Soto is a traditional Indonesian soup that is characterized by its flavor and aroma. It is one of the most popular dishes in the country and there are many regional variations, each with its own ingredients and preparation methods.

It has its origins in Indonesian cuisine, although variants are also found in Malaysia and Singapore. Each region of Indonesia has its own version of Soto, adapting the ingredients and cooking style to local preferences. For example:

  • Chicken Soto: made with chicken, it is one of the most common and popular versions.
  • soto Betawi:Originally from Jakarta, this version is made with beef and coconut milk.
  • Soto Madura: Originating from the island of Madura, this version often includes beef offal and a stronger spice mix.
  • Soto Lamongan: from Lamongan, East Java, known for its clear and fresh broth.

This dish is served hot, usually in a large bowl. It is accompanied by a variety of garnishes and condiments that can be added according to personal taste. Some common garnishes include:

  • Rice cake: compressed rice cake cut into slices.
  • Shrimp crisp: crispy shrimp crackers.
  • Fried onions: fried shallots.
  • Lime: to add a touch of freshness.
  • Sambal: hot sauce for those who prefer a little spice.

Soto is generally enjoyed as a main meal due to its richness and complexity. Diners often customize their dish by adding the garnishes and condiments they prefer. It is common to accompany the soup with a bowl of white rice or Lontong.


How to prepare Soto at home


  • 500 g boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 liter of chicken broth (you can use broth cubes or homemade)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cm fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cm fresh turmeric or 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 cm fresh galangal or 1 teaspoon galangal powder (optional)
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 200g rice noodles or egg noodles, cooked according to packet directions
  • 100 g of bean sprouts (tauge)
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, cut in halves
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • To serve: crispy fried onions, chopped fresh cilantro, lime wedges


  1. Preparation of chicken broth:
    • In a large pot, place the chicken broth along with the lemongrass stems, bay leaves, and fresh turmeric if using. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Allow to simmer while you prepare the other ingredients.
  2. Chicken preparation:
    • Cut the chicken breast into small pieces or shred it. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
    • In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the minced garlic, minced ginger, and turmeric powder (if you’re not using fresh turmeric). Sauté until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
    • Add the chicken and cook until golden brown on all sides.
  3. Soto Assembly:
    • Remove the lemongrass stems and bay leaves from the chicken broth.
    • Add the browned chicken and any cooking juices left in the pan to the prepared chicken broth.
    • Add the cooked noodles and bean sprouts to the broth. Simmer for a few minutes to allow the flavors to blend.
  4. Serve:
    • Serve the hot soup in individual bowls.
    • Garnish each bowl with hard-boiled egg halves, crispy fried onions, and chopped fresh cilantro.
    • Serve with lime wedges on the side to squeeze into the soup just before eating.


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