Soto Ayam and CSN Giveaway Winner

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Soto Ayam with rice cakes

Soto is a popular dish in the Nusantara or Malay Archipelago. It consists mainly of broth, meat, and vegetables found in warongs, a casual, family owned outdoor eatery. There is no fixed recipe and the taste varies from family to family and region to region. In Indonesia, it is often classified by region with different meats and ingredients used. One notable distinction is the presence or absence of coconut milk in the broth. Bandung (West Java) soto is clear while Medan (North Sumatera) soto is with coconut milk.

In Malaysia, Soto Ayam is a yellowish spicy chicken soup, usually clear, served with compressed rice cubes (nasi impit) or rice noodles. Again, there are variations found in the different warongs around the country. Some years back during one of my visits, I came across this soto ayam spice mix at the Central Market in Kuala Lumpur where one can find an array of Malay crafts and foods. I bought several packets home and was able to introduce my boys to this delicious dish. Of course those spice mixes are long gone and I have not been able to replenish my stock. I had a craving recently for this fragrant noodle soup and the craving had to be satisfied. I checked several recipes, all very different, and decided in the end that I should put it together the way I remembered it.

Soto Ayam with rice cakes

Here is my adaptation with the ingredients I had on hand. I had purchased some candle nuts and a packet of rice cube (ketupat) mix during my most recent visit to Malaysia. Candle nuts can be substituted with macadamias. The rice cubes can be easily prepared with mashed cooked white rice spread onto a rectangular dish and compressed or weighed down with something heavy. It should then be left to cool before cutting into cubes. I found Chinese celery at my regular Asian grocery store. Chinese celery has a more intense flavor and is used mainly in stir fries and soups. It may be substituted with cilantro. It is known as “daun sop” or “daun saderi” to the Malays.

Soto Ayam - Ingredients

Soto Ayam and CSN Giveaway Winner

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Soto Ayam and CSN Giveaway Winner


  • 1 piece bone in chicken breast, skin removed
  • 2 stalks lemon grass, bruised
  • 1 inch ginger, bruised
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 8 oz (240g) dried rice noodles or 4 portions of rice cubes
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 6 shallots or 1 large onion, sliced
  • Spice Paste
  • 1 big onion (6 shallots), cut into small pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 6 candlenuts or macadamias
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp ground pepper
  • Garnish
  • 2 eggs, boiled and sliced
  • 2 pieces pan fried tofu, sliced
  • 8 oz (225g) bean sprouts, blanched
  • 1 sprig Chinese celery
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • 2 red chilies, sliced


Grind spice paste ingredients in a blender adding a little water if necessary.

Bring 6 cups (1.4 liters) of water to boil. Add chicken breast, lemon grass, ginger, and cinnamon stick. Reduce heat allow to simmer for 45 minutes. Remove chicken breast and shred the meat. Set aside. In the meantime, cook eggs, pan fry tofu, blanch bean sprouts , and boil rice noodles. Set aside.

In a fry pan, heat oil. Fry shallots or onions until brown and crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Fry spice paste with oil remaining in the pan until fragrant, about 5 to 6 minutes.

Transfer fried spice paste into boiling soup.

Give it a good stir to get spices well mixed into the soup. Allow soup to simmer for another 15 minutes. Turn off heat.

Divide rice noodles or rice cubes into 4 bowls. Pour soup over noodles or rice cubes. Garnish with toppings and fried shallots or onions. Serve immediately.

Soto Ayam with rice noodles

A big THANK YOU to all who participated in my CSN Giveaway. A number was assigned to each person who left a comment and generated the winning number. The winner is Victoria of Mission: Food. Congratulations Victoria! I hope you enjoy shopping at the CSN Stores.

A very special THANK YOU to CSN for their generosity.

Soto Ayam with rice noodles

Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 8-)


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39 Responses

  1. Anncoo says:

    WOW Biren! You made soto ayam? This is my favorite but I don’t know how to cook this before. Thanks for sharing this delicious soto ayam :) Bookmarked!!

  2. Delicious!! I am definitely keeping this recipe!

  3. This looks delicious! I would love a bowl right about now :D. The funny thing, I’m Malaysian and I’ve never heard of Soto! How terrible is that lol. I can’t wait to try it now when I go back.

    • Biren says:

      That’s ok Sharon. There are so many kinds of fod in Malaysia and it is hard to know them all especially when you are away from there. Glad I was able to introduce you to a new dish. :)

  4. lequan says:

    Wow! What a fabulous dish of noodles. I have not heard of soto ayam before. I would sure love a bowl right now. The weather is getting cooler again here and this is the perfect bowl of comfort food. I love noodles with boiled eggs in them. This sounds delicious with all the wonderful ingredients.
    Congratulations to Victoria! Have a great weekend, Biren!

