13 Sep2006


There are two Indonesian soups that I absolutely adore. The first is a Sop Buntot (they made a terrific one at the Hotel Intercontinental Borobudur Hotel where I lived for roughly 3-4 years) which is an oxtail soup with tremendous flavor from slow cooked oxtails and spices including galangal. If allowed to cool, it would probably solidify…that’s how much gelatin and fat it had in it! The second soup, Soto Ayam, is a chicken and sotanghon soup that is so distinctly different from our own versions. Done right, the Soto Ayam is incredibly satisfying and incredibly tasty. And better yet, the chili in the form of sambal is added to each diner’s soup bowl individually, so you can temper or strengthen the spiciness as you wish. Here is a simple recipe for Soto Ayam…

In a medium to large sized pot, boil some water with a couple of stalks of lemon grass, a few kaffir (or makrut) lime leaves, and place several chicken breasts in it to cook. When done, flake thesop2 breasts and remove and bones and cartilage and set this aside. Alternatively, you can boil a whole chicken; however, only the white meat is generally used for this recipe. Next, make a paste by mashing together garlic, galangal or yellow ginger, onions, coriander seeds, salt pepper and candle nuts (a slightly bitter nut used to thicken the soup, if you can’t find them use mashed macadamias instead, though these are sweeter) and add this to the boiling broth. Add 2 tablespoons of white vinegar, a little bit of white sugar and 1 chicken cube broth if your broth needs strengthening. Cook this down till a nice flavorful soup, say 15+ minutes. Strain out the solids.

Meanwhile, prepare a platter with the ingredients for the soup. Add some cooked and cooled sotanghon noodles (mung bean thread noodles), several quartered boiled eggs, blanched bean sprouts, some greens such as coriander and the shredded chicken. To serve, take some of all of the ingredients and place it in a big bowl. Add some of the yellow broth and season with both sambal and the kecap manis which is essentially a sweetened soy sauce. Many homes in Indonesia would serve this dish with small deep fried potato patties, a great match that I only bother to do once or twice a year. I used to eat this with rice as well. And lots of local pickles simply called acar (pronounced achar, yes, hence our acharra). We just had this for dinner an hour ago. I am so full I could fall fast asleep in 2 minutes flat…



  1. Jean says:

    I will definitely try this Soto Ayam. Thanks MM!

    Sep 13, 2006 | 8:41 pm


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  3. NYCMama says:

    Oh Yey! Thank you! New diet dish, skipping the noodles and rice!

    Sep 13, 2006 | 9:23 pm

  4. Wilson Cariaga says:

    nice dish. . . simple but really satisfying. . . i love noodles. . .

    Sep 13, 2006 | 9:57 pm

  5. Apicio says:

    Not to sound like a prod and a scold, are you sure you are still on diet or is this the SFD (South Forbes Diet) you previously referred to. Seems like a tolerant and long- leashed regimen doesn’t it? In any case, an Indonesian chef friend introduced me to this and the sop buntot both of which effective restoratives for the long Canadian winter, and a remarkably tasty and good-looking sort of chicken and béchamel filled crèpes they call “risoles” which sounded to me a likely corruption of crèpes risolées.

    Sep 13, 2006 | 10:06 pm

  6. mita says:

    Love these Indonesian soups! Was caught in Jakarta traffic once and thought I saw someone eating what looked like spaghetti from a bowl when I knew that spaghetti was virtually unknown there at that time. When we crawled closer, the guy was next to a Mie Ayam peddler and it was the sambal that made his Mie Ayam red. hot..hot…hot!

    You are so right about the Hotel Borobudur…they also had great lugaw with so many toppings. There’s nothing like a big bowl of lugaw after a night of partying at Tanamur – which I did once out of pakisama…and the rest of the times for the lugaw!

    Sep 13, 2006 | 10:34 pm

  7. lee says:

    to Apicio: I think MarketMan is still on a diet, he mentioned white meat which is the chicken cut of choice of the dieting man. But when he would start his blog about sop buntot, which I anticipate even if I’m on a diet, then I would have my doubts. I would love to torture myself and read about tender slow cooked oxtails while munching on saltless peanuts.

    Sep 13, 2006 | 10:42 pm

  8. corrrine_p says:

    Would anybody know a good Malaysian or Indonesian restaurant in Metro Manila? I love their cuisine. Funny that I had to discover Malaysian food in NY. I used to go to a small restaurant in makati ave. owned by an Indonesian lady way back in the 90s. It has closed down.

    Sep 13, 2006 | 11:37 pm

  9. noemi says:

    indonesian food is absolutely spicy, I’m married to a indonesian/chinese from Jakarta so I know soto ayam.

    Sep 13, 2006 | 11:55 pm

  10. Marketman says:

    Apicio, you are right, this is my version of the South Forbes Diet. However, while it may appear I am cheating big time, I am actually suffering by normal standards. I have not had any ice cream for dessert, nor cake or other sweets like chocolate, etc. I eat a disgusting bowl of oatmeal for breakfast every other day alternating with my homemade granola that is higher calorie but more palatable. I have lettuce up the wazoo with just a touch of good olive oil and some balsamic vinegar, lots of steamed fish, some pistachio nuts for snacks, protein shakes, lots of V8, lots of water and the real kicker… daily exercise… workout 2-3 times a week, bike ride 1-2 times a week, brisk walks, occasional swim. In the past two weeks I have already lost about 4 pounds so I am just 11 away from my goal, with 6 more weeks to go. I know losing the first 7 pounds is relatively easy for me but I do need a bit more discipline if I want to get down to 175 pounds… lee, I won’t feature a sop buntot soon, it’s a killer on cholesterol count! Now I have visions of 2 dozen marketmanila readers from around the globe smacking me for straying from my diet…heeheehee. Wait till you read about my 5 attempts to make budbud kabog, nearly 3 kilos of millet and 15+ coconuts and tons of banana leaves + sugar….

