Soto Ayam Malaysia

Chicken soup is a common dish that spans across all races except each race has it’s own extra list of ingredients and preparation method apart from just boiling the chicken meat/whole chicken or the carcass with a big pot of water. Soto Ayam is of no exception. Soto Ayam is a Malay dish that is made with primarily chicken soup base and served with noodles or ketupat (rice cake). The chicken soup base is made lots of different spices and simmered over low heat for at least an hour. The dish is also served with a hot chili sauce condiment which brings the flavour of the dish to a higher note. To commemorate the Ramadhan month currently in Malaysia for the Muslims Malays, I have made Soto Ayam with Mi Kuning (yellow noodle in Malay).

Recipes adapted from Mummy I can cook! and Three Hungry Tummies.


  • 1 large chicken carcass
  • 2 medium size chicken breasts
  • 2 litres of water
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 lemongrass, bashed
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • Spice rub:
    • 1 inch of ginger
    • 4 cloves garlic
    • 1 heaped tbsp coriander
    • 1 tablespoon cumin
    • 1 tablespoon turmeric
    • 1 tablespoon white peppercorns
  • Chilli sauce
    • 5 bird eye chilies and 1 green chili, de-seeded (as much as you can cause it can be really hot)
    • 2 garlic cloves
    • 4 teaspoon cooking oil
    • dash of salt
    • 1 tablespoon of sugar (or more to taste)
    • 1 tablespoon of water
  • To serve
    • 1 packet of yellow noodles
    • 1 piece of firm tofu, cut into slices and pan-fry all sides till crispy
    • 2 eggs, hard-boiled, cut into quarters/wedges
    • Shredded chicken breasts meat
    • Handful of beansprouts
    • Fresh chopped coriander leaves
    • Crispy fried shallots
    • Roasted peanuts (with skin on)


To prepare the soup base:

  1. Blitz the ingredients for the spice rub in a hand blender till it turns in paste.
  2. Rub the chicken carcass and breasts meat with the spice mix.
  3. In a sauce pot, heat up 2 tablespoon of oil and saute the onion till lightly browned.
  4. Add the chicken carcass and chicken breasts along with the rest of the ingredients. Add the water, bring to a boil, skim off any scum that rises to the top, and then let simmer for 1 to 2 hour on a low heat.
  5. Remove the carcass and breasts meat from the soup base. Shred the chicken breasts.
  6. Strain the broth to remove the spices.
To prepare the chili sauce:
  1. Heat up the oil in a sauce pan over medium heat.
  2. Pan fry the chili and cover them with a lid (the chili bits will start popping all over if you don’t do this).
  3. Once the popping subsided, pour the chili in into the blender and blitz it with the garlic, sugar and salt. Add water slowly during blitzing.
Prior to serving:
  1. Blanch the yellow noodles and beansprouts in boiling water very quickly (less than a min)
  2. Dish into a bowl, and pour a ladle of hot chicken broth over.
  3. Top with the shredded chicken, fried tofu, egg, fried shallots, chopped coriander, roasted peanuts and serve immediately, with some chilli sauce on the side if desired.
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