Soto is Indonesian soup. There are many types of soto from many parts of Indonesia. For instance, there are Soto Padang, Soto Bandung, Soto Jakarta, Soto Banjar.. You get it.. Almost each region has their own soto.

Basically, soto is a soup dish, which the broth are cooked separately with the other stuff (filling?). There are two types of soto broth, clear broth and coconut milk broth. While the stuff that goes with the broth is varied from meat, innards, noodles, vegetables, depends on the region.

Soto Padang for example, it contains beef, with potato patties, and pink crackers, usually eaten with rice. While Soto Banjar has chicken, egg, and eaten with rice cake. Soto Bogor consisted of noodle, tripe, and eaten without rice.

What I made is Soto from Java. It close to Soto Lamongan, but I didn’t use koya powder (made from shrimp and shallot). Koya powder is the one ingredients that have to present to make the soto can be called Soto Lamongan. So let’s say the this recipe is Indonesian Clear Chicken Soup or a simple Chicken Soto (Ayam= chicken).

This recipe is the simplest soto recipe. The ingredients are easy to get. Nothing uncommon. No tripe or other innards. Just chicken, cabbage, bean sprout, tomato, vermicelli, scallion, and of course others common Indonesian herbs and spices.

There is product of instant seasoning for Soto. Instead of preparing all the herbs and spices, this instant product offers simplicity. You just have to sauté the seasoning for a minute and add water. It’s a good alternative… But, I cannot say it’s the same level of deliciousness compared to freshly made seasoning. I still use that instant seasoning when I’m lazy. Hehehe..

My mother visited me yesterday and she made this soto. My sister came over too. More mouth to feed. Soto is ideal for this kind of situation. My mother made the broth, big amount of it. We put the other stuff in big plate, so everybody can help themselves. My sister skipped the cabbage, my husband only put the shredded chicken. Everybody can tailor their own bowl.


The broth have to be boiling hot because all the stuff we put is in room temperature. This dish definitely best eaten warm. Thus, when we pour the hot broth, the soup will be deliciously warm. This Indonesian Chicken Clear Soup is usually eaten with rice. So for each bowl, we usually put a little bit of everything. But feel free to skip rice and put more vermicelli, or however you like.

If we eat soto of any kind in a restaurant in Indonesia, they usually come with kecap manis (sweet soy sauce) and sambal (chili condiment). I didn’t make the sambal. If you and your family is spicy food lover and wouldn’t feel satisfied without some heat, make the sambal.

To make sambal for soto, boil 15 cayenne pepper and 3 cloves garlic until soften. Drain them, and ground them with 1/4 tsp of salt. That’s it. It’s better to separate the sambal in different bowl. So, everybody can adjust to their own spiciness level.

Soto Ayam (Indonesian Clear Chicken Soup)

Yield: 4-5

Soto Ayam (Indonesian Clear Chicken Soup)


  • 1/2 chicken or 500 gr chicken breast (free range is better)
  • 2 cm turmeric
  • 8 pcs shallot
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 liter water
  • 2 pcs bay leaves
  • 5 pcs lime leaves
  • 2 cm galangal (crushed with the flat side of your knife)
  • 2 cm ginger (crushed with the flat side of your knife)
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • cooking oil for frying
  • 150 gr cabbage (shredded)
  • 100 gr bean sprout (soak in hot water for 5 minute)
  • 100 gr vermicelli (soak in hot water for 5 minute)
  • 2 pcs scallion (chopped)
  • 1 pcs tomato (diced)
  • 25 gr fried shallot


  1. Boil the chicken in 2 liter of water along with bay leaves, lime leaves, galangal, ginger, salt, and sugar.
  2. While boiling, blend the shallot, ginger and turmeric until smooth.
  3. Sauté the blended ingredients with cooking oil until fragrant.
  4. Add the sauté ingredients to the pot.
  5. When the chicken is cooked trough, remove from the broth and fried until the skin turned brown.
  6. Cool down the chicken enough for shredding,
  7. To serve, reheat the broth. In a bowl, add the shredded cabbage, bean sprout, vermicelli, shredded chicken, scallion, tomato and fried shallot. Pour in the hot broth.
  8. Serve warm with rice.