Soto Ayam: A Taste of Indonesia

What is Soto Ayam?

In Indonesian there are two words for soup; soto and sup. Traditional Indonesian soups, are usually referred to as ‘soto’, and the word ‘sup’ usually refers to soups with a western influence. Soto Ayam is a traditional chicken (ayam) soup which is based on flavorsome broth and incorporates shredded chicken, rice noodles, turmeric (hence the rich yellow color), lemongrass, ginger, chili, and kafir lime leaf, shredded vegetables and it is traditionally served with half a boiled egg and segments of lime on the side. Like chicken soup in western countries it is known as a comfort food and a ‘go-to’ dish when people are feeling under the weather. Due to the number of migrant Indonesian workers, soto ayam can be found in several countries in South East Asia including Singapore and Malaysia. It can be served in small portions as an appetizer or in larger bowls as a hearty and nourishing main course.

Lemongrass has an aromatic flavor and we are now growing our own in our new herb and vegetable garden!

Lembeh Resort’s Soto Ayam

Lembeh Resort’s soto ayam is prepared according to a traditional recipe which you can find below. It’s available on our lunchtime and breakfast menus and it’s also served in the evenings on our à la carte menu as an appetizer – which just goes to show that it can be enjoyed at any time of day!

If you have been yearning for a taste of Indonesia, soto ayam is an easy dish to prepare and we’ve included a little video to show some of the recipe steps with one of our resort chefs.

Indonesian cuisine utilises an array of spices, many of which are grown in North Sulawesi

Lembeh Resort’s Traditional Soto Ayam Recipe


    • 1 large chicken breast (or 2 thighs if preferred)
    • 50 grams of leeks (sliced)
    • 50 grams of finely sliced white cabbage
    • 50 grams of cooked and cooled rice noodles (vermicelli)
    • 2 pieces of lemongrass (pressed)
    • 4 kaffir lime leaves
    • 2 cloves of garlic (blended)
    • 5 shallots (blended)
    • 5 grams of coriander powder
    • 10 grams of ginger (blended or powder if fresh is not available)
    • 3 pcs of candlenut (blended, may be exchanged with cashew nut)
    • 3 grams of turmeric powder
    • 1.5 liters of chicken stock
    • 4 tbsp. coconut oil (can be exchanged with vegetable oil)
    • Boiled eggs (half an egg per serving)
    • Seasoning: 1 tsp. of salt and ½ tsp. of ground pepper

Lembeh Resort's Traditional Soto Ayam


    • Heat the oil in a large saucepan
    • Sauté all of the blended ingredients, spices & lemongrass until fragrant
    • Add the chicken & cook until browned-off and almost cooked through
    • Add the chicken stock, leeks (save some for garnish) & kaffir lime leaf
    • Cook the stock until it is reduced to half the amount and remove the chicken and shred
    • Add seasoning
    • To serve, place into each soup bowl small amounts of the following
      • Cooked shredded chicken
      • White cabbage
      • Rice noodles
    • Pour the stock over the ingredients into the soup bowl
    • Garnish with fried shallots, leeks, and half a boiled egg
    • Serve with a wedge of lime
Kaffir lime leaf is used in the cooking and a quarter of lime to finish the dish when serving

Dive and Stay at Lembeh Resort

Are you ready to dive into Lembeh? Stay at Lembeh Resort and enjoy the wonders of the Strait in comfortable accommodation with a touch of luxury. Our secluded location on Lembeh Island, combined with our exclusive service and exquisite dining make Lembeh Resort a wonderful home away from home in North Sulawesi.

Our professional dive guides are marine biology and trained underwater photography (with PADI or SSI certified), and we are the only dive resort in Lembeh with on-site marine biologists, photo pro and Backscatter Authorized Photo Center.

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