    Sep 14, 2006 | 5:12 am

  11. teny says:

    MM is Nasi Goreng an Indonesian food? I only eat it because of the satay which I thought was Thai.

    Sep 14, 2006 | 7:36 am

  12. linda says:

    A definitely Must try dish. I love Indonesian cuisine – there’s a restaurant in a shopping centre in Pondok Indah, Jakarta and they serve the best Bakmi Goreng, and the satays from hawkers are to die for. Thanks MM for sharing:)

    Sep 14, 2006 | 8:10 am

  13. linda says:

    btw,how many candlenuts can I include in this dish? Thanks!

    Sep 14, 2006 | 8:14 am

  14. Mila says:

    There’s been a regular Indonesian cooking club in Manila, most of the dishes are comfort food recipes (nasi goreng, chicken satay, beef rendang), but it’s fun learning a new culture through the food, and of course the camaraderie. The next meeting will be about food prepared during ramadan.

    Sep 14, 2006 | 9:03 am

  15. Wilson Cariaga says:

    hehe. . . MM, why don’t you try soaking your oats in milk overnight (chill it ofcourse) then the next day add more milk plus yogurt then sweeten it with honey then add fruits (banana, mango etc. and grated apple makes it nice too) you can also add toasted nuts, now you have a no cook and not boring oatmeal. . . always my fave. . . try it guys it’s really good. . . .

    Sep 14, 2006 | 9:45 am

  16. Naz says:

    The Soto Sayam pix made me go to the fridge to check if there’s any packaged noodle (mami or udon) left so I could just satisfy my craving. Not close to your Soto Sayam but enough my drooling. Nada! deng! I have to visit the oriental store this weekend to stock up. I am afraid I won’t be fortunate enough to find all the ingredients you mentioned, oh well. Thanks!

    Wilson : Being on oatmeal regimen everyday, due to my desire to lower cholesterol, I will definitely try your recommendation. Thanks!

    Sep 14, 2006 | 1:26 pm

  17. arlene says:

    Hi MM,

    May I ask where I can buy the granola so that I can also make it at home.

    thanks.. your website is heaven sent!…

    Sep 14, 2006 | 1:50 pm

  18. Mila says:

    Or add uncooked oats to a mix of dry fruits, nuts, drizzle with a bit of honey, eat with a good thick yogurt. Homemade muesli!

    Sep 14, 2006 | 1:56 pm

  19. gus hansen says:

    Hi. What is Galangal? Newbie question. :)

    Sep 14, 2006 | 6:50 pm

  20. Marketman says:

    teny, yes nasi goreng is Indonesian and possibly Malaysian as well. It is delicious and flavorful and grease laden… satay is Indonesian as well. Linda, bakmi goreng is great, haven’t had any in a few years; as for the number of candlenuts, about 2 pieces for a pot serving siz might be sufficient, but adjust as you add it to the broth. Wilson, your version sounds far more appetizing than mine. But perhaps part of it is feeling the torture…heehee. Arlene, I make my own granola and I have a recipe in my archives; here is the link. Mila, arrgh, uncooked oatmeal?! It’s bad enough cooked. Gus, follow the link in the post to galangal, I had another post on it a few weeks ago.

    Sep 14, 2006 | 8:03 pm

  21. mojito_drinker says:

    hi MM, have been having the same oatmeal blues since i found out i had high cholesterol last month. i tried mila’s suggestion this morning. i toasted oatmeal and slivered almonds, added fresh honey and (hacienda macalauan) yogurt. a lot more palatable than regular oatmeal… =)

    Sep 15, 2006 | 10:56 am

  22. lee says:

    good that the comments thread leads to oatmeal trickery. I too am blessed with elevated cholesterol therefore cursed to consume oatmeal. Great to read suggestions on how to “pimp” my breakfast.

    Sep 15, 2006 | 11:00 am

  23. Marketman says:

    guys, check out my recipe for homemade granola in my archives, its the finest way to eat oatmeal “pimped”…heehee.

    Sep 15, 2006 | 1:04 pm

  24. lee says:

    can i use the microwave to prep the pimped granola? I’m so excited and i want to have it for breakfast soon. yeah.

    good thing today is payday and i can stock on the ingredients in your granola post. bad thing today is payday and the grocery lines will be long. but good dieting men stand in line and wait

    Sep 15, 2006 | 3:52 pm

  25. Marketman says:

    lee you need an oven or toaster oven for my recipe… microwave won’t work I think. Try half a recipe first because my recipe makes enough for 20+ breakfasts… I was so faint at the Mall an hour ago I ate an entire mini-loaf of bread to recover…don’t you just HATE self-denial?

    Sep 15, 2006 | 5:03 pm

  26. Bay_leaf says:

    ahhhh, that soto ayam looks so ‘sedap’! will definitely try it one of these days esp. as autumn is slowly creeping in over here… ;)

    MM, here’s another version of Wilson’s muesli. Instead of soaking the oats in milk overnight, soak it in orange juice, then add the other goodies…

    Sep 15, 2006 | 9:07 pm


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