Soto Ayam is a savoury chicken broth with shredded chicken and rice vermicelli. It is the Indonesian version of chicken soup that offers heartwarming deliciousness.
Of all the variety of soups in Indonesian cuisine, Soto Ayam is probably one of the most popular ones across the country.
Although every region has its own version of Soto Ayam, they all have similarities in ingredients.
The recipe I’m sharing here is based on Soto Ayam from Jakarta.
This soup with shredded chicken and cellophane noodles is often served with hard-boiled rice cake aka Lontong, or with plain rice.
But of course, you can always have the chicken soup on its own if you like.
And chilli lovers, you can enjoy the soup with a spoon or two of freshly-made chilli sambal.
It is not the same as Mee Soto
Do not get confused with another type of soup called Soto Mie/ Mee Soto. Because it is different from Soto Ayam.
Mee Soto uses beef and beef broth. Also, it uses egg noodles in it.
And Soto Ayam uses chicken and chicken soup with rice-based noodles/ rice vermicelli in it. This vermicelli is called Bihun in Indonesian. And you enjoy it either with hard-boiled rice or rice. Though you can always have it as it is without adding more carbs.
So, Soto Ayam is not the same as Mee Soto/ Soto Mie..
What to serve it with
If you’re having a party, this Indonesian chicken clear soup with rice noodles is a good choice for the starter.
When you serve it as an appetizer, you don’t have to serve it with rice cakes/ Lontong. The soup and rice noodles on their own are enough.
The ingredients you need
There are two groups of ingredients that you need to make this Soto Ayam. One is the essential ingredients as follows:
- Whole chicken with bones.
- Ground white pepper.
- Salam leaves.
- Spring onions.
- Vinegar/ lime juice.
The other ones are optional ingredients as follows:
- Hard-boiled eggs.
- Cellophane noodles/ rice vermicelli.
- Hard-boiled rice cake/ Lontong.
- White cabbage.
- Flat-leaf parsley.
- Fried shallots/ onions.
How to make it
First of all, you want to boil the chicken in hot boiling water until the poultry is just cooked through.
As you do so, you make the spice paste using a pestle and mortar. Or you can use a spice grinder or a small food processor.
Once the chicken is boiled, drain it and place it in another pan with fresh boiling water. Then add the spice paste and all the herbs. Let it simmer for at least half an hour. Just like any chicken soup, the longer you cook the better flavour it tastes. So feel free to cook longer.
When you’re happy with the soup, take the chicken out and shred its meat.
Take a serving bowl and place the rice vermicelli, beansprouts, shredded cabbage and boiled egg slices in it. Add some shredded chicken and pour the soup over everything.
Then garnish your Soto Ayam with fried shallots, sliced parsley, and tomato slices.
Top tips to make the best Soto Ayam
- Boil the chicken before you make the soup. You may wonder why you have to boil the chicken twice. Literally.
Let me explain.
Because the water from the first boil will have all the impurities of the meat. You can see there is dirty foam on top of the water. And you don’t want that in your soup.
- Grind your spices until really smooth. This will make your soup more flavoursome without the grittiness of coarsely ground spices.
Once it’s cool down, your Soto Ayam keeps well in the fridge for almost a week.
You can also freeze it for up to 2 months. Take it out of the freezer and leave it in the refrigerator overnight to thaw. And reheat the soup until it is piping hot before serving.
Once it thaws, you must not refreeze it.
More comfort food from the Indonesian kitchen
Thank you for checking this Soto Ayam recipe. Hope you now want to try making it. If you do, please share what you think about it in the comments below.
Before you go, check out more comfort food from my Indonesian kitchen that you may like.
- Lontong sayur Betawi: hard-boiled rice cakes with vegetable curry from Jakarta.
- Soto Betawi: beef soup from Jakarta region.
- Indonesian chicken wontons: pangsit ayam.
- Sop Buntut: Indonesian oxtail soup.
- Bubur Ayam: Indonesian chicken rice congee.
Thank you for reading.
All the best.