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Chicken Soto

This is another one of those things I borrowed from my mother and put up here in case I forgot. Traditionally, this is made with chicken or beef stock. Leftover turkey bones from Christmas are just fine. If you do need to go vegetarian with it, may I suggest you make up a stock flavoured with Chinese white radishes (round), daikon or turnip? Soto is a popular Malay noodle soup dish in Malaysia. It is usually rice vermicelli or yellow wheat noodles served in a spicy chicken broth, typically sold at roadside stalls for lunch. Or breakfast. Or dinner. Whenever we're hungry.

I admit that my personal favourite version is really Indomie's Soto Ayam, which is probably quite unholy (and has portions of MSG equal to its portions of chilli flakes). You can't buy Indomie Soto Ayam in Malaysia. Maybe you can, but I've stared long and hard at a very large number of supermarket aisles by now and wished I knew where. (The last time we were in Indonesia, we bought a large box home.) Ironically, it is available in Australia wherever there are Asian grocery stores, probably fueled by the instant noodle demands of the rabid Asian student population.

This recipe (below) is how Mum makes it. Yes, it tastes great. It just lacks that special MSG... *chilled due to presence of dire Hamamama tendrils of doom*

Chicken Soto


Half a stock pot of good chicken broth (the traditional idea is enough water to cover the carcass of a whole bird)
2 shallots (or 1 large onion) (chopped)
2 sticks lemongrass (about 6 inch/15 cm each) (crushed) or 2 tbsp lemongrass paste
3-4 bay leaves
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 clove garlic (crushed)
1 thumb galangal (if you can't find galangal/blue ginger, you can substitute it with regular ginger, but it will impart a different flavour)
Salt and pepper to taste


Rice vermicelli (blanched)
Boiled potatoes (sliced thin)
Shredded chicken/beef meat or sliced firm tofu (the frozen versions, flavoured with vegetables, works really well)
Boiled eggs
Blanched bean sprouts
Shredded cucumber
Fried shallots

1. Add all the broth ingredients to the pot and bring to boil. Simmer for 30-45 minutes. In the way of all broths, it tastes better after being stored overnight and reheated.
2. To assemble the noodles, divide the vermicelli among the amount of people present in the appropriate amount of bowls.
3. Top with a few slices of potato, half a boiled egg, a handful of bean sprouts, a handful of meat/tofu, a handful of cucumber and a sprinkle of fried shallots.
4. Fill bowls of noodles with boiling soup.
5. Serve with chopsticks or silverware, a squeeze of lime/lemon juice and your favourite chilli dip (Tabasco!). If it gets the food in your mouth, it clearly works.



( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 13th, 2006 01:46 am (UTC)
That certainly sounds yummy. :)
Mar. 13th, 2006 02:53 am (UTC)
It is. I had way too much of it yesterday. *rolls back into hole*
Mar. 13th, 2006 02:47 am (UTC)
OK, off topic, but just had to share this
Mar. 13th, 2006 02:52 am (UTC)
Re: OK, off topic, but just had to share this
Yup. I saw that a long, long, long time ago, back when it first crept online. Horrified, I was. Horrifed and apalled. :)

Plus, I swear it looks like a gopher.
Mar. 15th, 2006 12:27 am (UTC)
Re: OK, off topic, but just had to share this
If only they did other small mammals ....
Mar. 15th, 2006 02:52 am (UTC)
Re: OK, off topic, but just had to share this
Off topic also, but have we met before? :)
Mar. 16th, 2006 04:06 am (UTC)
Re: OK, off topic, but just had to share this
No, but we have friends who are mutual friends.
Mar. 16th, 2006 03:01 pm (UTC)
Re: OK, off topic, but just had to share this
Ahhh. Hello! :)
I can't help but admire the color of that fur, and those beautiful eyes.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )