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Indonesian-Style Chicken and Rice Noodle Soup

4 to 6 Servings

1 hour 40 minutes 30 minutes active

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Soto ayam is a classic Indonesian chicken and noodle soup. The broth is aromatic with lemon grass and infused with turmeric, which also gives the broth a warm yellow hue. Our version simmers chicken leg quarters in water for rich flavor, and the cooked meat later is shredded and added to the soup. Generous amounts of aromatics and spices yield a bold, intense broth. Bowls of soto ayam customarily are finished with multiple garnishes, including boiled eggs, bean sprouts and fried shallots, but we opted to keep things simple with fresh herbs and colorful sliced radishes. For make-ahead convenience, the strained broth and shredded chicken can be cooled and refrigerated separately for up to two days.

4 to 6



Don't forget to bruise the lemon grass, which helps release its flavor. Give each stalk a couple whacks with the flat side of a cleaver, the heel of heavy knife handle or the blunt side of the blade of a chef's knife. If you can't find fresh lemon grass, look for lemon grass paste sold in tubes in the produce section of the supermarket; its flavor comes somewhat close to fresh. Use 2 tablespoons in place of the fresh stalks.

1 hour 40 minutes

30 minutes active


  • 3

    tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil

  • 1

    bunch cilantro, stems chopped, leaves left whole, reserved separately


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David P.

is 2 tablespoons of tumeric correct? I made this tonight and the tumeric overpowered the entire broth

Janelle C.

Hi David,

Yes, 2 tablespoons of turmeric is correct. The broth is meant to be infused with that flavor, but if you felt it was overpowering please feel free to adjust to your tastes.

The Milk Street Team

Allison S.

I have had soto ayam in Indonesia before. I found the white peppercorns to be overpowering and unpleasant, and not a familiar flavor from my previous enjoyment of the soup. Is 3 tablespoons correct? You can't go wrong with every other ingredient in this recipe, so there is something off here. I've been pleased with EVERY Milkstreet recipe I've ever tried, so I was surprised to be disappointed by this one.

Marc H.

Long-time Indonesia and SE Asia resident. While I've loved some of Milk Street's Thai, Vietnamese, and Chinese recipes, this one misses the mark. Both my wife and I felt the broth unlike any Soto we had in Indonesia and missed the key flavors found when making a curry paste.

Jay G.

Made this last week and although the recipe yielded a nice gelatinous broth, the whole thing seemed a bit lacking somehow, like it needed another component.