Mee Soto Ayam/Noodles

(serves 2)

Soto Ayam is a classic Spicy Chicken Soup, commonly found in Malaysia,Singapore and Indonesia (”Soto” means “soup” and “Ayam” means “chicken”) and comes with cubed rice, chicken and bean sprouts .

You can find different variation of Soto Ayam in different food stalls for some are yellowish in color due to the use of turmeric powder and some are brownish due to the use of coriander powder.For variation yellow noodle is added to this Soto and thus named Mee Soto Ayam or Chicken Soto Noodle.

Besides chicken and noodles, it is also served with hard-boiled eggs, slices of fried potatoes, cilantro leaves, and fried shallots. As mention ,cubes of Lontong , a traditional Malay compressed rice cake that is cooked intricately woven palm leaf baskets and cut into cubes before serving are also added. Occasionally, people will add "koya", a powder of mixed fried garlic with prawn crackers or bitter Sambal (orange colored) and Keropok /fish crackers are a very common topping if you serve it with compressed rice.

You can add 1/2 tbsp of coriander powder and ½ tsp of cumin powder and fennel powder each if you like in the soup base.

450gm dry yellow noodles
2 liter chicken broth/stock
1 chicken (with bones and fats)
2 cups bean sprouts, pluck off roots and blanched
Salt to taste

Spices /grind into a paste
4 stalk lemon grass (the white part only)
1 small shallot
40gm galangal/lengkuas
15 whole cloves
3 cardamons
2 star anise
1 tsp nutmeg powder
¾ tsp black pepper powder

2 stalks spring onion, chopped
2 stalks cilantro or celery leaves chopped
2 shallots(sliced thinly)

Cooking Method:

Blanch yellow noodles and bean sprouts and set aside. Add 3 tbsp oil and fry the shallots until crisp. Keep aside for garnish.The shallot oil will be used later to sauté the grind ingredients. Grind the spices together using a mini food processor. Set aside.
Bring chicken broth to a boil, add chicken with bones and fats, reduce heat setting to low and allow to simmer for about 30 minutes. Remove chicken from broth, shred chicken and add back the bones and fats into the broth.At this stage you can omit the fats.Keep aside.
Heat up 2-3 tbsp shallot oil. When oil is hot enough, saute all the soup ingredients until fragrant. Pour in the chicken broth (together with all the bones) and cook under low heat (simmer, not boiling) for about half an hour till aromatic. You can filter off the soup ingredients or leave it just as it is .
Add blanch yellow noodles, blanched bean sprouts and shredded chicken into individual bowls.Pour in the hot gravy and garnish with chopped spring onions, cilantro and shallots crisp.

Tips for this dish:
-You MUST add chopped cilantro/celery in this dish.
-Make sure you use chicken bones and leave the chicken intact with skin when preparing the stock /broth. You can discard the skin once you get a good stock.
-Chicken broth/stock can be replaced with beef stock.If using beef make sure you add in coriander,cumin and fennel powders in your stock.


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