Monday, January 28, 2013

Indonesian Soto Ayam Recipe

Home made Soto Ayam with Baked Potato Chips

Once in a while I will be craving home-made Indonesian food that I can make at home and not go out to Simpang Asia although it is a good Indonesian restaurant to check out if you have not been there.

So last week when I went to Simpang Asia, I bought a "Bamboe" instant spice for "Soto Ayam" which translates to chicken soup. I thought about making it from scratch but the list of ingredients of any Indonesian recipe is probably 10 + herbs/ spices long.... Think lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, tumeric, coriander, cummin, candlenut, sometime tamarind paste.. UGH things that are not readily available at home..

In any case I digress, I bought the Bamboe instant spice.. I don't know why it is called bamboe.. which means bamboo.. and not bUmboe.. which means spices in Indonesian language
This instant spices turn to be a hit for Arthur, he actually had 3 bowls of the chicken soup! 

The ingredients you need to buy for one instant spices package are:
-  1 lbs of chicken. I like dark meat so I used 4 chicken thigh with bone. Recommend with no skin but I got it with skin since it is cheap!
- one potato. One is plenty
- 1/2 cup of bean sprout
- 2 individually packaged bean thread/ vermicelli. See picture below, I usually get them from Ranch 99
- 1 lime
- 1 shallot
- 1 egg
- pre packaged sambal oelek to serve
- green onion to serve

This will serve 3 people or if it is someone with healthy appetite 2 people.


Sambal Oelek, which you can get at Simpang Asia or Ranch 99

When pressed for time, feel free to follow the recipe at the back of the Bamboe instant spice package, I altered mine just because I am used to my soto ayam done a certain way, see a typical picture of soto ayam  below:

Here goes, the recipe of Soto Ayam (Indonesian Chicken Soup) with the Bamboe instant spices that you can get from Simpang Asia or perhaps Ranch 99:

1. Start making Ina Garten's Rori's Potato Chips Recipe. Note also that traditional soto ayam actually use deep fried potato chips but I am trying to be healthier, thus the baked potato chips.

Modified* Rori’s Potato Chips from Barefoot Contessa Parties Cookbook – page 77
Good Olive Oil
1 Baking Potatoes
Kosher Salt

Preheat the oven to 325.  Spread each of 2 baking sheets with 1 tablespoon of oil and put them in the oven to preheat for 10 minutes.
Slice the potatoes on the longer side on a mandoline so that they are paper-thin and flexible.   Place slices on the hot sheet pans, making sure that they don’t overlap at all.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake the chips for 10 minutes , rotate the pans in the oven and bake for another 10 minutes.  Flip each chip and then bake for another 5-6 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove the chips to a paper towel to cool.
Repeat with the remaining potato slices.
To store the chips, cool completely and place in a plastic zipper-lock bag.  They will stay crisp several days.
*OK so original recipe asked you to slice the potatoes lengthwise so that the potato chips are longer, but traditional soto ayam has the potatoes smaller so I alter the slicing method, additionally the original recipe ask you to use black pepper.. but no no not in traditional soto ayam

2. At the same time, start cooking white rice in a rice cooker. 1.5 cups of rice for 2 people.

3. Boil 4.25 cups of water until it boils and then insert the 1 lbs of chicken. Ladle out any fat that is forming at the top. Bring the water to boil again and then reduce heat to low and boil the chicken uncovered for 30 minutes

4. Start to slice up shallots really thin and then heat up about 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a pan and fry it until it turns golden brown, immediately take it off the pan and let it cool.

5. After 30 minutes of simmering the chicken, take out the chicken and shred the meat. Discard any bone or skin if there is. Afterwards, return the shredded chicken meat into the pot

6. Add the bamboe instant spice into the pot of chicken stock and mix it up. Boil at low heat for 10 minutes.

7. Prepare your vermicelli per the instruction of your store bought vermicelli. For my case, I had to boil a separate pot of water and add the vermicelli in for 3 to 5 minutes and then take out the vermicelli. At the same time, wash the beansprout and cook it together with the vermicelli for 3 to 5 minutes and take them out too.

8. At the same pot, you can also boil one egg until it is fully cooked, about 10 minutes. Take out the egg's shell and half the egg.

9. On an empty bowl, put the vermicelli and rice to it. Add the chicken soup to the bowl, top it off with beansprouts, fried shallot, baked potato chips and 1/2 of the hard boiled egg. Serve with some lime, cut up green onion and sambal oelek on the side.