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Soto Ayam

This is an Indonesian chicken noodle soup that I’ve had on several occasions while in Indonesia. This time around we had it in a restaurant, infused with a bit of coconut milk, and it was delicious! The version I’m posting is the way that we were originally introduced to it. The hostess sets the bowls on the table with just the broth in them, possibly the noodles too. (If preferred, even the broth can be served separately.) The rest of the ingredients are set on the table in separate bowls and everyone just serves themselves and puts in what they like. It really is a fun way to serve soup. I got this recipe from my daughter, Julene.


  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4 stalks lemon grass, cut into two inch pieces
  • 1 – 2 inch ginger root, peeled
  • 2 - 3 chicken bouillon cubes or Better Than Bouilon chicken base
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • handful celery leaves – just before serving

  1. Prepare broth using two chicken breasts (bone-in is good) OR disolving chicken bouillon cubes (or Better than Bouillon according to taste) in 6- 8 cups boiled water, OR using canned broth, adding all of the rest of the ingredients, except for the celery leaves. 
  2. Simmer until chicken is done (if using) and until broth takes on the flavors you like. Maybe 45 minutes.
  3. When the stock is done, remove garlic, lemon grass, ginger pieces and bay leaves. Add celery leaves just before serving. I was very pleased that, when I started cooking it, the aroma was like the real thing! The lemon grass and ginger give a very nice flavor, although I did use less lemon grass.

Serve with a variety of sides to add:

  • cooked rice
  • cooked fine egg or Chinese noodles
  • chopped cooked chicken
  • boiled eggs
  • boiled bean sprouts,
  • fried red onions
  • finely shredded steamed cabbage
  • sliced green onions
  • French’s dried onions
  • crispy shoestring potato chips
  • wedges of lemon
  • Sambal (hot sauce)


  1. Wow Anneliese I like this way of serving soup! Totally yummy!

  2. Very Interesting Anneliese.
    That's exactly how my Grandmother served her chicken noodle soup.
    Chicken on a side plate
    Noodles on a side plate
    Just help yourself....
    Make it thin or thick.
    My kids love it when I serve it that way...Next time, I'll try the Indo..Way

  3. we go to a vietnamese resteraunt on occasion and i love their soup which sounds similar to this one.
    i have tried to recreate it and it really makes a nice change from the familiar. i usually add coconut mild to mine.
    i have to try it with the sides that you recommend.....there is still some leftovers from friday that i could try it with....yum.

  4. Very very delish and right up my alley. Great post Anneliese. I love it. It reminds me of the 'hot pot' restaurants we frequent on lunch hours....yum! And coconut milk, what is not to like!

  5. well anneliese.....we had it for luch today and it was a hit.
    i omitted the crispy shoestring potatoe chips and the french's dried onions, because i didn't have them. let me tell you the pot of soup is was really good and one that i will definately make again. the kids wanted more....oh well then i made judy's waffle french toast for dessert to fill them up more. judy check the post for the comment.

  6. I love chicken noodle soup of any nationality .. I smiled as my mom often brought the broth and noodles to the table separatly.

  7. Beautiful, Mom, the picture, the description. I'm sure it tasted great! Did Dad like it?

  8. soto is authentic Indonesian food is delicious, you will not regret it if you try it


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