HOT WOK OFFER. 2 x free cookbooks with every wok purchase. Limited time only. SHOP NOW →

HOT WOK OFFER. 2 x free cookbooks with every wok purchase. Limited time only. SHOP NOW →

Indonesian Chicken Noodle Soup (Soto Ayam)

This Indonesian chicken noodle soup has so much flavour packed into the broth – and it doesn’t take that long to make, I promise! I’ve added creamy coconut and better-for-you turmeric, an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant that has many health benefits. This soup is so comforting, it’s just like a hug in a bowl!


Indonesian Chicken Noodle Soup (Soto Ayam)

10 minutes
1 hour 20 minutes

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 cup coconut milk

1 tbsp lime juice

200g (7 oz) dried rice vermicelli

coriander (cilantro) leaves, to serve

sambal oelek*, to serve

lime wedges, to serve

sea salt


Chicken stock:

2 tbsp vegetable oil

4 chicken thigh fillets

1 stalk lemongrass, bruised

2 shallots, quartered

3 slices fresh ginger

3 makrut lime leaves


Spice paste:

1 stalk lemongrass, pale part only, finely chopped

6 small red Asian shallots (or 3 brown eschallots), roughly chopped

3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

4cm (1.5 inch) piece fresh turmeric, peeled and roughly chopped (alternatively, use 1 tsp turmeric powder)

3cm (just over 1 inch) piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

3 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

  • Step 1

    To make the chicken stock, heat the vegetable oil in large stock pot over high heat. Season the chicken fillets with salt and sear in the pot for 2-3 minutes each side. Add the remaining stock ingredients and 8 cups of water. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium and cook for 45 minutes, skimming the surface every so often.

  • Step 2

    For the spice paste, blend the ingredients in a blender until smooth (add a couple of tablespoons of the chicken stock if the ingredients won’t blend properly).

  • Step 3

    Remove the chicken pieces from the chicken stock and set aside for later. Strain the broth and reserve. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred or roughly chop the meat.

  • Step 4

    To finish the broth, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the spice paste (keep the rest for another time in the freezer) and cook stirring for about a minute or until fragrant. Stir through the coconut milk and simmer for another 2 minutes. Then stir through the chicken broth and simmer for another 2 minutes. Then add the lime juice and season with salt to taste.

  • Step 5

    Soak the vermicelli noodles in hot water for 3-4 minutes or until tender. Drain and divide among serving bowls. Top with shredded chicken. Then ladle over the soup. Top with sambal oelek, coriander leaves and a lime wedge.

  • Notes

    – Sambal oelek is chilli paste available in the Asian section of the supermarket or from an Asian grocer.

What is the difference between Mee Soto and Soto Ayam?

Mee soto and soto ayam are both popular Indonesian noodle soup dishes that are essentially the same thing. The only difference is the type of noodle that is used in the dish. Soto ayam is made using rice noodles or Ketupat (boiled compressed rice cakes) whilst mee soto had yellow egg noodles, typically hokkien noodles added to the dish.

How would you describe Soto Ayam?

Soto ayam is a delicious, comforting and spicy chicken noodle soup that is chock full of turmeric, lemongrass, coriander and ginger. It is super hearty, super tasty, and the perfect chicken noodle soup if you find yourself coming down with something during the colder months!

You serve it alongside wedges of lime and sambal sauce for an added chilli kick!

What is soto in Indonesian?

Soto is a culinary category within Indonesia, it includes soupy dishes that are generally made from meat or vegetable broth. The dish also generally contains some sort of shredded meat like chicken, vermicelli noodles and soto is usually served with rice or with rice cakes!

Marion's Kitchen is for everyone who finds joy in flavour and happiness in every bite. Marion's Kitchen is for everyone who finds joy in flavour and happiness in every bite.

What our customers say

Rated 5.0 out of 5
5.0 out of 5 stars (based on 3 reviews)
Very good0%
January 22, 2024

Love in a bowl

So good & comforting 💘💘💘 I added 1 can of coconut cream instead of coconut milk to make it creamier and I also sauteed some shallots in oil to put some crunchy shallots on top. 👌🏼👌🏼👌🏼👌🏼🙊

March 17, 2023

Pure comfort

This was so yummy! I love the super tasty, creamy yet bright flavours of this broth. This really hit the spot. Super easy and delicious. Thank you for yet another amazing recipe Marion.

June 16, 2022

My go to comfort food

I’ve made this quite some times now can’t its always great. It’s super easy and full of flavour. Definitely give it a try.

Leave your rating and review