Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Soto Ayam, Malaysian Chicken Noodle Soup

Yesterday wasn't a particular good day for me; apart from being really sick from hay fever (in autumn?), something really bad turned everything into disarray. With my mind being occupied with 1001 other things, I was cooking on cruise control. Dinner was finally served at 9pm and I was somehow grateful I had chosen something that didn't require too much attention but still turned out great thanks to the ever reliable recipe that I have been using since I was in my late teens.
Back to our dinner, this popular Malaysian/Singaporean/Indonesian dish - like all chicken soups out there, this is just as tasty and comforting. It is not spicy but extremely fragrant with all the aromatics going into the broth, it is light but extremely satisfying.
P.S No cooking tonight since there are enough leftovers, thank god!

serves 6 to 8
you'll need;
1 x 1.25 kg free range chicken, halved or chicken pieces
rice vermicelli , soaked in cold water for 15 minutes and drained, blanched just before serving
bean sprouts, blanched just before serving
cooking oil
salt and pepper to taste
3 l of chicken stock

spice mix 1;
5 cm piece of ginger, minced
8 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tbs of white peppercorns 
3 tbs of coriander powder
2 tbs of cumin powder
2 tbs of turmeric powder

spice mix 2;
2 cinnamon sticks
8 cloves
4 star anise
2 large onions, finely minced
1 bay or salam leaf
2 lemongrass, bashed with a hard object

For the toppings;
shredded chicken (see step 2)
2 potatoes, boiled and sliced
lime wedges
hard boiled eggs, sliced
spring onions, chopped
coriander or Chinese celery leaves
slice chillies
crispy fried shallots

Marinate chicken with spice mix 1

Saute spice mix 2 til onion starts to brown and add the chicken halves. Continue to cook for 10 minutes, mixing and turning the chicken regularly. Pour in the hot stock and simmer on low heat for 25 minutes. Remove chicken halves and shred into bite size pieces when they are cool enough to handle.

Remove the aromatics and excess oil, check for seasonings.

Place noodles and bean sprouts in a bowl, ladle some broth over and add the toppings. Don't forget to prepare some sambal kecap  too!

Selamat makan! (please enjoy!)


  1. you still cook well when you are not in the mood, cool!

  2. Esta sopa de pollo con ese toque asiatico me encanta. Delicioso!
    Mil besos.

  3. If I had a bad day, I would have burnt the dinner. So there was no way I would have cooked. ;) But you can whip up something so delicious despite having a challenging day! Respect!

  4. Wow I haven't had a good soto ayam for a very long time! You did so well despite what happened! Hope you are feeling better today!

  5. you're really good to make everything from scratch. Hope you get well soon!

  6. Kenny,
    Thank you! Thank god it was not a challenging recipe!

    Amanda ,
    Me alegro que os guste! Besos

    Thank you! Luckily I have already prepared the spices and not much chance of anything getting burnt :) Thank god!

    KL girl in MELB,
    Thank you! The hay fever is gone thankfully!

    noobcook ,
    Thank you! It is so much cheaper to make things from scratch as I do have a tight budget :)

  7. Still an amazing dish! I love the combo of cinnamon, star anise and cloves... Mmmmm

  8. Hope you get well soon. I would not have imagined I could cook something so delicious and comforting when I am sick. I still cook chicken soup when I'm unwell but don't think I have the strength to pound those spices. Those garlic, ginger, turmeric etc are supposed to be healing too.

  9. That is a bowl of goodness! It must taste so good, I hope you are feeling better today!

  10. wah sedapnya soto!!!makan dengan sambal kicap dan pegedil daging enak sekali...

  11. Wow your Malaysian week is still going strong! I hope you are feeling better after eating this delicious bowl of noodle soup!

  12. Brisbane Baker,
    Thank you! It is like a pho broth with more spices in it :)

    Oh thank you very much! I think those spices actually helped to make me feel better.

    darren ,
    Thank you very much! physically I am much better :)

    cikmanggis ,
    Malas nak buat pegedil makcik! Tapi ada masak bersama sambal kecap! :)

    shanshan ,
    Thank you very much! I haven't been planning my meals at all, so I'm not sure what I'm going to cook next! Definitely feeling better physically!

  13. I eat this all the time when I was in Indonesia, very delicious! :)

  14. Sedapnya! Like Ju said, amazing you still able to cook such nice noodle even you were not in good mood. Hope you back to normal by now, hahaha..Ya, to get a good photo, 1st you must get a good camera first, mine camera is Canon G11 just bought recently.

  15. Hope you'll get well soon! Soto ayam sounnds perfect for you. Take care and get lots of rest.
    Best regards,

  16. Are you ok darling? I just tried calling you. We are going to NZ in April, perhaps we should come and see you.
    Hope you are better after the nourishing soup!
    Sophia xxx

  17. The Soto Ayam looks delicious. Hope you're OK now. Take care.

  18. This is top difficult to prepare....when I am not feeling particularly fit or not in the mood to cook, I just get myself two slices of bread and cheese. Done!

  19. little panda ,
    Haha you must try making it if you like it so much lol

    Haha I had started the cooking already so can't really stop. I'll need to save up for a good camera then!

    Thank you very much! It turned out to be a perfect choice!

    Hey darling getting better thanks! I have no idea where my phone is, could have left it at work.
    It will be great if you guys are visiting, that is if I am still

    Anncoo ,
    Thank you very much! Much better!

    Haha! It was too late to change dinning plan, I would be very happy with cheese on toast too!

  20. i cant believ u cook like this even when ur nt feeling well!!! coming here is torture for my tummy every time! oohh that looks so so so so so good!

