Soto ayam (Javanese-style chicken soup)
For the chicken soup
|1½ kgs||Free-range organic chicken, jointed|
|1 stalk||Lemongrass, lightly bruised|
|4 cm||Fresh ginger|
|8 cm||Turmeric, use turmeric root or add 2 tsp of ground turmeric to the bumbu|
|1 Tbsp||Vegetable oil|
|1 to taste||Salt & freshly ground pepper|
|100 g||Noodles, su-un noodles|
|100 g||Bean sprouts, washed twice with boiling water then drained|
|2||Spring onions, chopped|
|1 to garnish||Celery leaves|
|½ to garnish||Onion, for crispy fried onions|
|1 optional||Lemon juice|
For the bumbu
- Put the chicken pieces in a large saucepan and add enough water to cover. Add the lemongrass, ginger and, if using, fresh turmeric and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 1 hours.
- Meanwhile, pound all bumbu ingredients to a smooth paste using a pestle and mortar. Strain the stock through a fine sieve into a bowl.
- Take the chicken meat off the bones and tear it into shreds. Gently fry the bumbu in the oil in the saucepan until fragrant. Return the stock and chicken meat to the saucepan, simmer for another hour, then season.
- Meanwhile, towards the end of the cooking time, cook the potatoes until tender, hard-boil the eggs and cook the rice and noodles. Peel and coarsely chop the cooked potatoes and eggs.
- In individual soup bowls or plates, layer a small cup of rice and some noodles, bean sprouts, spring onions, potato and egg. Pour over some piping-hot broth and add some chicken meat. Top with celery leaves and fried onions. Squeeze over lemon juice if desired.