Soto Ayam (Indonesian Clear Chicken Soup)

READY IN: 1hr 40mins




  • In a food processor, combine garlic, sliced shallots, macadamia nuts, galangal, and turmeric.
  • Process mixture to a paste, scraping container sides as needed. (Or chop ingredients with a knife, then whirl in a blender to a paste.).
  • In a 5- to 6-quart pan over high heat, stir the paste and the oil until mixture barely begins to brown, about 3 minutes.
  • Stir in broth, cover, and bring to a boil.
  • Meanwhile, trim stem end and any tough leaves off lemon grass and pull off coarse outer layer.
  • Crush stalk with the back of a knife, then cut into 3-inch pieces.
  • Add to broth.
  • Add chicken breasts to broth.
  • Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until the breasts are no longer pink in center of thickest part (cut to test), 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Lift out chicken and let cool at least 10 minutes.
  • Skim fat from broth. (Or if making ahead, cover and chill the broth and the chicken separately. Lift off and discard fat from the chilled broth.).
  • In a bowl, pour 5 cups hot water over bean thread noodles.
  • Let stand until the noodles are tender to bite, about 5 minutes; drain.
  • If desired, snip through noodles with scissors to make shorter strands.
  • Season broth with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Return to a boil over high heat.
  • Tear the chicken into shreds.
  • In individual small bowls, mound shredded chicken, bean thread noodles, cabbage, bean sprouts, green onions, tomatoes, cilantro, egg wedges, potato chips, fried shallots, lime wedges, and chili sambal.
  • Pour hot broth into a tureen or pitcher.
  • Place desired portions of the chicken, noodles, cabbage, bean sprouts, green onions, tomatoes, cilantro, and eggs in wide bowls.
  • Ladle or pour hot broth into bowls.
  • Sprinkle with potato chips and fried shallots.
  • Add juice from lime wedges, chili sambal, and more salt and pepper to taste.