soto ayam

soto ayam with sambal sauce

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There’s a beautiful story behind this Indonesian Soto Ayam with Sambal Sauce. A couple of years ago I went to China, Hong Kong and Singapore. In Singapore, I met Candice who’s known as ‘The Gluttonous Temptress’. OMG, she showed us the most amazing food in Singapore over several days including a Kelong dinner that was incredible.

Fast forward two years and who has come to the USA for several months to visit many places. Yep, my Singaporean temptress!

This is one of the dishes she made in my kitchen today. I learned so much about her Asian cuisine from this one dish. It’s “chicken soup” with glass noodles and homemade hot sauce.  Full of healthy ingredients, there’s fresh ginger, fresh turmeric and lemongrass. The chicken stock is created so simply and deliciously.

Now in a few weeks, Candice and I will be doing a four-hands private charity dinner in about 3 weeks (at my home) where we’ll be doing both Singaporean and Middle Eastern dishes. Lucky folks who snagged this at the charity silent auction!  They’re getting two of us, hence, four hands! Be on the lookout for pictures, recipes and videos of this beautiful food experience.

soto ayam

soto ayam with sambal sauce


  • ½ whole chicken (about 2 ½ lbs.), can cut up chicken or use pre-cut chicken pieces skin on, bone in
  • 2-3 stalks of lemongrass
  • 2 pieces fresh chopped ginger, skin off, about 2-3” long, cut into pieces
  • 2 pieces fresh chopped turmeric, skin off, about 2-3” long, cut into pieces
  • Kaffir lime leaf, optional
  • 4 Tbl. shallots, minced
  • 2 Tbl. garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbl. sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp. coriander seed
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. white pepper
  • 8-10 Yukon potatoes, washed and skin on, cut in halves and fourths
  • 2 cups celery, with leaves chopped and celery sliced
  • 2 Tbl. fish sauce
  • 6 eggs, medium soft boiled, peeled and sliced lengthwise in halves
  • 8 oz. vermicelli rice noodles
  • ½ cup fresh celery leaves, finely chopped, garnish for serving
  • 2 cups tomatoes, medium dice
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 habanero pepper, seeds removed and find dice
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • Chopped celery leaves
  • Lime wedges


  • Put the chicken in a large stock pot over high heat. Cover with water and a lid. Let the chicken cook just until you see residue form on the top of the water from the fresh chicken (this should take about 15 minutes). Drain all the water out and refill with fresh water.
  • In a small skillet add the oil. Turn heat to medium and sauté until fragrant the shallots, garlic, salt, coriander and white pepper. Put this mixture in a food processor and add the fresh ginger and turmeric and blend into a paste. Add to the chicken pot.
  • Add the lemongrass (and kaffir lime leaf if using). Cover the pot. Turn heat to medium high and let the chicken cook for about an hour reducing heat to about medium about halfway through.
  • While the chicken is cooking prepare SAMBAL sauce.
  • When chicken is done (should be 165 degrees internally), use tongs to remove the lemongrass. Discard. Debone chicken. Discard bones.
  • Return chicken meat to broth. Add the potatoes, celery and fish sauce to the broth and salt to taste. Turn heat to medium and cook until potatoes are tender, about 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Prepare vermicelli noodles to package directions. (Can be quickly softened in hot water.)
  • SAMBAL SAUCE: Put the tomatoes and harbanero in a food processor and pulse into a thick liquid. Put in a sauce pan over medium high heat. Bring to boil and cook about 5 minutes uncovered to reduce liquid. Add the sugar. Cook another about 5 minutes on medium heat. Set aside for plating.
  • SERVING: Put some noodles in a bowl. Add a potato or two, half of a soft-boiled egg, some chicken pieces. Then use a ladle and add broth from the soup pot. Top with a dollop of sambal sauce and garnish with celery leaves and a lime wedge.


You might be interested in the Amazon ordering for lemongrass and/or turmeric. Also there are some really cool bowls for serving!

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soto ayam

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