popular ones across the country. Although each region has its own version of Soto Ayam, all have similarities in ingredients.

The recipe I’m sharing here is Soto Ayam from Jakarta. It is the clear chicken soup that is usually enjoyed with hard-boiled rice cakes and cellophane noodles. But of course, you can always have the chicken soup on its own if you like. And often Indonesians have the soup with plain rice.

Indonesian clear chicken soup- Soto Ayam

You may wonder why this recipe calls for boiling the chicken twice. Literally.

Let me explain.

When you want to make soup with any meat, it is recommended to boil your meat first, drain and throw the water. Because the water from the first boil will have all the impurities of the meat as you can see there is dirty foam on top of the water. And you don’t want that in your soup. 

In fact, it is best practice to always pre-boil your meat before cooking so that we can cook the meat get softened faster, get rid of the impurities, and reduce the amount of fat. I do notice the difference in my cooked food when I do this pre-boiling step.

For instance, if I cook meat curry with the meat that has been pre-boiled, somehow the meat tastes fresher.

Indonesian soto ayam with all garnish

If you’re having a party, this Indonesian chicken soup is a good choice for the starter. When you do decide to have it as an appetizer, you can skip the rice cakes/ lontong. Just have Soto Ayam on its own or with a few cellophane noodles.

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I really hope you find the recipe interesting and makes you want to try to make it. If you did try it, please share how you think of your Soto Ayam in the comments below. Feel free to share the post with anyone who may like it, and don’t forget to pin it in your Pinterest.

And please follow me on Facebook, Instagram and/or Pinterest to sneak a peek at what’s cooking in my kitchen.

Before you go, check out my other recipes that you may like too.

Thank you and all the best.

Yield: 10

Soto Ayam - Indonesian clear chicken soup

Indonesian clear chicken soup recipe - Soto Ayam

Soto Ayam is one of the most popular soups among Indonesian culinary. This clear chicken soup is often enjoyed with cellophane noodles and hard-boiled rice cakes.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes


  • 1 chicken (approximately 1 kg/ 2.2 lb.).
  • 1 medium brown onion.
  • 5 cloves garlic.
  • 1-inch ginger.
  • 1 lemongrass, cut in an inch-lengths.
  • 2 salam leaves.
  • 1 tsp ground white pepper.
  • Salt to taste ( I put 1 ½ tsp).
  • 3 spring onions/ scallions.
  • 1 tsp white vinegar or 1 tbsp lime juice.
  • 1 tsp sugar.
  • Optional:
  • 100 cellophane noodles, soak in hot boiling water for 2-3 minutes until softened and drain.
  • 300 gr hard-boiled rice cakes/ lontong, cut into small pieces.
  • 50 gr fried-onions.
  • 30 gr flat-leaved parsley.
  • 4 eggs, boiled, peeled and sliced.
  • 2 tomatoes, slices.
  • Onion crackers or pawn crackers.


  1. Peel and chop the onions, garlic, and ginger. 
  2. Using a pestle and mortar or a food processor, grind the chopped onions, ginger, and garlic into a paste. Set aside
  3. Clean and cut the chicken into small pieces or into 4 big pieces. 
  4. Boil one litre of water in a pot, and put the chicken pieces in when the water reaches its boiling point. Boil the poultry until it’s just cooked through. Drain the chicken and set aside. 
  5. In another pot, boil 2 litres of water and add in the onion paste, lemongrass, salam leaves, vinegar, pepper and salt. Let the water simmer with all the herbs and spice for at least 10 minutes. 
  6. In the meantime, shred the chicken into slivers and put them in the soup.
  7. Leave the soup to cook with the lid on at low heat for about 30 minutes.
  8. Whilst the soup is cooking, slice the spring onions/ scallions and the parsley. Set aside. 
  9. When the soup is ready, arrange your Soto Ayam in a serving bowl. Starting with Lontong pieces and cellophane noodles, then pour the soup with the chicken over. 
  10. Garnish your Indonesian clear chicken soup with boiled-egg slices, tomatoes, spring onions, parsley, fried onions slices, and some crackers.
  11. Enjoy.


  • Soto Ayam is nice to have it with cellophane noodles and hard-boiled rice cakes as mentioned above. However, this clear chicken soup is nice to have with plain rice or even on its own.
  • If you like spicy chilli, you can enjoy your Soto Ayam with Indonesian sambal/ chilli sauce. 
  • You can also drizzle a little bit of Indonesian sweet soy sauce over your soup. I personally like it with sweet soy sauce if I have the Soto with a bit of chilli sauce.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 1813Total Fat 11gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 194mgSodium 454mgCarbohydrates 412gFiber 3gSugar 2gProtein 11g

The nutrition calculation you find here is just a guide provided by online nutrition calculator. You should not use to substitute advice from nutritionists or health practitioners.

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