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Indonesian Chicken Noodle Soup - Sup Ayam


Sup Ayam

Indonesian Chicken Noodle Soup

© Dennis K H Sim, licensed to About.com

This is chicken soup for the soul. This one-dish-wonder is enjoyed by Indonesians who may eat it for breakfast or a light lunch. A great all-round nourishing meal from which to draw comfort on a cold winter’s day. The spices used in this noodle dish such as cumin, ginger, turmeric, cardamom, clove and coriander contribute to good health by boosting our energy levels for work and play.

(This recipe serves 2)


  • 1 ½ lbs chicken leg or breast
  • 1 thumb-sized fresh ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp pepper powder
  • ½ cup water for the marinade
  • 3 stalks bruised lemongrass (use only the bottom 3 inches of the stalk)
  • 1 sliced medium onion
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 6 cloves
  • 6 cardamoms
  • 3 oz bean thread vermicelli (soak in room temperature water until it softens)
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, cut into wedges
  • 2 boiled and peeled potatoes, cut into wedges
  • 6 cups of water for the soup
  • 3 Tbsp oil
  • ½ cup sliced shallots
  • 1 stalk chopped spring onion
  • 3 Tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • Salt to taste


  1. Grind the garlic and ginger.
  2. Mix these with the coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder and pepper.
  3. Add ½ cup of water to the mixture to make a paste.
  4. Marinate the chicken with the paste, and let it stand for an hour.
  5. Heat the oil in a pot. Add the sliced shallots and fry on low heat until crisp and golden brown.
  6. Place some kitchen towels on a plate. Remove the shallots from the pot and put them on top of the kitchen towel to drain away excess oil.
  7. Using the same pot with the hot oil in it, add the sliced onions and fry until fragrant, or when they turn slightly brown.
  8. Add the marinated chicken together with the lemon grass, cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom and the 5 cups of water.
  9. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and allow the soup to simmer for 20 minutes before taking the chicken pieces out to cool. Shred the chicken using a spoon and a fork.
  10. Keep the soup warm on very low heat. Add salt to taste.
  11. Put some water to boil in another pot. When, the water is boiling, blanche the vermicelli for about a minute.
  12. Drain and split the noodles into individual bowls.
  13. Put as much shredded chicken, eggs and potato wedges as you like on top of the noodles. Add also 2 tsp of spring onions and 2 tsp of coriander leaves on top of the noodles.
  14. Pour the hot soup over the noodles and the ingredients, especially the spring onions and coriander leaves. You want to ensure that you take the edge off these raw vegetables. (You may want to add more soup as you are eating the sohoon, as the these noodles tend to absorb the soup).
  15. Garnish with the fried shallots.

Enjoy this dish with some fresh chilies, if you like it spicy!

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