Soto ayam (2)

Soto ayam (2)

Chicken soup (very spicy)

The Complete Asian Cookbook
Alan Benson


Quantity Ingredient
1.5kg whole chicken
3 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
3-4 sprigs celery leaves
2 onions, 1 left whole, 1 thinly sliced
2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 fresh red chillies, seeded and chopped
10 dried daun salam leaves
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely grated
1 teaspoon dried shrimp paste
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 1/2 tablespoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground fennel
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
lemon juice, to taste
100g dried fine egg noodles


Quantity Ingredient
3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
6 garlic cloves, sliced and fried, (see note)
8 spring onions, thinly sliced
Bawang goreng
fried dried chillies, (see note)
crumbled potato crisps
Sambal bajak
or Sambal ulek


  1. Joint the chicken and put into a large saucepan with 2 litres water. Add the salt, peppercorns, celery leaves and the whole onion. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 35–40 minutes, or until the chicken is tender. Cool, then strain and reserve the stock. Remove and discard the skin and bones from the chicken and finely chop the meat. Set aside.
  2. Heat the peanut oil in a large saucepan over low heat. Add the sliced onion, chilli and daun salam leaves and cook until the onion is soft and starts to brown. Add the garlic, ginger and shrimp paste and stir-fry, crushing the shrimp paste with a spoon. Add all of the ground spices and fry for a few seconds longer. Add the strained stock and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice.
  3. Soak the egg noodles in hot water, then drain and cook in boiling water until tender. Drain well and add to the soup with the chicken meat. Serve the soup hot, garnished with the egg, fried garlic, spring onion and fried onion flakes. Serve the dried chilli, potato crisps and sambal in separate bowls to be added to individual servings, according to taste. Sambals should be added in very small amounts and only by those who know what to expect and who like their soup fiery hot.


  • To fry garlic, peel the cloves and cut into slices of equal thickness. Deep-fry in oil over low heat just until the garlic turns pale golden. Remove from the oil immediately and drain on paper towel — do not let the colour darken too much or the garlic will have a bitter taste. Dry chillies only need a few seconds of frying until done.
The Complete Asian Cookbook
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