  21. Mmmm...a lovely dish. So aromatic I cam smell it here. This would be so satisfying. My allergies are so bad at this time of year too. It brings my immune system down to catch every that going around. Fell better soon!

  22. Major props to you for cooking when you don't feel like it. I rarely ever cook when I am in the best mood!

    Looks delicious once again!

  23. wow, that looks absolutely beautiful. I soooo wish I could be eating that for lunch instead of a sandwich!

  24. It's drop-dead gorgeous and I am aching for some.

  25. Oooh....delicious. I miss this also. Craving again!

  26. Oh, I like this, yummy, give me noodles/vermicelli any time!

  27. Take care and get well soon !! This sounds simple and delicious :-)

  28. Damn, when I have a bad day I order a pizza. Gold star for you!

  29. Wow! I am amazed by this post! The noodle soup looks amazing!! I'd love to make an attempt to make this.

  30. I hope now you're feeling better:)
    i LOVE soups! I eat almost every night, even while sleeping.
    Yours make me come over there and eat it all!
    What a lovely blog/recipes/photos/presentation!
    The best one in the blogosphere!:) :)

  31. That bowl of soup looks so colorful that my eyes fairly popped when it clapped on that hearty bowl of deliciousness.

  32. If I had a bad day, I'd be eating KFC. This looks great and you are amazing! Hope all is well =)

  33. Came across your blog through Collaborative Curry. You have a lovely collection. Will come back for more !!!

  34. I LOVE this dish!! Thanks for the detailed recipe, I will be making it soon!

  35. zurin,
    Thank you very much! Not always like this, often just instant noodles.

    Thank you! It was so bad I couldn't smell the aromas lol

    Paul ,
    Haha thank you! Next time I'll just go for a ride!

    Me, Myself and Pie,
    Thank you very much! I will be having a sandwich today!

    Claudia ,
    Thank you very much!

    You must make some :)

    Cheah ,
    Thank you! Something very comforting about noodle soup.

    Thank you very much! Feeling much better :)

    I should have been eating a pizza and a cold beer too. Thank you!

    Sook ,
    Thank you! It is so easy you must try!

    Oh thank you very much! I'm much better :) φιλιά xxx

    Cool Lassi(e) ,
    Oh thank you very much! I hope you'll get to taste it!

    Haha we don;t even have a KFC around here. Thank you :)

    Pedhakka ,
    Oh thank you! Please do!

    Anh ,
    Please do! I hope it will turn out well if you do!

  36. I get hay fever all year around so I understand your suffering. Good job for producing such delicious meal even when things are turning bad. Hope you are feeling better!

  37. 希望你好點了!這湯一定很香甜呀!

  38. C'est tellement bon.
    Je note ta recette.
    See soon.

  39. This would cheer up anyone's day! And fix hayfever too I hope!

  40. Harriet from CarltonMarch 18, 2010 at 10:06 AM

    I think this is what I need, light and healthy without being boring! Get better soon!

  41. Hope you get to feeling better...the soup really looks awesome too!

  42. hope u get better soon,absolutely wholesome meal/soup.

  43. Thanks for such a detailed recipe of such a fantastic dish...will be making this soon enough!

  44. I hope this delicious soup has made you feel better already! I have some fresh turmeric left, how much should be used instead? Thank you!

  45. the guy who marries u is gonna be one lucky bugger :P


  46. Nice soto, so long didn't eat already!

  47. Hey buddy I hope everything is ok with you! What a wonderful result despite what happened at at time! Cheers!

  48. I do hope u r feeling better now.
    Soup luks absolutely delicious!

  49. oh my gosh mixes from scratch! i would like to come over one day so you 3 can cook for me. ahh i sound like the Queen hahaha

    i love love love your cooking. such good food. this dish looks so yummy! i love noodle soups!

    hope the 1001 was diverted with cooking lol! please get better~:)

  50. okay can u tell me how many girls or guys are 3 hungry tummies lol. i hate guessingg lolss

  51. Wow - that looks good - i am going to have to give it a try as soon as possible. And you know what? There's nothing like chicken soup to pick you up after a hectic day!

  52. rosa ,
    Thank you very much! :)

    大肥 ,

    Saveurs et Gourmandises,

    Thank you very much! Didn't quite work that way lol.

    Harriet from Carlton,
    Thank you very much! :)

    Bo ,
    Thank you! Give it a try!

    Thank you very much!

    Jhonny walker
    Thank you! I hope you will!

    love to eat,
    Thank you! For the same amount of chicken use 4 to 5 cm piece

    CUMI & CIKI ,
    Haha thank you! :)

    Pete ,
    Thank you! You mustn't leave it for too long!

    fitzboy ,
    Thanks buddy I am feeling a little better. :)

    sangi ,
    Thank you very much!

    haha when you do visit Melbourne I'll cook for you! There are 3 boys here, I'm the only one cooking.

    The Grubworm ,
    Thank you very much! I hope you'll do it soon! It is very comforting indeed!

  53. Soto Ayam is another of my favourite brunch dish when I am back in Asia. Looks like the real deal.

  54. A wonderful soup with fantastic flavors - sure to make you feel better - I hope you do soon!

  55. Another awesome dish. And to think you were having a bad day when you knocked this up!

  56. I can't even cook when I am well and happy, love to be able to cook on cruise control from time to time! Great looking soto you have it there!

  57. Hey..I am making this one as I write...looking great..will shortly do a post if this makes to being what it is supposed to be :)

  58. soto memang enak sekali,,kalian tidak akan menyesal jika mencobanya


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