Soto Ayam (Indonesian Chicken Soup) and Lemongrass Long Beans

More from “Cradle of Flavor”. See the books page for information.

Lemongrass Long Beans (serves 4):

  • 1 lb long beans, chopped into pieces
  • 3 tbsp peanut oil
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp dark soy sauce
  • salt to taste

Flavoring Paste:

  • 1 stalk lemongrass, end and tough layers discarded
  • 1/2 tsp dried shrimp paste, toasted while wrapped in foil until starting to color
  • 3 shallots
  • 5 Thai chiles
  • 3 candlenuts
  • 2 inches ginger

Combine all flavoring paste ingredients in a food processor, adding a bit of water to make smooth if needed. Heat the oil on medium-low, and saute for about 5 minutes, or until flavor smells less raw and paste separates from oil a bit. Add the long beans and stir well. Add the water, raise the heat, and let actively simmer for 10 seconds. Reduce the heat again, cover, and cook until just cooked, about 7 minutes. Remove lid, raise heat, and cook for 2 minutes while liquid evaporates.  Add sugar and soy sauce, then taste for salt and see if needed. Cook a few more minutes, until sauce is mostly reduced.  Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Soto Ayam (serves 6 with rice):


  • 1 whole chicken, cut up, or equivalent amount of parts
  • 2 quarts water
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, knotted
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 tsp salt

Flavoring Paste:

  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin sees
  • 5 shallots
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 candlenuts
  • 2 inches fresh tumeric
  • 2 inches galangal
  • 2 inches ginger

To serve:

  • 3 tbsp peanut oil
  • 1 package glass noodles
  • boiling water
  • 1 tbsp lime juice, plus more lime wedges for serving
  • 2 tbsp chinese celery greens or celery leaves
  • hard boiled eggs
  • fried shrimp crackers
  • fried shallots
  • steamed rice

Combine all soup ingredients. Boil, skim off the fat, then let simmer for 45 minutes, or until chicken is tender.  Combine flavoring paste ingredients, then fry in the oil on medium-low heat until aromatic and oil separates from paste a bit, 5-7 minutes.

Remove chicken pieces from pot and set aside, remove lemongrass and lime leaves and discard. Add the fried paste to the broth. Remove chicken from bones and add to broth. Let simmer for 10 minutes, then test for and adjust salt. Add lime juice.

Cover glass noodles with boiling water and let soak until soft, then drain. Serve soup over glass noodles with a side of rice. Top with celery greens, eggs, and fried shallots. Serve with shrimp crackers and extra limes on the side.


About tandooritaco

This is a blog about food.
This entry was posted in chicken, soup, southeast asian, vegetables. Bookmark the permalink.

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