Soto Ayam: Indonesian Chicken Soup

Soto Ayam: Indonesian Chicken Soup

Soto Ayam: Idonesian Chicken Soup

Soto Ayam: Indonesian Chicken Soup Recipe

The last time I think I had soto ayam was at a family event, over 10 years ago. A lot of you guys probably don’t know this, but my mom is actually half Indonesian. So I was very lucky to grow up with some Indonesian cuisine in my life.

Sadly, most of my fully Indonesian family already passed away due to old age. Hence why I don’t get to eat it as often anymore, my mom’s not really into cooking, unfortunately. So that’s why I decided to start cooking some more Indonesian dishes myself to make up for it!

Serves: 4   |  Prep Time: 20 mins  |  Cook Time: 2 hours  | Total: 2 hours 20 mins
Cooking & Kitchen Supplies: big cooking potfrying pan  |  small cooking pot


  • 600g chicken thighs (with bones)
  • 600ml water
  • 340ml chicken stock (without added salt)
  • 1 soto ayam bumbu paste (I used the Bamboe brand one)
  • 1 big onion
  • 250g potato
  • 50g glass noodles (or egg noodles, like my family used)
  • 3 spring onions
  • 150g bean sprouts
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • kecap manis (sweet soy sauce), for serving
  • crispy fried onions, for serving
  • sambal (chili paste), for serving

How to make Soto Ayam

  1. Place your chicken thighs in a cooking pot, along with the water and the chicken stock. Bring it to a boil, and let it cook for 1.5 hours on low heat, with the lid on.
  2. Once the chicken is done cooking, turn off the heat, and take the chicken out of the pot and let it sit in a colander above the pot for a few minutes to let it cool down a bit (while still catching the stock that might drip from it).
  3. In the meantime, dice your onion.
  4. Heat your frying pan with some oil and start frying your diced onions.
  5. While your onions are busy frying, start pulling the chicken apart with 2 forks, it should come right off the bones. I personally take off the skin first and keep it aside to fry to crispy chips later on, but if you want, you can also just leave it in with the rest of the chicken.
  6. When the onions are soft, add the chicken pieces to the frying pan, and fry for about 2 more minutes.
  7. After 2 minutes, add the bumbu paste to the frying pan, and fry it for a couple of minutes to start releasing the aroma.
  8. Transfer everything from the frying pan, back into the broth in the cooking pot.
  9. Peel your potatoes and then cut them into thin slices. Throw them into the broth, and turn on the heat to medium.
  10. Let the soup simmer for a total of 20 minutes. Taste it, and add water if it’s a little too salty.
  11. In the meantime, cook your eggs to your liking and let them chill in an ice bath afterward to make it easier to peel them.
  12. When the soup is almost done, cook your noodles in a separate pot, according to the instructions on the package.
  13. Optional: if you decided to save the chicken skin, fry it in a little bit of oil until it’s nice and crispy. Turn every now and then.
  14. Drain the noodles and divide them over the bowls you’ll be serving them in.
  15. Pour the soto ayam into the bowls, making sure everyone gets an even amount of chicken pieces and potato slices.
  16. Peel your eggs and cut them in half, put 2 halves in every bowl.
  17. Chop your spring onions.
  18. Top the bowls off with a handful of beansprouts and sprinkle the spring onions on top.
  19. Serve the kecap manis, crispy fried onions, optional crispy fried chicken skin, and sambal on the side so that everyone can customize the soto to his own liking.
  20. Enjoy your soto ayam. Selamat makan!

My mom actually lent me an Indonesian cookbook that she got from my great-grandmother. It’s got handwritten notes and personal adjustments to the recipes in there, and I honestly can’t wait to start cooking from it. So expect more Indonesian recipes to come up soon!

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