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Soto Ayam – Indonesian Chicken Noodle Soup

Soto Ayam is a bright, yellow chicken noodle soup from Indonesia. A great way to to use up leftover ingredients such as veggies, herbs, eggs and meat. Customize to your taste with soy sauce, chili sauce, citrus and vinegars.

Bowl of chicken noodle soup.

The temperatures have dipped so I am deep into my annual tradition of exploring more soups. I especially like to learn about traditional soups from around the World but sometimes I like to make my own too, especially if I need to clean out the fridge.

Soto Ayam is basically a chicken noodle soup that is different than the American version mainly due to it’s yellow color and the layers of flavor. American Chicken Noodle Soup is a classic, basic soup that is great anytime but especially if you are not feeling well. The salty broth with hydrate you and the balanced but delicate flavors are gentle on sour tummies.

Soto Ayam is amped up with spices, fresh herbs and bold garnishes. Still great if you have a cold but maybe not so much if your tummy hurts.

This soup is really easy to make. As with any noodle soup, cook & store the noodles separately. Noodles, rice and pasta will continue to absorb liquid so if you have leftovers, you will definitely want to keep the soup and starch separate.

Spices, shallots, lemongrass, garlic, broth.
Developing the flavors include using aromatics, herbs, spices and broth.

How to make this soup

Chicken and chili powder.
Sprinkle chili powder on chicken. Use a rack over a foil-lined sheet pan for easier clean up and even cooking.
Chicken under broiler.
Cook about 4 inches under the broiler.
Charred chicken.
Cook until cooked through and charred. Set aside.
Garlic and shallots in a food processor.
Place aromatics in a food processor and puree until smooth.
Pureed garlic and shallots.
Spices frying in oil.
Cook aromatics in oil for about 3 minutes. Add Spices.
Spices frying in oil.
Stir constantly for one more minute.
Broth added to spices.
Add broth. Stir and bring to a simmer.


Different varieties of pasta.
It’s your soup and your choice. You can use whatever pasta or noodles you like. This is what I have in my cupboard currently. I used the Somen noodles in this recipe. Cook noodles according to package directions. Make about 3 oz of noodles or pasta per serving. This soup as written makes 6-8 servings.
Hot sauce.
Place the hot sauce of your choice in serving bowls. Ladle the broth over this. Sambal Olek is traditional but I didn’t have any. I mixed these two pantry staples together. Use to taste. Add noodles and chicken.
Fresh veggies and herbs.
Garnish with sprouts, scallions, cilantro and fresh lime juice to taste. Add more hot sauce if needed. Feel free to use other vegetables and herbs. Don’t be afraid to experiment. It’s fun, Bon Appetit!
Bowl of Soto Ayam.

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If you like noodles dishes, Chicken Lo Mein is an easy weeknight recipe that will also use up leftover veggies from the fridge.

Bowl of chicken noodle soup.

Soto Ayam Indonesian Chicken Noodle Soup

Yield: 6-8 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Soto Ayam is a bright, yellow chicken noodle soup from Indonesia. A great way to to use up leftover ingredients such as veggies, herbs, eggs and meat. Customize to your taste with soy sauce, chili sauce, citrus, vinegars and oils.


  • 2 large shallots, or 4 small, peeled
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 3 Tbs cooking oil
  • 1 Tbs ground coriander
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 Tbs minced lemongrass
  • 4 cups of broth of your choice
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 Tbs chili powder (gochugaru, guajillo, ancho, paprika etc)
  • 3 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 24 oz of cooked Asian noodles (may substitute vermicelli, angel hair pasta etc)


  • hot sauce (sambal olek, sriracha, chili sauce etc)
  • 8 scallions, sliced
  • 3 cups bean sprouts
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • fresh lime wedges or rice vinegar


  1. Place first two ingredients in food processor and process until pureed.
  2. In a large soup pot, add oil and heat over medium heat. Add shallot garlic puree. Stir and cook for 3 minutes. Add cumin and coriander. Stir constantly and cook one more minute. Add lemongrass, broth and water. Stir and bring to slow simmer.
  3. Place a rack on a foil-lined baking sheet. Place chicken on rack, sprinkle with chili powder, bake 4 inches under broiler for about 4 minutes. Turn over and continue cooking until chicken is cooked through, about another 4 minutes. Cut the thickest part of the chicken to see if the middle is no longer pink and juices run clear. Remove from oven, roughly chop and set aside.
  4. To serve, place desired amount of chili sauce in bowls. Add hot broth, stir to mix. Add cooked noodles, chicken, remaining garnishes. Serve immediately.


  • You may use skin on, bone-in chicken pieces. You can make your own broth this way. Instead of broiling in oven, brown chicken in soup pot, in oil over medium high heat. Turn pieces and brown other side. Remove chicken and set aside. Add oil to pot and cook the puree as in the original recipe and continue cooking from there. Be careful to scrape bottom of pan with wooden spoon to get the tasty brown bits incorporated into puree. At the point in the original recipe where the soup simmers, add the chicken pieces back in and cook until chicken is cooked through. Alternatively, after browning chicken, you can remove skin and bones.
  • You can substitute herbs and veggies in this recipe. This can be a great, clean out your fridge recipe.
  • For a lower carb recipe, skip noodles and add more vegetables.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 539Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 211mgSodium: 534mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 4gSugar: 5gProtein: 51g

Did you make this recipe?

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Wednesday 6th of April 2022

Delicious alternative to the classic chicken noodle soup. The broiled chicken gave a great texture in the soup and I loved the long noodles.


Saturday 31st of October 2020

This turned out so good. I was surprised at how fast this came together. The chicken, noodles and broth all cooked at the same time. Thanks for another great soup recipe!

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