Soto Ayam is the Javanese version of chicken soup. It features a clear, sumptuous herbal broth, enhanced by fresh turmeric and exotic herbs, ladled over thin rice noodles in the bottom of the bowl. This Soto Ayam recipe includes sliced boiled eggs, tomatoes, herbs, and celery and cilantro leaves. Soto Ayam is very filling and satisfying, to where it can suffice for an entire meal.
Soto Ayam Recipe-
- 1 whole chicken (about 3 lb.), deboned, and chopped into large chunks
- 4 large cloves garlic, peeled and rough chopped
- 1 tsp. minced fresh turmeric root
- 1 tsp. freshly-ground white peppercorns
- 1 tsp. minced fresh ginger root
- 1 tsp. coriander seeds
- 1 tsp. cumin seeds
- tbsp. peanut oil
- 2 quarts water
- 6 Daun Salam Kering Leaves (Indian Bay Leaves)
- 6 kaffir lime leaves
- 4 scallions, peeled and rough chopped
- 2 tsp. salt (or to taste)
- 4 lemongrass stalks, bruised
- 1 small package vermicelli
- 1 lime, sliced
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice (or to taste)
- 2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
- 1 small tomato, sliced
- 2 tbsp. sweet soy sauce
- Sambal Oelek hot chili paste
- chopped celery leaves, for garnish
- chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
- Place the chicken pieces in a medium-sized cooking pot with lemongrass, lime leaves, salt and 2 quarts water. Bring to a vigorous boil over high flame. Skim off the foam that occurs, and reduce flame to a simmer. Cover the pot and cook until chicken is tender (about 45 minutes) skimming as needed to maintain a clear broth.
- Remove chicken from broth with a slotted spoon, and set aside.
- Remove and discard lime leaves and lemon grass, keeping the broth in the pot. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove any skin, and shred the meat into bite-sized pieces.
- In a food processor, combine peppercorns, coriander seeds and cumin seeds, and pulse until well ground. Add shallots, garlic, turmeric, ginger and sweet soy sauce, and pulse until you have a thick paste. (Add a bit more of sweet soy sauce if need be)
- Heat your peanut oil in a medium-sized skillet over high flame. When sizzling hot, add spice paste and cook, stirring often, until paste is cooked and beginning to separate from the oil – about 5 minutes should do it.
- Add and stir into the cooking pot the chicken meat and cooked spice paste. Adjust flame to a simmer, and cook 10 – 12 minutes.
- Cook your vermicelli according to package instructions.
- Turn the burner off and stir in lime juice, to taste. Taste for salt level, adjust to taste.
- To serve your Soto Ayam, divide noodles into 2 large soup bowls. Ladle chicken pieces and broth on top, add in some sliced boiled eggs and tomatoes, and garnish with celery and cilantro leaves. Have fresh lime slices and Sambal Oelek hot chili paste on the table.
- To eat Soto Ayam in traditional fashion, serve a scoop of rice on a side dish, sprinkled with more herbs. You put a mouthful of noodles and chicken on the rice. Scoop up together on a spoon, dab with some Sambal Oelek, and pop it all into your mouth.
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