  5. Congrats Victoria!

    I wish I could have been in the kitchen while this was cooking so I could smell all the wonderful aromas it created. I’m so glad that you share these dishes with us. Thank you Biren.

  6. Victoria says:

    Thank you so much, Biren!! I can’t wait to start shopping! This Soto looks fantastic as well. I’m always learning about new and interesting dishes from you :)

  7. tigerfish says:

    I just had chicken noodle soup (adding turmeric in there) for lunch but it’s not soto ayam cos I did not use the rest of the spices….:O

  8. Reeni says:

    A new dish for me Biren! Looks wonderful! How great that you could introduce your kids to this. Your presentation is beautiful.

  9. beautiful and delicious meal

  10. Yuki Endo says:

    Am definitely printing this recipe out. Will try to look for the ingredients; am pretty sure I can hunt them down if desperation for some soto gets the better of me!

  11. kristy says:

    Guess what! I am surrounded by all these food but I’ve never really tried this before. I think you’re going to bang me for sure. haha… But I still remember the aroma of this fragrant soup coming from my friend’s order. It is really irresistible! The only thing is I don’t like taking the rice cube. I am never a rice person. So, maybe I should try making it at home with some yellow noodles instead huh. I bet my kids will love it too. Bookmarked this. Thanks. Hope you’re enjoying your snowy weekend.
    Cheers, Kristy

  12. Joanne says:

    What a simple and yet delicious dish! I love the addition of coconut milk…such great flavor.

  13. I LOVE SOTO AYAM…It has been a decade sicne I have had any and everytime I visit you I weep a little because you ALWAYS cook the things I love to eat but belong in my past….I must resurrect these delights. Thanks Biren for always making such drool-worthy eats :)

    chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

    • Biren says:

      Devaki, like you I have not had these goodies in a while. I figured that I should try to recreate them before they totally fade out of memory. Sadly, some have but hopefully I can resurrect those that are still in my memory bank.

  14. Soto Ayam is new to me…love how it looks…light, fresh and delicious!

  15. rebecca says:

    great dish tweet to me on twitter I will reply to you :-)
    love learning about Malaysian food from you
    Love Rebecca

  16. Monet says:

    I agree…this does look and sound just delicious. Everyone’s comments are evident of how tempting this recipe is! Thank you for sharing with me tonight! I hope you have a great weekend, my dear.

  17. This looks fantastic, I have never seen candlenuts before…I bet the aroma is just amazing :)
    Congratulations Victoria :)

  18. Lot-O-Choc says:

    Oh wow this looks delicious, I would love to try this, mmm making me hungry!!

  19. Your soto ayam looks delicious! It has been awhile since I had this!

  20. Hannah says:

    That rich coconut broth sounds luscious! I’d love to pour it over some simple noodles and tofu… I think it would make just about anything taste good. :)

  21. Mary says:

    This look temptingly delicious. I really love rice noodles and I see you have used them here. I know I’d enjoy a bowl of this. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  22. Biren-Such a beautiful and healthy dish. I love the step-by-step photo directions, and your thorough instructions. It’s as if I was reading it right out of a food magazine. Photos of it are stunning, and it look so delicious!

  23. Looks really tasty, now I miss this dish. Its been a while since I visited Malaysia/Singapore. I should attempt to make this

  24. Wow that looks so fantastic and the herbs and spices go so well together. So healthy too! I can’t wait to try this!

  25. Sommer @ ASP says:

    Biren, this looks amazing and so healthy! Congratulations to Victoria!

  26. I need one this today to brighten up my day.

  27. MaryMoh says:

    Mmm…love this dish but it’s a lot of work. Beautiful pictures.

  28. Jay says:

    wow..Biren…this is really delicious..
    Tasty appetite

  29. denise @ bread expectations says:

    Wow! Your soto recipe is fantastic! Your memory is flawless! I know this was really delicious. Soto Ayam is probably my favourite Malay/Indonesian dish, after Ikan Asam Pedas. Love your rendition and thinking of making it this weekend. You are very inspiring!

  30. Nasifriet says:

    This is a really interesting recipe. I’ve eaten this only once in my lifetime, as this “mi sup” is more popular in Semenanjung M’sia. This will definitely be one of my next attempts in my kitchen. I’m sure it will be a hit with the guys. Thanks for sharing, Biren.

  31. Love Soto Ayam…never thought to make it at home

  32. DongXing says:

    Biren, I love soto ayam but never quite know how to make it. I will definitely attempt this one weekend and see what my other half makes of it. I am drooling already….

  1. March 5, 2011

    […] Soto Ayam as good as CSN Giveaway Winner « Roti n Rice […]

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